Think Weeks and Mini-Retirements
Bill Gates calls it “Think Week”. Twice a year, he would leave on a one-week long seclusion without family and friends, and come back with big innovative ideas. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates all have one thing in common, they know the importance of creating intentional escapes alone several times a year, away from their business.
Tim Ferris praises the benefits of “mini-retirements”, and he would use them as an opportunity to become a local in a new country or to become an expert in a new discipline. Carl Jung wrote his masterpieces in Bollingen Tower, his retreat home where he would ponder and write for months at a time. J.K. Rowling, author or Harry Potter, would check into a hotel room so she could write with no distractions.
A timeout is not a lethargic vacation, but a time to “think” and work on meaningful goals, without distractions.
Do you ever feel that when you step away from the daily routines, you can see your life with an elevated perception?
How can I develop and fulfill my greatest potential?
One day, in end of April 2017, I decided to leave everything and leave on my own retreat for five days, to work on the big questions, which were:
“What will be my next business project? What is my life mission?”
I have a tendency to workshop everything, so I made my own version of Bill Gate’s “Think Week”. To me, the success of this trip depended on my mindset. Thus, I prepared my departure thoroughly by defining and writing down my expectations. This would trigger my subconscious mind to already start working in the background towards my purposes.
I was a little anxious to be uninspired, bored, or lonely. What if I did not have my breakthrough?
But deep inside me, I had faith and trusted the process.
I knew that by my Think Week would bring me a step closer to my answers, especially because I would be forced to face my fears and doubts, and to work on them.
Why You Should Take a Think Week?
-It gives space for self-reflection: Why are you doing the things you are doing? If you were to die tomorrow, would you be OK with how things are right now? Do you feel that you are living to your fullest potential?
-It’s an opportunity to press “pause”: Give a break to the daily life momentum to observe and think deeply. What are the bad habits I want to get rid of? What are the new habits I would like to integrate into my life? A retreat is a great time to incorporate new routines.
-It offers time and silence to focus and perform deep work: Most of the time, we are in a state of consumption, not creation. But if you dedicate yourself to uninterrupted extended time, you can enter a state of flow and creation that is very difficult to reach in our daily life.
-It increases self-awareness: Loneliness and solitude are different. Solitude is something that I consider healthy to embrace on a regular basis to observe oneself in the present moment and in our daily life by gaining more perspective.
What Are the Terms I Outlined for My Retreat?
-Stay at the hotel and get all my meals there so I don’t have to think about where to go (You want to save your willpower for other more important decisions!).
-Stay away from distractions and avoid mindless surfing.
-Do something physical every day to stimulate the flow of energies: Run, Pilates, or yoga.
-Eat healthily to nurture the mind and body.
-Write and draw every day. Any thoughts that come to mind are documented.
What Did I Bring to The Retreat?
- Color markers
- Stickies, post-its, A4 paper
- Favorite books
- Favorite teas
- Old notebooks and all the old notes that are related to the topic
- Small things from home that bring positive and comforting feelings
The result of my mini-retreat is the website you are visiting right now, an online educational platform for health & wellness professionals. After owning and running a successful brick and mortar spa business for almost a decade, the trip opened up a new window and a new chapter in my life.In reality, the days passed breezily. On day 3 and 4, I was so driven, my heart was skipping beats. I was slightly high!
Do you have a question burning inside your heart? Are you aching to fulfill your life potential? Do you feel a longing that you can't formulate? Get your breakthrough by giving yourself a Think Week!
Call To Action
1-Think of a place where you have already been, that gives you comfort, and serenity. Somewhere where you could work for a few days without worrying about where to eat, and where nobody can distract you.
2-Take a piece of paper and write down all your questions in a stream of consciousness writing.
3-Check your calendar and book your ticket!
A retreat does not have to be sophisticated, and it can be whatever you want it to be! Your intention creates the journey. Take these ideas and just make them work for you!
SHARING IS CARING
If the answer is yes, it would mean the world to me if you could press "share" on one (or more) of the social media buttons, to share it with your social circle. Wealth is only meaningful when shared!