Can Work Be An Endless Summer Vacation?

sleeping-inPicture this… It’s early morning – you’re already up and raring to go. Maybe you’re out the door as soon as the sun is up, on your bike and meeting your friends. Or maybe you’re parked in front of the TV watching cartoons with a big bowl of Cocoa Pebbles. The whole day is brimming with possibilities.

Now, same scene, different morning. Your alarm has gone off 4 times, and you keep hitting the snooze button. Your mom has been in twice to tell you to get out of bed. You snuggle up deeper into your covers and pull them over your head. You are not interested in getting this day started.

Same person, two different scenarios. The difference? The first is during summer vacation, the second, during the school year. Maybe you were one of those kids that loved school the whole year, so you maybe can’t relate to the second scene. But I’m guessing most of you can.

So here’s my question – is your daily life now more like summer vacation or a long, boring school year? Do you jump out of bed, even on Monday morning, and start the day thrilled with the possibilities? Or do you hit the snooze button over, and over, and dread getting out of bed?

Ask any successful person, or read interviews with some of the folks you admire who are living the dream – and every one will talk about how excited they are to start their day. It never seems like work, because it’s not really work if you enjoy it.

Take a look at your own day. If you’re up and buzzing with excitement about what it has to offer, that’s awesome. You’re living the dream. If not, imagine what it would be like. Then remember this…

If you can image it, you can create it. Write out that perfect day, and make some plans about how to achieve it.

The goal – making every day a summer vacation day…


  1. Tony,

    You make an important distinction here because no matter which method of “self improvement” any given person subscribes to, their attitude ALWAYS makes the difference between success and failure.

    So many people get up to start their day and immediately start to go through their mental list of things they feel they “have” to do that day.

    I maintain that if you ever feel that you “have” to do something, then you are already on the wrong track. Find a life that is filled only with things that you WANT to do, and prosperity will be attracted to you!

  2. I love this article because it brought up all the memories of when I was working on contract in Spain (not too long ago actually).

    My days use to go something like this:
    – wake up anywhere between 9am and 10am, take a quick shower, slide into some flip-flops, walk 3 minutes to the beach, sleep an extra hour or two on the beach, then walk back home, pickup my laptop, walk back to the beach and sit at my favorite beach-cafe drinking a cappuccino, coding on my macbook while watching the beautiful locals and tourists pass by me.
    – at 2pm I would order a bocadillo (sandwich) and enjoy the scenery while eating.
    – around 4pm or 5pm I would walk back to my appartment, drop off my laptop and head back out to the shopping district for some sightseeing, window shopping and obviously shopping at the food market (not your usual grocery ‘store’).

    I only worked about 4 hours per day, but let me tell you those hours were extremely productive. It allowed me to remain relaxed and focused during the entire time and I had an absolute blast for the few months I was there. Did it feel like work? hell no!!!!

    It’s great to imagine what you’re “perfect” day would be like, but there’s nothing better than living and repeating it 🙂

  3. Tony, I’ve used a technique for years to help me get out of bed. I had a coffee mug with a slogan “Carpe Diem” which means “sieze the day.” It gave me the idea to program into my head to wake up each morning and have “Carpe Diem” be the first two words that pop into my mind and out of my mouth.

    Works quite well. Try it.

    On those really hard mornings when I really don’t want to get up (and I know it), I use a saying my “boyz” and I used to sayto get motivated. Not to be crude, but the saying went, “F#@K around, lay around,” which basically means if you don’t get motivated, you’ll end up laying around doing nothing all day.

    You’ll be amazed at how effective the technique is. If you use the latter saying, I bet you $10 you laugh right after you say it.


  4. Who was it who said, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”?

    Those are very true words. I once had a job like that. It felt like being paid for a hobby. I’d go to sleep Sunday night excited to wake up Monday morning.

    Sadly, very few people ever get to experience that. But for those that do, it’s a true treasure.

  5. Aaron – You’re right. Attitude can make a huge difference. Being able to do what you want to do, as opposed to have to do, makes work much more rewarding.

    John – You got it, man 😉

    Alex – That sounds awesome. And your point about being ultra productive is spot on. Another benefit of loving your work is how focused and in flow you can be most of the time.

    Buck – I like it! Knowing how to get motivated is half the battle.

    Mike – I believe that’s usually attributed to Confucius, but it’s been used similarly by others. And rightly so, because as you said, those are true words.

  6. Wonderful post, Tony. When it comes to writing, I feel lucky–I get totally excited about jumping into a project whether it’s about oatmeal or outer space. I do find that changing up the daily routine helps me stay fresh and open to new possibilities. Easier said than done, though!

  7. Brad – I agree about changing the daily routine. I tend to like a combination of structure and variety, so changing it up does help.

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