Focused, productive, mind free and be present to enjoy the moments. In the back of my mind, our trip was also an unique opportunity to challenge my own habits and achieve a long wanted disciplined/organized/more focused/lighter behavior.
In the practical point of view, I quickly realized that mental habits and behaviors cannot be so easily changed, even in an extreme break from our old life patterns. Even on a completely free travel with no real obligations, like we are doing now!
Besides being lazy and really not disciplined, my past few years in consulting gave me an awesome business background but left also a harsh side effect: I've become less patient than ever, very anxious and easily stressed out when outcomes are not perfect. So I wanted to take the advantage of time and changing environment to work on those weaknesses to become more what I'd like to be!
Well, specially because we have decided to make this project while travelling, we have always a great amount of work to do, lots of prep work and not so much time for report what is happening. This generates a certain level of frustration and creates a little pressure. Under this circumstances, my behavior has just continued exactly the same as before the trip. (I know what some people might be thinking now: Poor Renata, who is with him 24 hours a day! :) But no worries! We still manage it pretty well)
But traveling give us those amazing opportunities to stop and reflect about ourselves, besides providing the situations to test it and to stress it!
Here is what I've been doing to try to get there (with some slow, but positive, I hope, progress):
For the project overload we have done few things to be more efficient and reduce our level of anxiety:
We have spared some time to organize all our "processes" and set some dates for main tasks. Very consulting freak, I know! ☺ But really helps to free our minds and get organized - Evernote tell us now when it's time to start organizing for a new city and what to do. Our prep work is very demanding: set all the logistics, find a hosting, look for the startups to connect for each city we go (not sure the number yet, but probably 50-60 cities in total!), so it's important to have them written down and with automatic reminders to this preoccupations out of our head
We've hired AskSunday for just 10 hours a month, in order to get help with some research (very time consuming) and tasks that require good internet connection like updating our wix page. The service so far is not super good as the reviews we've read, but it helps to keep things moving
I'm trying to get more into the mindfulness thing to keep focused and to channel energy towards most important things, one thing at a time! Not a lot, but doing some exercises every day:
5 minutes "'meditating" - that means basically breath and pay attention to it. We had some Zen meditation class I'll eventually write more about, that thought this exercise: it really helps to train yourself to get your wandering thoughts and bring them back to the center of your focus.
On the same spirit, I'm doing the Teeth Brush exercise: just pay attention to an action you don't usually do.
Listen more. It's also related to be present in the moment and very much important for building better relationships. Renata calls my attention many times with that, and she is right on that, many times I just space out thinking in other things and don't allow to be present fully.
Follow more often 3 peaces of advice we received during the trip:
(Marcelo and Manga, before we left Brazil) Don't worry too much about bringing value to the entrepreneurs you meet. They will be happy to share their stories in any case. Don't get stressed about what you could possibly do for them. It will happen naturally.
(Minhaz, in Bangladesh) Things start to happen when you stop talking about it and start doing
(Jose, in Shanghai) Allow yourselves to get "naked" on this trip: be open for all the experiences without much d your former judgments
Trying often to remind myself to enjoy the moments, be happy with less and be open to the world: we have proved in this adventure that when we are cool and open, things just happen! Or maybe we are just more willing to see and grab the opportunities - but in anyways, life gets much better!
I hope to get home better than I left, but am happy already to have had the time and opportunity to reflect and try to act! ☺