Having just returned from a fabulous trip to Namibia in Southern Africa, I thought I would share some of my discoveries. As well as an amazing holiday it was the perfect opportunity to press the “reset button” – to take time to reflect on where I am in relation to my goal and to refocus my energy.
Namibia is a huge country – over 3 times the size of the UK, and with a population of 2.48 million. This gives a population density of around 2 square kilometres per person. There is a lot of space!! We planned our own holiday, hired a vehicle and off we went. We spent most of our trip up north camping in the wilderness. There was no phone signal and only occasional wi-fi at one or 2 of the Lodges we passed through on our 3000 km trip.
Those of you who know me, know that my heart is in Africa. Having lived in Botswana as a development worker for 5 years and with all of my children born there, I have a strong attachment to the area. I love the fact every day starts with a beautiful blue sky and that people’s optimism seems to mirror this. African villages seem to always be full of smiles – despite the hardship. The lasting memory from my time in Africa is the resilience of the ordinary person – in particular the women. Compared to modern western society they have a lot to deal with – yet they seem to have an inner strength and embrace whatever challenges they have with a smile and an inordinate amount of patience!
It had been a number of years since I had last been in Southern Africa – this trip was a reminder of what was most important in my life. It gave me time away from the everyday challenges, time to reflect and remind me why I work so hard. Time to remember what I really value. It was also a reality check – it reminded me of my long-term goal and gave me the opportunity to check in on progress towards it.
Namibia has some of the world’s most amazing landscapes – driving through Damaraland you are surrounded by 12 table top mountains – Cape Town has just one! As you travel along the dusty road and emerge over the next crest of the mountain you are greeted by what feels like a view over the whole of Africa. It is hard to describe the space and freedom you feel traveling through this vast country. It is however that freedom that resonated with me. It has always been the freedom that has drawn me to Africa. Life rid of expectations and replaced with hope and trust.
Today in the UK we seem to be constantly striving to live up to the expectations of others – whether it be family, friends or society. This puts an inordinate amount of pressure on us to perform for others and to other people’s standards. We often lose amongst these expectations our own dreams, and forget what motivates us. We often lose our understanding of “Why” we are doing what we are doing. Once we forget this life can soon become overwhelming, and too much to cope with. As Simon Sinek says understanding your ‘Why’ helps you to act with purpose and leads to a fulfilling life. For more information from Simon see https://startwithwhy.com/
It is therefore important for us all to know where our “reset button” is and how to activate it. What I mean, is understanding the best way for us to take time out – to really put life on hold – and take time to reflect on where we are and where we want to be. To be able to press “reset” in our busy lives. This doesn’t have to be a trip to Namibia, it can be time spent on the beach, a walk through the Forest, a weekend break. Time away from the busy every day. Time for you, quiet time switched off from interruptions, a protected space for you to think, to reflect, recover and refocus on what is important to you. To remind yourself why you get up in the morning, why you work hard, why you do everything you do. It is important for us to press the “reset button” regularly to keep us on track and achieving the life and outcomes we want.
Since coming home, I am still busy. There are certain aspects of my work and life that I currently have to continue with. There are however some projects that I have been involved with that I am now reducing my time at – the time away has reminded me where I am heading and what will help me get there. It has also given me the time and space to see what extra activities I have become involved with that are not helping me achieve my overall goal. It is these activities I have let go of since my return. Hence, I now feel focussed, energised and know that my hard work and commitment is definitely moving me in the right direction!
At Baobab Growth we help people to get back on track, to understand what motivates them and support them with achieving their personal and business goals. We do this through individual and business coaching, and facilitate executive retreats and away days in the New Forest. We encourage individuals and business teams to take timeout. By taking time out you are able to move more effectively and efficiently towards your goals and achieve the success you are looking for.
If you would like support to get back on track call Donna for an informal chat or visit http://baobabgrowth.co.uk/
Have an amazing day