Don't Wish for Less Problems, Wish for More Skills.

- Jim Rohn

Friday, March 12, 2010

Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off | Video on

Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off | Video on

Here is a video that my brother told me to watch. It really goes well with one of the central ideas that I try to stress with my blog, the necessity to travel - or as Sagmeister put it, "take time off." If any of you have ever read "The Four Hour Work-Week" by Timothy Ferriss, you would remember he called this idea a "mini retirement." It is an interesting concept that I have grown very infatuated with (which explains why my brother and I talked about it today for about twenty minutes). To learn exactly what the "mini retirement" is, click on the link above.

Erik and I talked a little bit about the American view of "retirement" during our phone call. We were both disheartened with the idea of stressing over work for 50 years only to retire and have two things happen - the need to return to work because it is all that one knows after 50 years, or be too old to really appreciate retirement. In either case, the dream of retirement is almost wasted!

I could be wrong, but I know I don't really want one or the other to happen to me. Reading about sabbaticals and watching someone talk about it has opened my mind to the wonderful idea of taking pieces of retirement and spreading them across one's life. I do foresee it being hard to drop what you are doing (be it your job) and flying somewhere foreign like India...It's risky...You can lose your job, you could cause stress on your family and relationships...

Maybe I'm being irrational or dreaming too much.

I would consider that my study abroad trip as my first life sabbatical. I have found myself improving my life. This trip has been nothing less than blissful. I have been able to relax, and take my time and do with it exactly what I want to do. I have been able to pack my bags and go off to places like Munich and Amsterdam for a weekend, I've been able to read or workout,etc., etc. I have finally felt in control of my situation instead of dealing with my situation. I am not fixing wrongs; I am creating rights.

I have read many books while studying abroad (which is why I started the book reviews). And, every book has provided another outlook on the logistics of life. It does depend on the books I read though, which includes "The Four Hour Work Week" by Tim Ferriss and "The Logic of Life" by Tim Hartford. I owe this development to breaking away from my life back at home (not to say it wasn't amazing, I love my life back at home), not to the books.

Even though Sagmeister took one year sabbatical and I'm only taking 4 months, there is still ample time to really mature, find myself, and create ideas that will benefit for years to come. Sagmeister focused on his business and the innovations that he produced while in Bali, while I have really found myself becoming much more knowledgeable in what life is really about. I cannot forecast what another's "mini retirement" will bring to them, but I assure that nothing bad will come from it.


  1. Nils,

    I love this post. It has been an honor to know you and see you grow since we pledged DSP together, and I cannot wait to see the fruits of your sabbatical put to use back here in Clemson. Keep having an awesome time over there, and I wish you the best.