As your daily to-do list grows, it can sometimes feel like it is taking over every aspect of your life. But to make it more manageable, I want you to add yet another bullet point into the mix – ‘to be’.
Salvador Abascal Álvarez, a Mexican entrepreneur, and good friend of mine, talked about striving to become a “master at being” when he visited recently.
Balancing doing and being has been a lifelong journey for me; affecting almost every business and life decision I have made.
Starting out at Virgin Records, I surrounded myself with friends and focused on an area that I loved: music. When our children Holly and Sam were young I worked from home so I could be there for them and enjoy watching them grow during their formative years. While building the Virgin Group we made a conscious effort to nurture a culture where life was put at the heart of everything we do.
The journey hasn’t always been easy, and a huge step was certainly moving to our home on Necker Island. Freed from the stresses of city life, I have been able to find inspiration and fresh insight on a daily basis, to the point that I now no longer have to seek a work-life balance.
Obviously, owning an island or breaking away on holiday isn’t within everybody’s reach, but as Salvador points out, we should all find our own island. A place – be it a physical space to retreat or a period of time set aside for downtime – where we stop doing to begin being.
At the end of the day, life is for living; and living is about health and happiness. Remember the to-do list, but don’t forget the to-be list. Listen to your internal voice, be present in the moment, and take in the world’s magnificent glory with both eyes wide open.