What would happen if you took a step back from your current life? If you just observed and removed yourself from the chaos would your perspective change? Well, you’d probably be on vacation ;), but seriously, if you could take a month to step back, unplug all your electronics and reflect on what it is you’re doing, what would happen? Stepping back to look at the big picture and clear your thoughts can actually be one of the best ways to make sure you’re on the right path and continue to move forward.
30 days 30 nights challenge remains on the back burner (It’ll be restarted in the next few days and into next month) and I a lost quite a bit of steam, mostly by conscious choice and physically stepping away. I could feel myself getting a bit burned out and I had friends stay with me a little over a week so I took a step back from the blog. Stepping back allowed me to gain a broader perspective of what I was doing, and what life was like again without spending hours in front of my computer. It also showed me what happens in my absence… life goes on.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
What happens in a world without you?
The world won’t stop turning the moment you take a break from it. Traffic will still keep flowing, people will still have babies, and the same TV shows will be on every night. Admit it, it probably makes you a bit sad to think like this because you realize that your life in the big scheme of things is only one in seven billion. Each of us do make a difference, but in relative terms, a tiny one. Since we touch a select few people in our lives and aren’t missed by the majority this can give you incentive to do whatever you’d like because in reality the world will still keep going on. If you quit your job, someone will replace it. If you sell your business, the new owner will take care of it. If you end a relationship, it there may be new ones to take it’s place. If you embarrass yourself, people will forget. If you don’t blog for a week, people will also forget 😉
Stepping back for a week, month, or even year will not alter the fate of the world dramatically, but it could alter your perspective dramatically. In several careers they call this a sabbatical in which the professional takes a significant chunk of time off to recharge their batteries. I think having one sabbatical is not enough and prefer the ideas of Tim Ferris with mini retirements of several months throughout your working life. Considering the pace of life we currently live, stress and burnout happens A LOT, so stepping back should be part of the routine.
Why would you want to take a break?
To recharge, to clarify why you’ve been working so hard, and to clear your mind. When you talk to an employer about why you took that year off to buy your around the world ticket or enjoy the little things in life for a year you can simply say “I took that year for myself to build my character and become a more well rounded person.” If that person is too short sighted to understand, would you really want them as your boss anyways?
Stepping back will also give you an opportunity to discover whether or not you truly enjoy what you’re doing. Even if you’re following your passion you could probably use a break from it from time to time. However, if it’s something you really enjoy you’ll be itching to get back at it withing a relatively short period of time. That’s how I felt about blogging. A week or so was enough time to clear my head and now I’m ready to consistently blog again for another chunk of time. Without the break I would’ve been less motivated to continue.
Why online businesses may be one of the better choices to take a break from.
As a side note I reconfirmed why I love online as a business platform since a lot of the processes you use online can be automated. Posts can be scheduled, auto responders still work, traffic still comes, and backlinks remain (or even grow while you’re gone). While I took my break people still followed me on twitter, I received several guest posts, and traffic remained steady even though I probably put in less than 10 hours over a 10 day period. You probably won’t grow your online presence much if you’re gone, but you may only need to put in minimal effort for it to remain at it current level, primarily because of its established backlinks and following.
Don’t be afraid of stepping back
If you feel a bit burned out with work or even dealing with your finances it won’t come crashing down if you step back for a week, or even a month. Take some time to inhale, let your subconscious mind work and rekindle your passion by removing yourself from the situation completely.
How often do you take a break from work or commitments?
Do you think stepping back is necessary to stick with something over the long haul?
Image from atoach