It’s been a more than a year since I quit my job for a sabbatical period. This isn’t my first attempt, I had tried it before but it was an unproductive disaster. So, shortly after quitting I felt a spontaneous urge to write down advice to myself based on my first experience.
I hadn’t come back to it since then, but today I was unpacking a box and came across my old journals. I remembered about this list and found it. I’ve seemingly carried the advice unconsciously, because I’ve followed most of it better than if it were pinned to the wall, and one year later I can vouch for it from experience.
I’m the first one to roll my eyes when someone pretends to give advice. This is highly specific to myself, but I suspect there are people of similar circumstance and character who may find it useful. It’s presented as-found, with only the lightest editing for clarity.
LESSONS FROM LAST SABBATICAL
- Associate with good people, seek them.
- Publish what you are doing, actions are better than thoughts.
- Waste no time in establishing a good routine.
- Keep close to nature, it is healing.
- Wage no war against yourself, it will only debilitate you.
- Making money is a priority, there is no shame in it.
- The way of isolation is a dead end.
- The inner world has been throughly explored, it is time to come out and do the same in the outer world.
- Be frugal from the very beginning.
- Pot infused ideas lack the momentum necessary to execute them.
- Home is not a good place to accomplish work. Not to say that it shouldn’t be done, but that it should be complemented with a variety of settings.
- Do no attach to project outcomes, enjoy the work done. This is enough reward.
- Have a general plan, do not wander aimlessly. Be ready to throw away the plan.
- Be willing to collaborate with others.
- It is useless to ban all distractions. Instead, seek more healthy distractions.
- Do not think of yourself as a subject in a setting, consciousness is within, and your setting is reality.
- Make time count. Squandering it is no different from wasting food or money.
- Sleep as much as necessary. Not more, not less.
- Do not resort to cognitive enhancers, be it nootropics or psychedelics, these are unsustainable boosters. Train your mind instead.
- Prase yourself for your efforts, not for your intelligence or your cleverness.
- Hangovers are a sure sign of regression.
- It is better to seek sex than porn, but it is best to remain celibate and open to meaningful romantic relationships.
- Be gentle but persistent with yourself. Change is always gradual.
- Reserve your energies for the last leg of work. It is better to finish and rest than to release immediately.
- Have a healthy relationship with perfectionism. Be practical, put your efforts where perfection is most visible to others and not just to yourself.
- Be expedient in knitting the symbols that appear in your life, but to not dwell on the pattern that emerges.
- Exercise and meditate. Eat healthy. Sleep soundly. Pray.
- Do not think about yourself as superior or inferior to others. Don’t think you have all the answers.
- Be grateful for what you have.
- Live life as poetry.