“Problems are learning opportunities”, to which extent do you agree with this quote?Months ago, my daughter had a term vacation. On her first day she told me that she wanted me to prepare her a program of fun and daily outings in order to have a ‘happy vacation‘. Hearing her words, I figured out that she needed to make a paradigm shift. She was limiting her happiness to hanging out with people daily and I knew that this wasn’t the right path to be happy. We had a talk, I taught her some steps and by the end of her vacation she thanked me sincerely saying: “This was the best vacation I ever had”. The steps were:
1- The mind map:
I asked her to bring a paper and to write in its centre ‘Happy Vacation’, then to draw four branches for the heart, mind, body and soul. I explained to her that on each branch she would start drawing sub-branches for the things she can do under each and that would make her happy. Some examples of what she added were playing sports under the body, learning origami and meeting friends under the heart, reading Harry Potter under the mind and fundraising for cancer children under the soul.
2- The schedule:
The next step was scheduling the activities she wished to do to be happy. I printed her a schedule with the days of the vacation and each day was divided to three parts; morning, afternoon and evening. I showed her the blocks in which I would be able to drive her to meet her friends and the blocks in which her friends would be welcomed at our home.
3- The calls:
I asked her to contact the friends and cousins she wanted to meet during her vacation and to check with them the time that would suit them both and to jot it down in the right blocks on her schedule.
4- The balance:
The next step was to distribute all the other activities that didn’t include other people on the days of vacation. I explained to her that it’s better to divide them in a balanced way so that she doesn’t go out many days in a row while spending many others at home as this might let her feel bored.
5- The budget:
I clarified that we have a certain budget for entertainment and I discussed with her the budget we can offer her during the vacation. I asked her to think how she’s going to distribute this budget. She decided to learn origami from YouTube channels, to download free workouts from the Internet and to save the money for outings with friends.
6- The shopping list:
I asked her to write down a list with the things she needed for her activities after making sure she didn’t already have them. I bought her the items she needed all at once to save my own time from frequent on-the-spot demands.
My daughter started her summer vacation last week. On her first day she asked me to print her a schedule to plan her happy summer vacation. I felt very happy that my daughter learnt her lesson well and that she understood that for one to be happy, he needs to be in charge of his own happiness, to plan ahead and to be balanced.
Did you plan your happy balanced vacation? Which dimension do you neglect the most?