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Do you need a Sabbatical?

Posted on Jun 22, 2013 by in Leadership, Life Lessons | 0 comments

How are things going?  Fine.  I am certain you have been on both sides of this conversation.  You are with friends, family, wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend, you ask your kids, “How are things going?”….oh fine.  We all do it, I don’t (cough cough) but everyone else does.  Sometimes we just need to say, “I’m not doing fine, actually I am about to lose it, and go off on someone”.

The other day, my entrepreneurial arch nemesis David Cummings, blogged about “Developing a Rhythm for Life”.  (he isn’t really, just trying to get a bunch of retweets).  I liked his list, but honestly, what got me thinking was something he said he “doesn’t do”.  Trust me, when this guy doesn’t do something, I jump on it, makes me feel better about myself.  The idea is a “solo retreat”.  Go away by yourself, think about stuff, be introspective, recharge.  Let’s call it a mini-sabbatical.

This is not a vacation, sometimes, we get back from vacations and we are so tired, we need a vacation.  This is an opportunity to to “disconnect” – I know you are laughing, because I’m on another flight blogging, and you are on your i-Whatever reading this.  Disconnecting not only technically, but disconnecting from work, worries, etc.  Note, the idea isn’t running from your life, it is recharging so you can attack your opportunities and have a better life.


So, as usual, I started reading: Get Away From it All: How a Personal Retreat Helped my Career.  Let me start off, I’ve never been to Martha’s Vineyard, and I completely understand that’s not an option for almost everyone – but – the article had some good guidelines for a mini-sabbatical:

– Establish a Safe Place (we can all find a safe place somewhere – in our house – in the woods – somewhere)

– Set a Schedule (this one surprised me, but makes sense, we are trying to accomplish something)

– Establish Flexible Goals (again, go into the mini-sabbatical with a goal in mind)

– Let Your Mind Rest (getting disconnected will take a day or two)

– Solitude is Hard, but Worthwhile (we are rarely, if ever, actually alone, it won’t be easy)

I know what are you thinking, this dude is crazy, I have “xy and z” to do in the next five minutes.  If I’m so crazy, why are you still reading?  Because, if I asked you “How are you doing?”, you might say “oh fine”.  I launched this blog to stop you from losing it and going off on someone – that was a joke – laugh.  Let’s end on a slightly more serious note, what could we all do right now, to start to implement this.  A few ideas, go on a walk by yourself each day (also a good health idea), have an alone date once a month (go do something alone),  go on a weekend mini-sabbatical (personal retreat).

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