Drivers who won’t let other cars merge in front of them in traffic always get a laugh out of me. You know the ones: The stressed-out motorists who deliberately ride the bumpers of the cars in front of them, simply so others can’t get in between. It’s even funnier when they refuse to yield, and you end up passing them. What’s up with that?
I’m usually the guy who slows down to let someone in. When I don’t notice a driver vying for a spot and I miss the opportunity to give them a break, I feel guilty—only for a few seconds mind you, but still.
On our trip to California to speak, Ken, Teresa, and I were waiting in traffic on a really busy street. I noticed a car trying to enter the road from a parking lot. Since no one was letting her in, I opened up a large gap for her to sneak into.
The driver never saw the opening. In fact, she seemed to be looking behind us instead of in front of her own car. Eventually, we began to move, while she continued to wait on traffic. That’s when Ken said, “She was so busy focusing on the line, she missed the opportunity.”
Ken’s few words resonated with me. You see, I had just spent a couple of days in Lake Tahoe in California simply resting, reading, and praying. The effects from that small down time blew me away. I was much more creative—my mind felt as if it opened up a bit – and I was able to enjoy the beauty around me instead of all of the issues in front of me.
One of the greatest lessons I learned in Tahoe was that two days to myself without a schedule is not enough. I love knowing that Michael Hyatt took a 30 day sabbatical to get away and recharge. (You can read about it here.) I find myself wondering, Why don’t I? If I can become more creative from a couple of days, what will a week get me?
As leaders, I think we have a tendency to get bogged down with the intensity of traffic—spending a lot of time in the parking lot missing opportunities. Do you have to be so exhausted or stressed beyond belief before taking a break? Heck no. In fact, I think taking time off prevents burnout.
So what do you do? Follow Michael’s advice and get outta there! Go spend some time alone or with your spouse with no, and I mean no, schedule. Sit by a pool, get a massage, play Monopoly for all I care. Just go! Who knows what opportunities you’ll begin to see in front of you.
Question: Have you taken a sabbatical, or know you need one?