My summit changes every day. As a recent Davidson graduate, my summit for the past four years was usually a paper, a test or a pending job interview. Now, as I move into the workforce, it’s a deadline or an upcoming presentation. However, as I reflect, the reality of my summit on any given day is that it’s usually about doing or accomplishing.
Especially in today’s world of fast moving technology, social media and competition, it’s almost more challenging to relax than it is to work. There’s always an urge, especially as a young professional, to do something, to learn a new skill or to work harder. However, I also strongly value the power of relaxation and isolation.
That’s why the first item on my agenda after graduation was to find some time to be alone. After four years of the intense academics and constant social interaction of a college campus, I needed some time for myself. I accomplished this by spending four days, by myself, at my family’s off-the-grid, solar powered cottage in Ontario, Canada. While I would hardly call this work, there’s something challenging about being completely alone. Not only is the cottage located on an island in the middle of a lake larger than the city of Chicago, but as a social person, it’s hard to go four straight days without uttering a word to another human. Nonetheless, this was what I needed. I read a few good books, meditated and above all else, enjoyed some peaceful alone time in the great outdoors of Southern Canada.
Going forward, one of my many summits in life will be to find time every day to be 100% alone and to truly relax. This will be more challenging some days than others, but it’s important to recognize that my summit does not always need to be about doing.