Thursday, April 26, 2007

Two Weeks Off a Year

Gentle reader,

Somehow, we need to get more leisure/vacation time. Aside from just feeling downright tired all the time, we are losing many ideas and are spending time doing all the wrong things while not having time to do the right things.

Have you ever noticed what happens when you take an extended vacation? I am not talking here about a hectic five day trip to DisneyWorld (TM). I am talking about taking a vacation where you do "nothing".

As you decompress, you start to forget the pressures and stress of your job. You become happier. Time takes on a different feeling. Your time is your own and not somebody else's. You are not as hurried, you can focus on things that YOU want to do, not that somebody else wants you to do.

And after a few days, you might start to notice something else.

If you are like me, after a few days, your brain may start to throw out ideas and thoughts that previously would have been suppressed, pushed to the back of your brain as being too impractical. Thoughts that are radical and "foolish". Big thoughts.

For example, how can I improve life for others? How can I work less and have more time to myself? How can I spend more time with my children? How can I do more of the things that make me happy?

Sometimes, I will get some ideas about how I can make a positive difference to the lives of others. For example, would it be possible for me to set up a network of buses that could carry people economically from the suburbs to their jobs downtown, so they wouldn't need to drive any more? Would it be practical for me to install a big wind turbine near my house, to generate electricity to help
slow down climate change and save money in the long run? How about doing some more writing and maybe even beginning that novel I have been meaning to write? What can I do to organize non-religious people to come together and
do projects for the benefit of others (e.g. helping the poor and elderly)? And so on.

All these thoughts I find far more important than working. And yet, after a week or so, I am forced to go back to work and those thoughts disappear, or are pushed back into the back of my brain, lying dormant.

If we had a more equal balance between work, and leisure, I think we would see many benefits because some of these ideas would be able to see the light of day, instead of becoming pipe dreams. And then I wonder to myself, how many millions, billions of fantastic ideas have died in someone's brain, just because they don't have enough time to do something about them?

Ultimately I suppose the key is to become independently wealthy. I am trying to do that, but it is tough and paradoxically, I find that this requires even MORE time than simply "working for a living". It seems to me like the 2 weeks off a
year rule was set up on purpose to make sure people stay docile, to make sure that they keep their noses to the grindstone and don't think of anything too radical, until they are too old and tired to really do anything beyond play
golf. We are cogs in a gigantic industrial machine that chews us up, and then spits us out. With just 2 weeks of vacation time a year life becomes just a gigantic treadmill, from school, to working, and ultimately to the grave, with precious few redeeming features beyond the joys of friends and family that one doesn't see often enough.

If you read this and you own a company, consider increasing the amount of vacation time you offer. Perhaps you won't immediately realize any financial benefits. But overall, happiness will increase. And isn't that what life is all about?

Time for today's quote:

A man needs a little madness, or else he never dares cut the rope and be free.
-Nikos Kazantzakis

Until the next time, gentle reader, I remain,

Your Friend,

Buford Twain

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