I spent the majority of my University experience 6000 miles away from home. I was only able to see my family once at the end of the year.
My vacations were spent in what was called ‘vacation accommodation’. Essentially a residence earmarked for students whom were not heading home and/or writing or enrolled in winter or summer school.
While my reasons for remaining behind were more to do with the cost of a plane ticket back home (mid-year), it did not stop me at all from making the most out of the vac.
I can still recall with great vividness and emotional recall the inspiration and enthusiasm I had to continue learning.
While I was not enrolled in any winter courses I made my own!
I viewed the ‘downtime’ in vac as a perfect opportunity to learn and expand, reading and researching and learning outside of the curriculum in those areas I wished to ‘define, discover and develop’.
The university library remained open so I used that and loved that!
Each morning I’d wake up keen (and I mean keen) with a level of clarity and certainty as to how I was going to ‘crush’ my day. It consisted of a good breakfast first, followed by a meet up with a friend to train martial arts, followed by lunch and then time for extra mile!
After lunch I’d irrespective of whether it was raining or not take the walk up the hill to the library and clock in and immerse myself in reading the books I was not able to cover during semester time for hours (with regular scheduled breaks).
I’d stay till closing time at 5pm and then head back for supper and only then shut down for the day, relax, plan for the next day and then repeat.
I absolutely loved learning and still do!
As Emerson says:
“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might…Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
Maintaining self-discipline and enthusiasm + a good rhythm of being able to ‘switch on’ and ‘switch off’ before the vac, during the vac and after the vac helped me keep sharp so that when the second semester started I was ready. Engines reeving and good to go.
I wasn’t always like this and not always like this. It’s a continuous work in progress and re-calibration so do not be fooled.
A great ingredient though for the focus and discipline = enthusiasm.
What gets you enthusiastic and energetic?