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How I Planned and Survived My Family Vacation


When I felt overwhelmed, it helped to focus on the bigger intention and my core values.

“How can we make good decisions when there is not enough data”? During my seminar few weeks back, I got this question from a gentleman in the audience. As someone giving the seminar I guess I was supposed to be an “expert” on this! Alas, I could not act as the know-all expert, inspired by Brene Brown, I chose to be a human instead – showed them how sub-optimal my own decision making process is!  I told them this story.

My parents are visiting me; this is their first time in the US so I wanted to show them some landmark. On the same token I thought that if my uncle and aunt from Detroit could join us then it would be even more fun – we would have a mini family re-union as well. Our trip timing fell around a holiday weekend.

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When getting plane tickets in a decent price alone was a challenge, finding two sets of the flights reaching and returning around the same time made it even more daunting. Which airport would have the best price, how much drive would be tolerable for my elderly parents – all got added to the mix. I could tell I would never want to be a travel agent! Plane fares were increasing every day and so was my stress level. As any couple would guess, one night I even had a little fight with my husband. I couldn’t imagine how I put myself in such a situation. Trust me, feeling like an expert was nowhere to be found in my emotional status list. I felt like getting out of it saying, “Sorry, let’s just cancel the whole idea”.

Finally, at some point my sanity came back. I asked myself these questions: Few years down the road how would I want to feel about this vacation? How important it is for me to get the lowest possible price and the minimal wait time? This helped!

Now what is that I am telling you by this?

  • When you take too many things into consideration, it makes the problem more complex than it really is.

  • Be very lean and mean about what matters most – to You and to the People around you (who will be affected by the decision)
  • Extend your vision little further than the immediate – how do you want to feel about the outcome (of this decision) few years down the line?

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When you get in touch with your core values, it gives you the strength to do the right thing. Define “right” and “good” based on those values; trust yourself and equally important, trust the people around you. When you show your human side to them, listen to them, communicate what your decision factors are, they will be with you no matter what the outcome is!


If this resonates with you, send me an email(sbanu@greenleafcoach.com) and we will talk! -Sharmin

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