New Business and the Art of Relaxation

How to you decompress and rejuvinate?
by Todd Knutson

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As you read this I'll have just gotten off a beautiful kayaking river in Idaho. We planned this trip a year ago. With us are members of my wife's family and very close friends with great senses of humor. Part of the plan was going to a place where we were forced to completely unplug.

When you're in a canyon in the middle of nowhere, there's no other option.

Getting away from thinking about new business and business development is important - we all know it helps us relax and have fun so we can return with renewed focus and energy. The challenge is that it's so hard to get away for long enough to really gain the benefits of an extended break.

I recently finished Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals". It's the story of Abraham Lincoln's rise to the presidency and the cabinet of political rivals he created and adroitly managed.

It also reveals how one of our great presidents decompressed and relieved the stress of his job (remember, he was president during the Civil War). I discovered that Lincoln went to the theatre over 100 times during his presidency. Here's what was said about how the theatre helped him mentally relax and re-energize:

...driving his mind to other channels of thought, afforded him the most entire relief.

What do you do to take your mind completely off work? Where do you go? Have you found a way to do this in a couple of hours, as Lincoln did? I'd love to hear your ideas.

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