Time to whip out your maps.
We all want to be successful, and some of us will be, while others won’t. There’s a lot of debate about what creates the road to success.
It’s perseverance, working hard, and being focused and motivated, no doubt. But can success come from knowing when to walk away and take a vacation? There’s a lot of evidence that people who travel frequently tend to be rather successful. Here’s how:
- Fear of the unknown drives your ambition.
Traveling helps you acquire skills naturally while building your character.
“Frequent traveling gets you outside of your comfort zone, opening up new worlds and experiences. Faced with new scenarios and encounters, you learn effective coping strategies that help you survive and manage your fear of the unknown,” says Dr. Ben Michaelis, a clinical psychologist and mental health expert.
When you travel, you learn to take action and accept challenges. You also learn creative ways to adapt to change and use your resources wisely. All of these behaviors lie at very core of achieving success in business, and inspire innovation and creativity.
- Trying something new can expand your horizons.
So many of us go to the same desk in the same office and work at the same computer each day. It’s comfortable. But sometimes we can learn a lot and think more when we leave the familiar and see new things.
We may leave with some new ideas. Embracing change can help us in all areas of our lives.
- You’ll always see the big picture.
When we don’t take time away from work, it’s easy to get caught up in the immediate pressures of the day to day. A little time away, even if it’s just a long weekend, can create the psychological distance to make it easy to see what really matters.
“When we get some distance, it’s easier to see the big picture, to focus on what we want versus just what’s right in front of us, and to be more open to taking risks to get to what we want. While it’s nice to turn off fully on a vacation, I suggest setting aside just 15 minutes at some point to think about what really matters in your work, because you’re much better equipped to see it with psychological distance,” says neurocoach Josh Davis, Ph.D.
Reconnecting with what really matters in your work will make you better at prioritizing.
- Vacations improve your overall health.
“Stress accumulation increases our risk for almost every disease. Disease and poor health affect the ability to consistently maintain personal and professional goals. Vacations can decrease anxiety levels and boost metabolism. Not only do vacations impact our health, but they also promote creativity, allow time to recharge, and boost positivity, increasing productivity in the long run,” says Jessie Gill, a holistic nurse.
There’s a beautiful world out there waiting to be explored.
- Networking helps you establish influence and respect.
Sharon Schweitzer tells the story of a CEO of a consulting firm who was sent to Myanmar on a major multi-year assignment. From 1962 to 2011, Myanmar was a nation run by a military dictatorship. This might have suggested to the CEO that the country’s culture puts processes before people. Quickly, however, he learned that the opposite is true.
Over time, the CEO nurtured an infinitely important circle of connections in government and business communities. On one occasion, after meeting a certain Thai sugar exporter, he introduced the exporter to numerous higher-ups in State Ministries across the country.
The network led to success for all. This CEO is an example of how you can establish valuable relationships without resorting to gamesmanship, let alone bribery or corruption.
As another CEO once said to her, “You will likely need to invest in relationships over a period of several years before expecting anything to be signed, sealed, and delivered.”
- Advanced planning ensures proper project completion.
In an interview with Schweitzer, Mr. Yuki Ochiai, vice-consul of Japan in Houston, explained why there are virtually no disagreements in Japanese boardrooms: advance planning and consensus building, or the Japanese concept of nemawashi.
In essence, nemawashi is a phrase used in gardening, and signifies the importance of pruning and transplanting trees to prevent a state of shock.
When applied to business, Mr. Ochiai says that nemawashi involves explaining a project or idea in a series of pre-meetings with colleagues who will also be attending the final meeting or negotiation.
This provides an opportunity for the root of any challenge to surface. Only then can difficulties be discussed, smoothed over, and resolved. And that paves the way for group buy-ins, as well as in meetings, preventing interruptions, disagreements, or loss of face.
During her most recent trip to Tokyo, Schweitzer noticed that Japanese businessmen dress identically. With their dark suits, white shirts, subdued ties, black shoes, and leather shoulder bags, she says, they were “a classic example of group harmony in Japan.”
- Traveling brings a higher level of perspective.
“Each time I come back from a trip, I feel as if I’ve learned something new and enhanced my know-how or perspective on how the world really works. The world is huge in terms of opportunities to contribute and learn, and isn’t big in terms of physical reach,” says Jason Ma, chief mentor at ThreeEQ, a firm that advises CEOs and execs for success.
He continues, “Family is my first priority but I must say that traveling, during which I’m with me, myself, and I, does offer space for me to reflect, clear my head a bit, and refresh. I find that it can actually aid in relationships if we view it as an opportunity to miss each other,” says Ma.