Even though I run a digital marketing firm, I feel the need to unplug now and then. So when the idea of men’s hiking weekend came up at church, I said, “Hell yeah!” (Actually, it was church—so I just said, “yes.” But enthusiastically.)
And, yes—I heard all the jokes. “How many times have people suggested you take a hike, Wesley???” OK, more than once.
But this was a great way to do several things. One, really unplug (no cellphones). Two, combine things that I like (being outdoors and exercise). Three, combine other things I like (praying and getting to know my church brothers better).
Four days in the North Carolina wilderness. Peaceful. Beautiful. Practically no cell service.*
Lots of hiking. Lots of thinking. Lots of quiet.
What did I learn? It’s important to disconnect. You can clear your mind. You need to. We all need to. We walk around with our heads stuck in phones or stuck looking at TV monitors. I don’t think your brain can function properly when you are constantly consuming information.
When your brain is less cluttered, you can think more clearly. You can think bigger picture thoughts. That’s what I did. I thought about my family. And I thought about my business.
I also learned I need to do this more often. The last time I had a few days like this was before
our beautiful son was born (he just turned two). It’s a luxury to be able to go but it’s like Date Night. You have to find the time. You’ll be better for having done it.
*Full disclosure—I did take my phone. Just turned it on a few times. Made sure things were OK at home and told my wife I love her. Also checked in at work. In that order.
And if you feel a little overwhelmed at work or at home, do what I did. Take a hike.