I’m writing this from the top floor of a stunning all-inclusive resort-hotel just south of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It’s the last day of a one-month trip where we explored several areas of Mexico, surfed, rode jet-ski’s, visited a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and masterminded with top agents from throughout North America at a 3-day conference. It’s the first time my wife and I have been away together on a vacation in over 5 years. Being the last day, I’m taking the opportunity to reflect on what this means for myself and how it relates to the real estate business in general.

My day back home is pretty routine – I wake up early, I have a consistent morning routine, I work, I spend time with my family, and I enjoy some time for myself. Being a naturally driven individual, I tend to work more often than not but over time I became caught up in the hamster-wheel of life, always trying to get ahead but being held-back by the minutia of day-to-day activities. Call it the “grind” if you will, but one of my biggest frustrations in life is not being where I thought I would be – fast enough. Perhaps the “daily grind” is what holds us back from achieving greatness.

We know that having a plan and being consistent about your execution of the plan will lead to success – but I found myself lacking consistency and lacking the inspiration to chase my goals with the same vigor as when I created them. I like to relate things to something most people will understand and the easiest one is the fitness or diet analogy. You know how sometimes you commit to exercise or a specific diet and you do well for a while then you start to fall back on the plan and it becomes increasingly difficult to execute so you end up giving up? I’m always fascinated by this and often wonder how a person can be more focused, more driven, more likely to maintain that drive to succeed in their goals.

I learned once that the difference between a professional weightlifter and a weekend warrior is that the professional takes breaks. A professional weightlifter plans their time off so they can allow their muscles to heal between bursts – which allows them to grow stronger during training. If they just went to the gym daily and worked the same muscles they would burn out and their muscles wouldn’t have an opportunity to recover.

I discovered true clarity on this trip. By removing myself for an extended period of time from the “daily grind” I will return – similar to the weightlifter – rested and recovered and ready to push for another set. I learned that sometimes you’re body and mind NEED to have time off in order to be able to forge ahead even stronger. You may have heard the saying, “one step backwards, two steps forward” – I think that ratio is a little skewed and in my business it’s more like one step backwards will allow me to go 10 steps forward. Every car needs to stop for fuel (or electricity), every person needs to stop to sleep, and every businessperson needs to take time away from their business in order to perform at a high level.

So how are you feeling? Do you feel strong, motivated, determined to succeed? Do you feel creative, bold, and on-track for your goals? Great! If you’re feeling like you might be behind, like you’re in the “daily grind” and you could use a break so you can move forward – plan out a trip, ask another Realtor to cover your business, detach for a while and rediscover your passion, re-focus on your goals, and recharge your batteries so you can come back better than ever.