Let’s suspend judgment, just for a minute. What if you could take a few weeks, months, maybe even an entire year off work to do exactly what you wanted, whether traveling the world, considering your next career move or just taking a moment to step back and really check in with yourself? Would you go for it? Especially after the last few years we’ve had? Safe bet, most people would jump on that opportunity. But then comes the reality check. The doubt. The details. Sure, it’d be amazing, but I could never make it happen. Right?
But, what if you could? What if it was actually more doable than you ever imagined? What if there were ideas, tools, and strategies that would help you step away and reset your mind, body, and life? Ways that might not even require you to leave your job, and know you had something to come back to. Even if, by the end, you didn’t want to anymore? What if your personal, life-changing sabbatical was not only possible, but necessary for you to not only reclaim your sense of self and purpose and aliveness, but to create the space to see more clearly who and what matters, and how you want to step into your life from this moment forward.
My guest today, DJ DiDonna has been studying these real-life breaks, in all forms, showing why they matter and revealing incredible insights into not just how to do them in a way that truly gives you what you’re looking for, but also how to make them more possible than you ever imagined. DJ is the founder of The Sabbatical Project, a research and advocacy nonprofit that is on a mission to define, explore, and research sabbaticals and their impact on non-academics. His work on sabbaticals has appeared in TIME magazine, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Quartz, Fortune and at TEDx in Silicon Valley. On his own sabbatical, DJ walked 900 miles on pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan and ran a poverty research lab at his alma mater Notre Dame.
And today, we dive deeper into some of the ideas and stories that appear in his upcoming book based on hundreds of interviews with sabbatical-takers from across the world. DJ and I uncover more about the history of sabbaticals and their roots in academia. And also, he breaks down the essential components of taking an effective extended pause from work and even offers some ideas that might make you seriously consider taking a sabbatical in the near future—even if retirement isn’t even in sight yet.
If you LOVED this episode:
- You’ll also love the conversations we had with Chip Conley about reimagining later-in-life contributions.
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