Vail Daily column: Wisdom takes a vacation |

Vail Daily column: Wisdom takes a vacation

Michael Norton
Climbing to Success

“Common sense takes a vacation” probably makes more sense, but “wisdom” just sounds so much smarter doesn’t it?

Most times I am usually never being accused of having either, wisdom or common sense that is, however I do believe it is fair for me to share my exploits and adventures while on my current vacation where wisdom and common sense came took some time off right alongside of me.


Almost every year since I moved to Colorado, I have been blessed enough to be able to bring my family back to the New Jersey beach, more commonly referred to as the Jersey Shore, to spend time reuniting with family and friends and for some wonderful beach time. So far, so good, right?

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Here is where wisdom and common sense went right out the window or were washed away in the tide.


You see, I know better, especially as I age and battle some health issues of my own, that vacation time should really be about recharging the batteries of life, getting plenty of rest and relaxation, embracing time with family and friends, and taking in the solace of the sights and sounds of the ocean.

Even if I wanted to take in a light workout or two while away, that may have been sensible. Instead, what did I do? The two weeks at the Jersey Shore quickly became an assault on my body through very bad dietary choices, lack of proper sleep and a very large opportunity that came in the form of a project that surfaced at work and needed a great deal of my attention.

Those of you who have maintained your wisdom and common sense know the results of my choices, right? Heartburn, headaches, fatigue, stress and missed opportunities to spend quality time with family and friends —something that caused me even greater stress.


I mean, this is my sweet spot, this is where I coach others in how to maximize goals, achieve success and enjoy the benefits earned by working hard and smart so that vacation time is just that: vacation time.

Now I know I am being hard on myself while trying to illustrate a point, but I seriously feel like the cobbler who fixes everyone else’s footwear and walks around myself in worn and tattered shoes.


I used to reward myself while on vacation, signing up for two weeks at the local gym, going to bed early, waking up before everyone else to spend quiet time on the beach in meditation and reading something inspirational before the family joined me. The solitary time spent in reflection and reading against the backdrop of the ocean, lapping waves, the aroma of salt air and suntan lotion, and sand between my toes before hitting the gym prepared me for my day, perhaps even for a few indulgences and extra calories in the form of pizza, ice cream, a few beers and some awesome food grilled right at home.

Vacation time is awesome, wisdom is wonderful and common sense keeps us grounded as we take our well-deserved rest and relaxation in the mountains, at a beach, on a lake or river and right at home. It’s when we practice a lack of wisdom and demonstrate zero common sense that our vacations become less rejuvenating than we expected, and we wind up needing a vacation from our vacation.


Its summer time and I would love to hear all about your stories of wisdom and common sense, or a lack there of, while on vacation. Email them to

When we balance our lives and treat ourselves to true rest and relaxation, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach, motivational speaker and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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