I was listening to an interesting audio recording from one of my mentors the other day. The topic was on vacations. After listening to the audio while driving, I was in agreement with him. And I thought to myself that I too was a victim of this vacation mentality. We go through our daily lives not thinking much about how “taking a vacation” is ingrained into our culture. The Europeans often have 6-8 weeks of vacation time per year. Most Americans have 2-4 weeks per year and only build up to the 4 weeks over a long period of working years.

Are you living for your vacations?

It’s an interesting and profound question with huge implications for your life and mental well-being. So let’s break this question down a bit. Supposing you are “living for your vacations” and your desire is to have more of them. What does this imply about your life outside of your vacations. I think it implies that you probably don’t enjoy what you are doing very much for work. You probably land in the arena with most people. You are just getting by, punching the clock and then going home to watch some television. But here’s the inverted flip-side of this equation. Vacations don’t change anything. You still go back to the crappy job that you dislike so that you can pay bills and get by.

What if you didn’t live for a vacation?

What if you loved what you do so much that your “work life” was integrated with your “vacation life”? You got up in the morning, ready to change the world. Your first step out of bed and you had a hop in your step. You couldn’t wait to get going so you could make a difference. So you could integrate you life. Pablo Picasso has an interesting quote on this very thing.

Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time. – Pablo Picasso

It’s a powerful and emphatic quotation, don’t you think? I think we have been programmed by our culture very deeply on how we view vacations. I think that it is time you break through the vacation mentality and live for an integrated life without vacations…

I’m not saying downtime and enjoying a leave with the family on a trip isn’t in order. I feel that those types of events are needed and provide a memorable experience for everyone. What I do think is that if you are living for a vacation away from what you don’t enjoy doing, then you have to take the steps to change that. Integrate it. Kick that mentality to the curb…

Here’s are 8 Ways To Live and Work Like You’re On Vacation to get you started.

Why Simply Wanting More Vacations Is Wrong