Tuesday, February 12, 2013

When do Your Ideas and Creativity Become Crystal Clear?

I’m not writing about security jobs or security recruiting today.  Last week I took a few days off to invest time with my best friend who no longer lives in Colorado.  Todd used to live close to me but he now lives in Pennsylvania.  When Todd moved away, I felt like a part of me had moved away.  Todd was my buddy for skiing, hiking, snowmobiling, basketball, doubles volleyball and more. 
Every time Todd is in town or in the vicinity of where I live, we get together.  Back in August, Todd was visiting his mother in Steamboat Springs, CO and I was fortunate to take my family to Steamboat for a weekend.  In a period of 48 hours, Todd and I rode mountain bikes for 4-5 hours, logged 16 miles on our road bikes and hiked another 5 miles.  I watched Todd swim a couple of miles.  I had to draw the line somewhere!  Todd is a triathlete by the way.  He’s quite a challenging person to keep up with.  Just the kind of best friend I need.
For a few days this past week, Todd was once again in Steamboat Springs.  He worked hard to twist my arm (not really) but in the end, convinced me to ski with him.  It is always great to hang out with Todd.  We don’t sit still if you can tell.  Just knowing that Todd is coming to town means that when we get together, I have to be in great shape or I'll be hurting from our day's activities.
Time on the ski lifts with Todd is always great.  That’s were great conversation frequently happens and where our relationship grows.  Todd had to take a flight to Pennsylvania that caused him to leave Steamboat nearly a full day before I did.  Boy was I lucky to have been in the right place at the right time for a knee deep dumping of Steamboat’s famous Champagne Powder.  Skiing this kind of snow qualifies as one of the top passions in my life.
Not only does skiing do the body good, for me, it does the mind even more good.  I rode a lot of lifts by myself the last day of my Steamboat visit.  Riding ski lifts in solitude for some reason clears my mind while simultaneously turning on my creative juices; juices that don’t flow very often when I’m in the office in front of a busy Inbox and a ringing telephone.  Something about being on a mountain breathing clean air and the anticipation of that next knee deep powder run makes the mind think freely and clearly.
So my habit of chasing powder days in Colorado isn’t all bad.  In fact, I covered this habit in my wedding vows.  If you care to know how I pulled this off, you'll need to call me.  I made the mistake one night in the hockey locker room of telling the guy next to me that I can ski whenever I want to and he asked how I was able to pull that off.  I ended up explaining to an entire locker room of guys how you build expectations into your wedding vows so you won't get in trouble later in life when you chase powder days.  They were mostly envious that they hadn't thought of my idea before they all said "I Do":
I get great physical benefit from skiing but undoubtedly I also get outstanding thought time; time where ideas flow and clarity is clearer to me than it is anywhere else I could be. I won’t write about Todd again any time soon but I can’t promise that I won’t share my next powder day with you!
It's hard to not share things you're passionate about. 

Where do you go or what do you do to unlock clear thinking?

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