Permission to think.

Years ago I used to take my summer vacations at a very quiet resort in Jamacia called the Jamacia Inn.

It wasn’t super fancy. But it was magical. There was also no TVs. No internet. No parties. No planned activities. Just a really simple place with a private beach and a few scattered sailboats and kayaks.

The inn was and is still owned by a two brothers whose family had a long and interesting history on the island.

In the library, there were photos of famous people who came to visit them (like Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller). Peter, one of the brothers had a nice way of not talking about the famous customers who visited them. He just smiled when you mentioned the photos that hung on the library walls. I think the inn changed management at some point, which is kind of sad really. It lost some of the magic the last time we visited and I just never returned.

But one short conversation I had with Peter has stuck with me for years. He told me that Bill Gates used to come and stay a week in one of the more secluded villas. And all he did was read and occasionally walk on the beach. No friends, no work. Just time to think. You can read more about these “think weeks” here. It seemed to me at the time the ultimate gift to yourself. This gift of a week to think. And read. And reflect.

I love staying involved in life and moving things forward. It’s how I’m wired. But lately I’ve been giving myself permission to take time and think. It’s been a slow but radical transformation.

I have come to believe with my whole heart that this time to think is critical for reaching your fullest potential.

Our vision at Brains on Fire is to become the most impactful Word of Mouth community building organization in the world. That crazy big vision wakes me up each morning with energy and high hopes for each and every day. It’s going to take hard work, a learning mentality and time for us to think about the important work we are doing each and every day.

So, how do you give yourself the gift of time to think?

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