Recently, I went for a long walk, just feeling the need to get out and walk.
I happened to be near the coast, so I walked down to the beach, it is pretty cold at this time of year, so it was fairly deserted.
There were a few people here and there, but I predominantly had the space to myself, in front of me all I could see were the crashing waves, to the left and right, stretches of wet white sand, only a few people dotted here and there, walking dogs out strolling with partners and family.
I found myself a place to sit and just let the environment overtake me, it was cold, it was windy, it ended up being wet too.
But for all that it was beautiful, I’ve written about this before because it’s absolutely imperative to be reminded and re-reminded.
We don’t often just take a time out and appreciate where we are and the things that we have right now.
Often, we are far too busy to just stop and smell the roses as they say, we think that that meeting or that shopping trip just cannot wait, we fill days with appointments and work and all the vital things that we believe we need to do each day.
Take a look at your diary or your planner, is it all filled up with work appointments and things you have to do with the family?
That weekly trip to the gym because we have to?
Is there any time blocked out just for you?
Just for appreciating where you are right now and living in that moment?
You are the most important vehicle to refuel.
If you are running on empty, you are never really at your best and so those people and events won’t be getting your best either.
We all seem to forget about that, we are so busy planning the next step, the next decision and fitting that into our already crowded and busy lives that often we forget that the whole reason we are doing this in the first place is to live our lives, not work them or stress them.
I sat on that beach for three hours, watching the sun move through the sky, the waves crashing against the distant rocks, couples and families and dogs of all different sizes all came and went in quick succession.
I had to wonder did they chisel out a few minutes in an otherwise overcrowded day because they had to walk a dog?
Or did they find those minutes because they wanted to live in those moments, to just do whatever way gives them that peaceful joy?
An elderly couple arrived on the beach not long after me, they stayed almost as long, they strolled hand in hand along the beach, tracing a line with their footsteps where the waves met the dry sand, I couldn’t help but be moved by them.
Here, they have gotten past all the distractions, and now (near the end) they understand, and are enjoying that which is really important, each other and the lives they have together.
I have often heard the phrase that “youth is wasted on the young”, this couple were the living embodiment of being young despite the apparent shell.
Most of us in our lives and businesses are still working towards that future, but take the lesson I learned from that couple, find a little bit of that life, that magic, every day - and make the time to live it to the fullest, nothing else is more important.
Fifteen minutes won’t kill you.
But the stress of not taking them, might.