Not to toot my own country’s horn here, but America is often seen as the pinnacle of the world.
Most countries aspire to be us, not the other way around.
Though, frankly, all it takes is one trip through a foreign airport (like Doha or Bangkok, as I recently did) instead of a dumpy US one (like Chicago, Miami, any terminal in LA besides the international one, etc…) to see that America’s infrastructure is certainly not the future.
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Despite this, I’ve often pointed out that whilst many countries do aspire to be like the US of A, almost none of them are actually willing to put in the American-style work ethic. To illustrate this point, look no further than the fact that many companies in the USA offer a whopping two weeks of paid vacation, while in Europe jobs often start at four weeks.
That’s just human nature, isn’t it?
Most people want the profits but don’t want to put in the blood, sweat, and tears in order to make it happen.
They want the shortcut instead…
Here’s the thing I realized while on my recent trip:
This vacation was seriously good for me. And a real vacation might be seriously good for you, too…
My mind is so much sharper, I feel rested, I was ready to return to work and kill it.
And, I don’t think I would have felt this way if I had tried to do the “work on vacation” thing that so many Americans (and especially entrepreneurs) start to do. At some point, I even stopped responding to my business partners texts and emails and told them we’d chat when I was back. It was seriously good for me, and really, it was a long time coming considering I’ve now been abroad and building businesses full-time for over three years (ironically, I believe my return ticket from Asia was the exact same day I flew from California to Poland in 2016, March 30th).
And, there’s a major problem in America…
Which is that the entire process of vacation is stressful to begin with.
First if you have to go and ask your boss for the time off, and from my experience, they often put up a bit of token resistance:
“Yeah…okay, sure, you can probably take that time off, even though we have some important [insert complete and utter bullshit] going on at that time, it’s sort of important…you’ll just have to make it up somewhere, and perhaps be on call in case there’s a real emergency…”
You know what I mean?
It comes with a fucking caveat to take your actual vacation that is included in your contract. It’s like you owe a “favor” for taking it.
Next, you only have two weeks in a lot of cases. You have days that you have to travel on, in order to maximize the trip (i.e. leave on a Friday night and have the first weekend). So you start off on the wrong foot. Rush from work to the airport, go through the nightmare that is typical airport security, you’re on a red-eye and arrive at your destination (or connecting flight) dead as a doorknob.
Then naturally, especially if you have a woman in your life, your trip will be packed full of every tourist site imaginable that you spend your days running around the place, walking far, far more than you are used to, and generally exhausting yourself.
Then you rinse and repeat the whole process of flying on the way home, get back on a Sunday night, get to work the next day…
As it’s commonly said…
“Now you need a vacation from your vacation.”
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Anyways, the point of all of this is this…
You need to take control of your R&R time, too. Don’t let your boss, if you have one, be a bitch and take that away from you. If you work for yourself, try to get away, for real. I’m going to personally start trying to have one “no laptop” day per month (I might have already take it this week when I was sick, so maybe I’ll take two this month…).
Other countries might want to be like America, but without the work ethic.
But they do one thing right.
Those afternoon siestas.
The trick is to find the balance.
What do you think of how the current vacation structure in the USA works? Leave your thoughts down below.