Sep 13

Never a Bad Time For A Vacation

I went on a vacation for the first 3 weeks in August. Before going I was a little bit nervous. It really wasn’t the perfect time for the CEO of our business to take off, and to the wilds of Africa no less, where telecommunications infrastructure can be scratchy at best. We had a lot of critical matters that were coming to a head during these weeks, we really needed all hands on deck.

The trip was completely paid for though and there were no refunds. So with no small degree of trepidation, off I went. In retrospect, boy I was glad I did.

One thing about taking a break, it clears a lot of crap out of your mind. The fog starts to lift and perspective starts to come back. Another thing I find (although this is location dependent), is that a good holiday fills me with the spark of life. This has been really important to me with this trip. I think we all agree that business has been quite a grind over recent years, its certainly been exhausting for me. Coming back from this vacation I am full of energy and raring to go again. My mind full of ideas and things to do, the only nagging question is how I’ll find the time.

These two benefits, clearing the fog and re-finding the spark, made it clear to me that there is never a bad time to take a well deserved holiday. You just have to take them and leave all the other stuff behind.

I am a week back now. One thing I noticed about the two benefits of holidays above is when you get back, you need to make an effort to keep and even nurture the energy you bring back with you. It is just so easy when you sit back down at the tools, to fall back into the emotion and habits you put down before leaving for the break. It takes a conscious effort to remember the bubbling emotion you returned with and put that into daily routine. It makes life worth living though. So back to it for me!!

Jul 13

Has iTunes Spoiled Your Favorite Song

No, I’m not talking about your old favorite song, nor your current favorite song. It won’t be iTunes spoiling these for you, it will be your ringtone. (Yes – I strongly recommend you change your ringtone back to something that resembles the sound of a phone) I’m talking about your future favorite song.

I look at the songs I have purchased on iTunes, and there are two categories:

  1. My old favorite songs
  2. My current favorite songs

Now, despite these two categories of song seeming very similar, on review they are actually very different. All my current favorite songs are pretty good songs. They tend to be quite popular, the songs I heard on radio or on a reality tv show that resonated with me. They are the songs I bought on impulse, or if I missed the impulse, they are the songs I bought after radio repetition finally convinced me they were great songs.

I also have to say that already at least 30% of these purchases no longer feature on any of my playlists…

My old favorite songs are very different though. These are those little pearls I found as song number 9, or 13, or 11 on an album. ┬áThe ones I only ever heard because back then, we pretty much had to listen to the whole LP, (remember them…) cassette or CD. Back then we just put them in and let them go so we listened to it all, loving some songs immediately, others being allowed to grow on us over time.

I don’t think any of the popularist songs of these old albums (the ones that made radio and were undoubtedly the reason I purchased the album in the first place) feature in My Old Favorite songs, but despite that, the ones that do never seem to get dropped from my playlists. They are the timeless pieces I take with me forever.

Today though, we don’t buy the whole album do we, we only buy the song. So we will never hear that song #9, 13 or 11. Even if we take time to browse, we certainly won’t get the opportunity to appreciate it enough to purchase it. So we will never get the opportunity to find, appreciate, purchase and favorite our future favorite songs.

How sad – I feel like I’ve just been told I’ll never meet my soulmate.

Jun 13

Bad Coffee – Is It Forgivable?

For a long time, I worked in a corporate environment. This was well before the days that Google showed us all how an office should look and work. Those stale, uninspiring, suffocating cubicles! That is where I developed my addiction to coffee. I just needed to get out and reset the mind in an environment that didn’t murder the soul as effectively as the office cubicle.

From there I started a business and I primarily worked from home. My coffee addiction got stronger. Not so much due to the environment, I loved the home office where I worked. Rather, working from home can get over insular. I quickly realised how much I missed human contact. So my daily trip to the cafe became as much as my daily human contact as it was a caffeine shot.

Today I am as addicted to the brew as ever. I don’t even know why anymore, I just go to a cafe every day, sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. Throughout these years the one thing that never changed was how the occasion of the bad coffee would spoil the time-out. Nor how often it occurred. It’s such a simple thing, such a treat when done correctly, and given how much they cost such a lucrative product for the establishments. I can’t understand why a coffee would ever be made badly.

For me it’s the experience. The problem with a bad coffee is that it becomes the focus of the time-out, so you miss having that mind reset. And let’s face it, we are paying on a daily basis for a luxury item, so it should be spot on. There are many cheaper options for bad coffee, like international roast for example. Cafe coffee is a luxury item, I should feel like I am drinking Lamborghini oil (hmmm, not sure that’s a great analogy)

So forgiveness then, should we forgive a cafe for a bad coffee? I know forgiveness is one of the keys to a long and happy life, but I am not sure about this one. Yes I think I’ll stick to my guns, not forgive, rather go to the cafe next door that serves a great coffee every time.