On Vacation? Renew your spirit & recreate your enthusiasm with these 23 inspirational posts & podcasts.


[This is the third and final article in my “vacation” series, suggesting some great ways to use your vacation down time. Previous articles include Summer vacation? Take along lots of free books & magazines with these 5 apps! & Vacation Makeover: Teach yourself Project Management with these (mostly) free materials!]

Let’s start with a couple of quotes:

“Do you know what the word ‘recreation’ means? It means ‘re-creating’ your energy, your enthusiasm. You’re no good to me all burnt out and crispy. So this weekend, go camping with your family or something… anything. Just don’t bring back your musty old, stressed-out self!”  – Anonymous supervisor, my first job out of grad school

“Rule #50:  One must pay close attention to workaholics: if they get going in the wrong direction, they can do a lot of damage in a short time. It is possible to overload them and cause premature burnout but hard to determine if the load is too much, since much of it is self generated.  It is important to make sure such people take enough time off…” – from 100+ Lessons Learned for Project Managers [via NASA]

So the first step in fixing your “burnt out and crispy self” — and arguably the most important thing you can do — is to take a break! Take time off! Get away from your work and get some much-needed perspective!

And then — when you start to feel rested and relaxed — step back and consider the meaning of it all. And let yourself be inspired. Here are some articles and podcasts from the archives that can help:

  • A Lesson from the Humble Pelican: Find Your Unique Mission, Then Soar!
    “They are at their streamlined best when pursuing their noblest mission: stunt flying and fishing. The rest of the time, they are downright clunky… I can’t think of another living thing that so completely transforms itself based on its mission.  Except maybe us humans…”
  • Some Labor Day Holiday “Re-Creation” Choices
    Kick back & connect with some of my favorite “feel good” movies, videos & podcasts.
  • Best Practice: Identify Your Signature Strengths & Use Them Whenever You Can.
    “… the highest success in living and the deepest emotional satisfaction comes from building and using your signature strengths.”  – Dr. Martin Seligman in Authentic Happiness
  • Unplug, Change Your Patterns, Press “Reset
    “… to make good decisions, you need to be present…. fully present… to see clearly what’s going on and to hear clearly what your team is trying to tell you. This demands a clarity of consciousness that can best be maintained by occasionally “unplugging” from the ongoing stream of stimuli…”
  • Paulo Coelho’s Inspirations: The Warrior of the Light 
    How I use Paulo Coelho’s incredible Warrior of the Light series to find inspiration. Includes links to the free e-book downloads.
  • So… What’s Your Story? And How’s It Working for You? 
    “… when we finish witnessing or telling or retelling our story, it leaves behind a theme that shapes our feelings about our place in this world and the actions we should take to adapt to it…”
  • 10 Specific Actions That Can Help You Become Happier
    When individual team members are happy, the entire team will likely be happy! But how can you become happier? In this podcast I share 10 specific actions that I’ve taken to create more happiness in my life.
  • Consciously Choose Your Attitude  
    A project team’s attitude can make or break the project. In this post learn how you can consciously choose your attitude instead of simply allowing it to overtake you as a collection of random feelings.
  • Tend Your Gardens of Thought
    “A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild… whether cultivated or neglected, it must and will bring forth…”
  • Just Say No
    While it might make sense for individuals to say “yes” to life as often as they can, there are critical moments when project teams have just gotta say “no!” Here’s why & how…
  • Take the Risk
    This post is all about getting outside your comfort zone…If you can imagine it… if you can see it clearly… if it gets you excited as a possibility, then it may be your destiny to make it a reality.
  • Practice Mindfulness
    Focus:  the power of mindfulness — the practice of bringing your full awareness into the present moment – and how you can expand upon your inherent ability to practice mindfulness
  • Just Do It!
    Get moving… get unstuck… & just do it! If you and your project team members are sometimes plagued with fits of analysis paralysis or procrastination, then this post/podcast is for you.
  • Trust Your Judgment
    Many great teachers and philosophers say that to achieve anything great you must trust that voice which lies deep within you. This audio examines why this voice is trustworthy and how to trust it.
  • Do What You Fear & Grow Stronger
    Focus: “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain – Do the thing and you will have the power.” – Emerson – W/ practical tips & Challenges to help teams push through fear & grow stronger.
  • Shift from Drama to Empowerment
    In his book The Power of TED, David Emerald compares two very different ways of being: The Dreaded Drama Triangle (or DDT) versus The Empowerment Dynamic (or TED). We apply these to project teams.
  • Learn to Be Optimistic… Learn to Succeed
    “Cognitive therapy works [by changing] explanatory style from pessimistic to optimistic [providing]… skills for talking to yourself when you fail.” – M. Seligman – This post/podcast applies this to project teams.
  • Change Your Mind
    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Celebrate the Chaos Within
    “One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” – Friedrich Nietzsche. This post/podcast provides suggestions on how project managers & leaders can support creativity.
  • Let Go of Perfectionism
    Are you driven to perfection? … or simply driven crazy? This post/podcast provides suggestions for project managers and team leaders about how they can let go of perfectionism and improve their results.
  • Get Excited… and Let It Show!
    “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Get High on Kindness
    “Kindness extended, received, or observed beneficially impacts the physical health and feelings of everyone involved!” — Wayne Dyer
  • Accept What Is
    You must first accept a difficult situation for what it is before you can handle it effectively. Accept it, see it clearly without denial and hand-wringing, and then you can take appropriate action.

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