When I began coach training in 2004, I figured this career shift would be good for three to five years. I had always loved being in business and equally loved adding value to those committed to personal growth. Now 11 years later, as a John Maxwell Certified Coach, I am seeking other ways to live life to the fullest and I am at peace with my decision. Although the obligations and opportunities that lie ahead are not fully developed, they are coming into focus.
I’ve toyed with the idea of discontinuing my business prior to this, but I never felt ready nor did the time seem right—until now. Fortunately, I am blessed with good health yet it’s time. Time to tie up some loose ends, engage in creative pursuits just for the joy of doing them—to loosen my schedule in ways that allow me to add value to others and extend works of significance that hold the promise of making a difference for others.
Last week I came upon an article by Jane Hirt, former managing editor and vice president of the Chicago Tribune. Her description of her “Radical Sabbatical” was more than a little intriguing to me. Some ideas gleaned from her yearlong sabbatical provide nuggets to invest in my own planning. Prior to leaving The Tribune she made a list of reasons why it was time for such a move even though she loved her job. She saved the list on her laptop in case she might become wistful as time obscured her reasons for leaving. It was always there for quick reference should she need it. Yet in 13 months she never opened it.
“Accept all invitations,” is another Hirt suggestion I like. “Pick up new perspectives, skills and friends” whets my appetite for getting started.
An article in National Geographic by artist and author, Candace Rose Rardon, introduced me to Urban Sketchers, (www.urbansketchers.org) a global community of artists who sketch on location where they live and the places they travel. I’ve dabbled in art and art lessons for years but always set it aside before I “got good.” Developing any skill takes time and commitment. I’m now ready to work on developing whatever artistic gifts I might have—this time without judgment or expectations of being good right out of the gate but rather just for the joy of losing myself in something I choose to do. The people I meet and places I go will be bonuses.
What unfinished business—or aspirations do you have that are tugging at your coat sleeve? What was it you wanted to do—or place you wanted to go that just didn’t happen? What would it take to give yourself permission to dust off those unfulfilled dreams via a Radical Sabbatical? Think about giving it whatever time you can spare. Why not? Why not now?