Having recently gotten back from a short trip to New Orleans, I was wondering:
Do you like to travel?
Besides being fun, travel has been proven to affect your brain, your mood, your overall sense of well-being and your future success in several positive ways. So if you are thinking of taking a trip this summer, consider this:
1. Travel brings new perspectives on life, and even new insights.
Detaching from a familiar environment can help get new perspectives on everyday life, says Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School. “Not just taking time off from work, but actually getting away from where you live is really important, because that’s the only way that you can achieve that perspective,” Galinsky said.
It is this distance from your day-to-day obligations that can help you take a step back so you can reassess what’s really important to you and whether it is time to make any adjustments in your practice or your life.
2. Traveling abroad can make you more creative.
“Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms.” Cognitive flexibility is the mind’s ability to jump between different ideas, a key component of creativity. But it’s not just about being abroad, Galinsky says: “The key, critical process is multicultural engagement, immersion, and adaptation. Someone who lives abroad and doesn’t engage with the local culture will likely get less of a creative boost than someone who travels abroad and really engages in the local environment.” So when traveling abroad, try to experience everything from the perspective of the locals.
And why would you care about being creative? After all, you are a lawyer, not an artist. Creativity is your ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, come up with original ideas, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. And as a lawyer accessing and developing your creative ability is a key ingredient in coming up with breakthrough legal solutions, developing winning arguments, and reaching win-win agreements in negotiations.
3. Travel teaches you to become more mindful.
Ellen Langer, professor of psychology at Harvard University, sees these benefits of vacationing as part of being mindful. “Part of the essence of being mindful is noticing new things,” Langer said. And that’s what we experience during travel – new sights, new smells, new sensations. “Boring,” she says, “is a state of mind.” And once you achieve a mindset of “everything is different and interesting,” it becomes a valuable souvenir to take home after the vacation.
Mindfulness is what helps you make routine activities back home feel engaging, which in turn helps you feel more excited, motivated and interested in your work.
To your incredible success,