Planning Your Sabbatical

Planning Your Sabbatical

Planning a sabbatical is essential, but it's not essential for the reasons you think it is. The point of planning a sabbatical is not to achieve a certain goal from the sabbatical. There is one and only one aim to planning the sabbatical and that is to ensure that you take the required amount of time off to allow the sabbatical to work its magic. 

The only way to botch a sabbatical is to not take enough.

Planning a sabbatical essentially involves ensuring that you give yourself the space and time in which to recover and to find the next thing worth dedicating your life to. In order to do this, several things need to be ensured.

  • You need to ensure that financial worries will not compel you to end your sabbatical prematurely.
  • You need to ensure that family and peer pressure does not compel you back to work.

That's it. 

But shouldn't I make plans for all the free time?

Short answer - no.

Many people approach sabbatical planning with the mindset that if they do not make concrete plans for the sabbatical then they will just 'waste their time'. I'm telling you that this is a mistake.

It's a mistake because your current state of mind requires one thing and one thing only -- relaxation. If you make plans they will be the plans of a burnt out person. The skill we want to develop during the early sabbatical is the skill of listening to one's body, to hear the voice of one's joy and to develop the courage to follow it.

This burnt-out person cannot make plans for the well rested, energetic and expanded consciousness that will arise during your sabbatical. And making plans and forcing oneself to stick to them is only going to cause more friction and more burnout. A case of the cure being worse than the disease.

And that's why the only planning one needs for a sabbatical is the creation of space -- in one's wallet, amongst one's family and peers and in oneself -- to rest deeply and allow the flowering of one's joy.

Anything else is bound to result in pain.

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