If you don’t know why you’re going on sabbatical, then you will return exactly where you left off. Understanding your why is essential, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be complicated or profound.
The father of a work colleague suddenly died just three years into his retirement. All he wanted in life was to retire and spend time with his grand children, and he cared for them three days a week during his short retirement. He died two weeks before his fifth grand child was born.
Underlying our wish list were two main themes: enjoy the good things in life now, and achieve enough distance to reflect on our current path.
We didn’t want to delay enjoying the important things in life, but we were struggling to break our routine and fit it all into our lives as they were.
My husband wanted to surf while he was still young and able bodied. I wanted to slow down and learn to become more present and less goal oriented. My husband wanted to do something entrepreneurial. I wanted to renovate a holiday home. The list was long and often paradoxical. But underlying our wish list were two main themes: enjoy the good things in life now, and achieve enough distance to reflect on our current path.
When it became clear that we would be bringing a 3 year old and 6 month old along with us the focus naturally had to shift away from our own self-discovery and towards quality time with the kids. In the end, these are our main priorities to meet the larger goals of enjoying the good life and reflecting on our current path:
Feel creative every day and avoid routine
Focus on the children and follow their impulses
Slow down and make ourselves available
Specifically seek out entrepreneurs to hear their stories
It doesn’t have to be profound or complicated or deep, it just has to be you. And if you really don’t know why you need a sabbatical, maybe the purpose of your sabbatical is to discover your inner why?