September Personal Reflection—Vacay Insights

Get out of the cubicle to fire up inspiration!

September, you were dreamy! I traveled through Spain for two weeks and soaked up the sun, ate delicious food, rambled through castles, and relaxed to the max. As many of you know, my husband and I are huge foodies and we center our travel around unique food experiences. This trip included a restaurant we booked a year in advance—and it was worth it!

Beyond filling up on pintxos and swimming in the Mediterranean, some insights about how to make work more meaningful floated to the top.

Personal Reflection Mugaritz

Creativity is essential.

So often work is focused on crossing off to-dos and just getting things out the door. But we aren’t machines, humans need art.

If we incorporate creativity into our daily work, we will feel more satisfied with our jobs. As a manager, make space for chaotic brainstorming, failed ideas, risky designs, and bold language—and give your staff ownership over new projects.

Stop playing it safe and start feeling alive.

*Credit: Mugaritz in San Sebastián, the king of mind-bending food!

Focus Less.

Whattt?? I mean it. And, I’m soooo guilty of this. I get uber focused on getting tasks done that I forget to wander.

It’s in the in-between that we find our best ideas. If you push, you just repeat old ideas instead of creating something new.

If you want to climb the leadership ladder, you need to be visionary and strategic…which comes from NEW ideas.

Wander. Take breaks. Look at nature. Talk about nothing with your staff. See the cool stuff that comes out of it!

*Credit: The winding streets of Cuzcurrita de Río Tirón in Rioja aka the quietest, most peaceful town I’ve ever been in.

Personal Reflection Rioja
Personal Reflection Mallorca

Life is not about work.

If you care less about work, you’ll honestly be a better leader. If you tie too much of your identity with your job…that’s when toxic behaviors come out.

And, you’re here because you don’t want to be that kind of leader.

Expand your sense of self-worth to how well you take care of a house plant, how you listen to your body when it’s tired, or how you cook that special meal when you’re partner is sick.

You’re a beautiful human not because of your title and salary.

*Credit: Cala Molins in Mallorca, so dreamy!

I sincerely hope you have a trip planned soon! Vacation is essential to getting through the slog of the 9-5 and to remind us of who we are outside of the cubicle.

Now that I’m back, let’s work together!

Personal Reflection Olite


Shannon Bowen, Founder + CEO of Monsoon Leadership is a career advancement coach, job search expert, salary whisperer, nonprofit executive, and a lifelong straight-talker. She's dedicated to helping nonprofit professionals land their dream job and dream salary!


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