We live in a world where life in the fast lane is much more of a necessity than an option these days. More often than not, we just don’t have time for the path less travelled. As our lives burst with technology it’s quite hard to let go, but you know, sometimes it’s great to step back from busy and step into simplicity – even if it’s just for a day.
A few days ago, I decided to embark on my own search for simplicity. My mission? to boldly go where not too many had been before, and it was fantastic. I went for a lovely 5 hour walk in the Swiss Alps and the longer I walked, the more I could feel myself relaxing. No, it wasn’t the altitude, it was the whole experience of enjoying the simplicity of nature.
At times, the walk was quite steep but the jaw dropping scenery was pleasantly distracting. There always seemed to be a wooden seat, thoughtfully placed so you could have a rest while you enjoyed the view…………….. the Swiss think of everything!
It was incredible, as I soaked up the atmosphere of calm and tranquility I could feel my worries evaporating. The confusion I had felt over the previous days was unraveling and I could actually see the solutions I had previously struggled to find.
Amazing that I was able to be out enjoying myself whilst solving problems at work. Whoever said you can’t mix work and pleasure hasn’t walked in the mountains …. and all this before lunch!
Did I mention lunch?
So imagine, you have spent 3 hours walking to what feels like the top of the world. You are hot, and thirsty and then you see it, in the distance …..is it a mirage?
No it’s a very real mountain chalet – and yes it just happens to be a restaurant – perfect.
If only there were restaurants at the top of every mountain – the world would be filled with fit and healthy people.
I chose a simple meal to compliment my day in the mountains. A beautiful assiette Valaisane – a selection of locally cured meats, cheeses with pickles and crusty bread presented on a wooden platter and accompanied by a glass of crisp, dry locally produced white wine. It was lovely to savour the simplicity of the dish as I enjoyed the stunning vistas.
The best part of my problem solving day
- A challenging ascent
- Beautiful unspoilt scenery
- Crossing a footbridge over a cascading waterfall
- Peaceful winding forest paths
- A rewarding lunch at the top of the mountain
5 Ways to help you find your simplicity?
1.Set aside at least half a day
Give yourself time to unwind so you get the most out of your day. If you don’t allow enough time, you won’t get as much out of the experience or see such good results. So go on, spoil yourself.
2. Choose an activity that will challenge you
You don’t have to throw yourself out of an aircraft to tick the challenge aspect off the list, but you should choose something that has challenging elements. These elements take your mind off your worries for just long enough so that you feel the benefit of a stronger focus. This helps you start to find those all important solutions.
3. Pick an inspiring location
It doesn’t need to be thousands of miles away – but it needs to be somewhere you like, somewhere different and usually it’s better if it has a tranquility. So it’s best, on this occasion, to avoid a music festival or a football match.
4. Don’t go with a crowd of people
I would always recommend you go with someone to share your day and enjoy it. However, if you go with a crowd, although you will have a fantastic day and no doubt feel revived and refreshed, it won’t be the same. You see, when you are with more people, you never get that quiet time during the day where you really get to think about those problems, see them more clearly and have the time to let the solutions materialise.
5. Factor in some kind of reward
I always think that food and drinks are a great reward at the end of a challenge but it’s up to you to think of a suitable way to congratulate yourself and relax a little.
When you immerse yourself in simplicity, you also allow the complicated elements of your life to be simplified. The result is that you are refreshed and can look at problems differently. Finally you feel ready to take on and solve just about anything.
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