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WISH YOU WERE HERE! Have we forgotten the importance of experiences? Blog by Tiffany Barnard

14th of October 2021

I did something recently that I haven’t done in seven years!

I went on holiday!!

Yup! I took 10 whole days off and I totally unplugged! Not a care in the world!

It was amazing!

I bring this up, not because I think anyone actually gives a crap that I went on holiday but because it raised that question … To work or not to work?

What should I do with my laptop?

We have just finished the summer holiday season and LinkedIn was full of posts by energetic young executives and budding entrepreneurs heading off on their annual leave and apparently the de rigueuraccessory on the beach this year, was a laptop!

Really??

The idea of anyone taking their laptop onto the beach gives me an overwhelming sense of foreboding!! I mean who the hell wants to risk clogging their laptop up with sand? Salt and motherboards rarely mix and why can’t you just chill out? Relax!

BE IN THE MOMENT!

All that said, I actually have a theory, which is that these pretentious people don’t actually have any intention of taking their laptops anywhere near the beach! They just post that they are because they think it makes them look more serious, dedicated and hardworking!

But I think they are missing out on one of the most essential ingredients of life and success and that is to truly live in the moment! If you are on holiday, then BE on holiday - unless WW3 beaks out in your office in which case, a couple of hours can be sacrificed.

I have been self-employed since I graduated university at 20 years old. It has been a fabulous journey and I have learnt so much along the way, but I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that if you want to be truly efficient at work, make sure you are as efficient in your down time.

Holidays have always been something of a luxury for me, so whenever I was on holiday, you can be dam sure that I made the most of every minute! I had made sure that the office was left in capable hands and more than that (in those days) there was very little I could do. I did learn an important lesson! There are very few ‘problems’ that can’t/won’t wait a week to be solved!

Unless you are Mark Zuckerberg at the beginning of October 2021! Then you really can’t wait a week! But very few of us are anything like him in business terms so…

Our lives today are hectic…to say the least! Our workdays are longer and even when we are not AT work, we are expected to be available 24/7 because of emails and WhatsApp (when it works).

Our perceived needs and wants are through the roof thanks to social media, and so the pressure we put on ourselves to earn more and more money so that we can buy random STUFF is huge!

And ridiculous at the same time.

It seems to me that a lot of people are totally missing the point! Don’t live your life to impress people who don’t even know you and really couldn’t care less about you!

Live your life for you and if you don’t know what you want to be doing, ask yourself this… When you are lying on your deathbed, what might you regret NOT having done?

I am quite confident that at the end of it all you are not going to be reminiscing about all the selfies you took that summer, of you at the beach with your computer! You are more likely to be lamenting the time not spent (or ignored) with loved ones! Experiences missed because you had spent too much money on crap that you bought to impress your social media followers.

Don’t get me wrong! I used to be one of the idiots who spent far too much money on all sorts of shit! Clothes I never wore, bags I didn’t use, jewellery that just sits in a box… So much money wasted on nothing important!

What changed my mind? Well…my life imploded. My late husband was diagnosed with cancer, and we had to leave the country we were living in because there was no medical care available. And yes! Because we had spent so much on material crap, we really struggled with medical bills.

Quite the wakeup call when two years later I was a widow with two young kids and no money! The fancy handbags served no use then but to remind me of how stupid I had been when I chose material stuff over experiences!

What do I mean by that?

When someone is no longer with us, all we have of them is our memories and if you were stupid enough to have spent your money on THINGS rather than on EXPERIENCES together, then you have nothing left at the end.

But put your tissues away! This is not meant to be a sad story! I took my own advice at the time and searched for a golden nugget.

What’s a golden nugget? It’s that bit of positivity that you find in an otherwise crappy situation. The lesson learnt if you like.

I learnt so much from those two years of my life! I still like shiny new things!! But now I would choose a shared experience every time!

For example, my brother came over for the weekend and we had a family dinner which turned into one of the funniest evenings ever and all because my Dad asked us to send him photos of us all! Brilliant!!

And so when I was packing for my 10 days hiatus from everyday life how did I answer that question?

I chose to be present every moment of my trip and I loved it!!!

Tiffany Barnard Life Coach Initials

P.S. If you are finding it tough to disconnect or if you found it all too easy and are struggling to get back on track, maybe I can help.

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Tiffany Barnard is an accredited Life Coach, she is trained and has certifications in Life Coaching, Executive Coaching, Entrepreneurship Coaching, REBT Mindset Coaching. She is also is a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and the Association for Coaching.

Link to Tiffany Barnard's accreditation and profile on the Association for Coaching website Link to Tiffany Barnard's accreditation and profile on the EMCC Global website