Take Any Opportunity to Change Your Perspective
Last month, I traveled to Orange County for a few days. Most of my time there was taken up by working and networking, but toward the end of my trip, I found myself with some spare hours, so I decided to take a walk to the beach—a little more than two miles one way. I was chided by some of my fellow travelers. After all, the hotel had a shuttle. I could just ride to the beach. But when in strange places, I always like to walk, if I can, to check out the local scenery and culture. And who knows? Maybe there's more between here and there than you can see from a shuttlebus or an Uber.
As it turns out, there was. Walking along, I made note of a nice little Mexican restaurant to stop in on the way back, and a couple of blocks later, stumbled onto the Sherman Library and Gardens. I stepped up to the kiosk and asked the lovely volunteer to tell me all about it, then paid my $5 and took the time to wander the grounds. Money and time well spent. After a week of work and socializing, it felt right to settle into each beautiful environment painstakingly created on the grounds there.
We get busy. Our focus narrows. And sometimes, we need an adventure to take us away from the day-to-day—to give us a new perspective. Sometimes it's as simple as a walk in an unfamiliar neighborhood or a detour away from a familiar daily route. Or, it might be signing up for that class you've been meaning to take, or welcoming an opportunity to go somewhere and learn something new.
And if you want to keep your adventure connected to your career, while still gaining valuable new perspectives, there is no shortage of opportunity.
Just within the next few weeks, there are two outstanding opportunities to travel and learn, to meet new peers—to step away from the day-to-day and gain a different perspective.
This month, from Sept. 25 to 27, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is hosting its annual conference in Indianapolis. If you haven't attended before, let me take a minute to recommend this as an excellent opportunity to expand your knowledge of the industry. The NRPA puts on a top-notch conference with so many learning opportunities, it can be difficult to narrow down your choices. Learn more about this event—and sign up!—at www.nrpa.org/conference.
And, from Oct. 10 to 12, the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) will be hosting its annual World Aquatic Health Conference in Charleston, S.C. This is another outstanding opportunity to get the most up-to-date science and knowledge, with a focus on aquatics. I've been wanting to attend the WAHC for years, and am happy that the stars have finally aligned. If you'd care to join me there, head on over to www.thewahc.org and sign up! Or, if Charleston is simply too far, check out the WAHCity events taking place in Boston, Colorado Springs, Dallas, Minneapolis, Niagara Falls and Los Angeles for a learning and networking opportunity that's closer to home.
Go out and adventure! Learn something new! Change your perspective! And don't forget to stop and smell the roses along the way.