(Reprise) Ancient Roman wisdom for the 21st century professional

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips August 12, 2019

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

The Roman poet, Ovid, was on to something really important for us modern business people when he said, “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”

That’s exactly what I’m choosing to do this week. Actually, I’m doing it all month, as I have every year for the past five years, because it’s time for my annual summer sabbatical. I basically go on “staycation” for four weeks, during which time I follow a few simple rules:

  1. No airports. I spend enough time flying for work that not flying feels like a respite.
  1. No rushing. It’s no accident one of my nicknames is “hummingbird.” I actually have to make an effort to stop buzzing around from place to place and task to task. (And when I manage to downshift, it’s heavenly.)
  1. No lists. Well, except for this one. I don’t want my free time to be driven by “to dos” or “shoulds.”

I believe there’s wisdom for us all in the Ovid quote (which is also the inspiration for my out of office message for the month). So I’m reprising these words in advance in order to fill the Weekly Tips hopper before I disappear.

I’m no less committed to excellence and mastery and “raising the bar” and all that when it comes to relationship-building—and I think you have to be if you want to be a no-kidding trusted advisor. In fact, I see my down time as an essential part of that commitment. We all need to take a rest now and then. For me, that means letting go of the striving and endeavoring to instead just focus on breathing and being. At least for a few weeks.

Professional athletes take plenty of time to rest and recover. Why shouldn’t we?

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Andrea Howe

Andrea Howe

As the founder of The Get Real Project, I am the steward of our vision and our service offerings, as well as a workshop leader and keynote speaker. Above all else, I am an entrepreneur on a mission: to kick conventional business wisdom to the curb and transform how people work together as a result. I am also the co-author, with Charles H. Green, of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook (Wiley, 2012).

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