I’ve often bemoaned the fact that so many meetings are held in windowless conference rooms in the bowels of beautiful hotels in exotic settings. What a waste! One might as well meet at the Airport Holiday Inn – or so I thought.
Having just spent a week like this, I realized that the locale can make a huge difference, particularly if I consciously see the setting. One doesn’t need to spend hours amidst beauty for it to rejuvenate the spirits; a few seconds will do. I simply haven’t been mindful enough to take in what I was seeing.
Even if I hadn’t been conscious of it, I suspect that nice setting have a positive subliminal effect. If these meetings had all been held at the Airport Hotel, people’s spirits would have been subdued. The work would’ve been done, but without the spark of happiness.
I’ve resolved to try to see the places I’m in more clearly, and to take pleasure from them. It’s surprisingly hard to do; my mind is so well-trained to pattern-match to the task at hand (like finding the bathroom, dashing to the room to do email, or making small-talk with other participants) that this is all I observe – and I miss wonder of the world.