Ask Mr. Manners

Returning from hiatus

About once every three years I tend to take a summer to reflect, readjust and make sure that I am generally happy with the chosen course I am on. This is a time for me to see how I have evolved over not only the time since my last break, but also over the last five or 10 years. The question resonating in my mind is, “When I look back at myself what do I see?”

Having been extremely aggressive in my career, I am fortunate enough to have moments where I am high enough on my perch of life to have a clear view, and a secret I have learned is that there is no such thing as “the top.” No matter where you are there’s always farther to climb. And believe me that’s a good thing.

The place you are right now in your career, in your relationships, in your fitness, in your travel itinerary — is entirely temporary. If you don’t love exactly where you are, rest assured: Things are going to change. And if you do love where you are, remember: Things are going to change. The question is: What’s going to be the driving factor in that change — you or fate?

I focus a majority of time on deciding how I will be driving my own fate. As I have reflected on my success (and failures) many of my thoughts seem to trace their way back to personal growth. The largest change I made in my life had to do with deciding to be an entrepreneur of my own time and going from an aimless, drifting youth to a mature businessman, leader, brother, lover and friend.

So how do you do it all? It starts with being highly motivated, conscientious and disciplined. And that motivation comes from a desire to transcend the experiences of your earlier years. Having read memoirs of many successful people, the stories each give firsthand lessons in how to evolve and improve through patience, hard work and a commitment to never give up.

I’ve given a lot of “theory,” but the tools for a personal hiatus are simple. They include doing something out of your comfort zone, attending any sort of festival, relaxing or working out on the beach (or mountains for those who love the West) and gathering your friends to do something that only can be explained as “awesome.”

Take the time to step away from those things that we do for keeping up social appearances and focus on building something lasting. Get out and let yourself explore and leave behind the club life in order to grow meaningful relationships that last a lifetime — not just a single evening. Tell someone you love them, and mean it. Focus on knowing what you want and leaving no stone unturned — it could be the start which changes your life forever.

It’s time to have a ball, to challenge yourself and to keep evolving on every level. After all, a man standing still is hardly a man at all.

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