Relaxation for Entrepreneurs by Intense Mental Focus
Entrepreneurs have so much to think about on a moment to moment basis. We're also well known for being easily distracted. Entrepreneurs need a different kind of mental rest.
I don't know if you're like me, but I find it almost impossible to control. Whether simply enjoying a nice coffee, taking a shower or driving to work, my mind is a flat out gladiatorial battle of ideas competing for attention.
"This coffee is stunning. I wonder if there's a market for a genuine artisan coffee franchise for niche coffee drinkers."
"Could we invent something portable to take to hotels to make this weak hotel shower produce decent power? Hmmm.. probably not."
"This car suffers from terrible electronic throttle lag. I can't be the only one who's noticed it. I must look at whether we can produce a plug-in to eradicate it."
It's both a gift and a curse. I wouldn't want to remove it, but I've often wished there were a way to turn it off from time to time (hmmm.. maybe we could franchise the solution... aargh!). Well recently I've found an off-switch, and I actually think there's a pretty simple formula.
Find an activity you love, which is all-consuming and highly mentally challenging. For me, it's flying. I've been fortunate enough to find the time and resources to live my childhood dream to fly, and I have a small aeroplane hangared at my local airfield.
Flying an aeroplane is a constant challenge requiring, at times, extreme focus and mental agility - balancing performance with safety, regulatory requirements, and flight envelope factors. All the time monitoring flight systems, such as the engine cylinder head temperatures, fuel flow, radios and navigation systems while keeping in contact with Air Traffic Control and following instructions and reporting positions. You're also making sure your passengers are OK, and that you're doing your best to keep them safe. It's pretty all-consuming.
When flying, you don't have time to think of business ideas, or to worry about whether those funds have cleared yet, or how you're going to find the perfect person to fill a new critical role. It's magnificent.
And to top it off, every now and then you get moments like this:
And for a fleeting moment you see the world in a different way, as a stunningly beautiful playground. It's all good for the soul.
And as the hangar doors close, my brain fires up again (I wonder if we can build a retro-fit hangar door closer device to help pilots with bad backs?), having been freshly clensed with a focussed workout.
It doesn't sound like relaxation to many people, but I reckon most entrepreneurs will know exactly what I'm talking about.
What do you do to clear your head? Is there a better way than simply filling it with something else!?
P.S. 80's collars and aviator sunglasses are optional!