I’m actually at Day 403, but let’s not split straws.
First off, this is no longer a ‘sabbatical’; that implies I’m taking time off from work. This is now my life. Suggestions on how to rename these posts?
How am I feeling? I’m loving it. I’m happy, I’m content and I cannot envisage myself ever returning to my previous life. More than that, I know I will not. My former loathed and hated career is now dead forever.
My current mode of living seems natural, optimal and enjoyable. I’m not having any wig-outs about my life, my future or ‘where I’m heading’. I now have a very concrete idea of what my life will look like in the coming years and it seems completely attainable. Let me tell you.
I’m soon to travel to South America. When I’m there I will do the following:
- Teach a few hours of English a week, not for money, but to pump my vibe by helping and mentoring people, and to increase my social circle.
- Engage in vibe and social-circle building hobbies: probably BJJ and various forms of dancing
- Intensively study the language
- Work on my business ideas
- Chase girls
I hope that I will enjoy south america so much I will want to stay longer and longer. Assuming I do, I will probably return early next year then move to the FSU or Russia, repeat the above activities and look to live at my peak, optimal SMV for one year, with a goal to date super-hotties. In Russia I would in all seriousness expect to be dating HB9s.
At any point in the above scenario if I meet a chick I think has long term potential, I scuttle my plans and go for it. The last couple of years have shown me I value satisfying relationships rather than notches. I guess I’d better hand my MPUA* card back now.
It hasn’t been easy to get to this mental position, and I have been through many ups and downs. Here’s a quick year recap:
At the start, in Singapore, I was happy and blissful but with weird periods of dread and anxiety. This was newbie’s collywobbles: your hindbrain, deprived of the regular structure of a 9 to 5 job, does not know what is normal anymore. Even though I loathed my job it gave me a sense of purpose and direction. Remove that and you have to deal with it.
Miserable game holiday in a dirge-like city. Discover ‘game holidays’ are not fun without great wings, willing girls and more colour and vibrance.
Game holiday 2. Thought it would be better. It was, for a while, but I critically hadn’t learned yet how to manage my time better. I need more to build and maintain my vibe that game and girls in of itself. I have to do activities, meet people, be normal. I got depressed.
Rebuild my vibe with home comforts, hobbies and family. Importantly, I started up my first ever small business.
I made a mistake going here but I see why. I should have really hit south america, and spent the winter there in the heat, losing weight, teaching english and doing activities. It would have carried me through the cold European months allowing me to return to Europe when the weather improved. You live and learn. At that point what I most wanted to do was to prove to myself I could manage a Euro Jaunt without getting depressed, and pull a few girls from daygame.
I made the critical failing of being lazy on the honeymoon first few weeks, not establishing enough social activities and basing my vibe off the game success. I was so, so close to closing a couple of girls then the dice turned against me. Failure and bleak depression for a week or so. Orrible.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time back in Newcastle. Bar actual women, life here is ok. I have hobbies, friends, family and social activities. As I regularly say, if Newcastle had the dating options of Prague I’d just stay forever. Sadly, it doesn’t, it has the dating options of a futuristic dystopia: bloated, drunken, tatooed land-whales waddling round debasing themselves as ranks of pumped-up, fashionable young chodes thirstily compete to service them. No thanks. You find a single decent girl here, she’ll invariably be foreign and you have to lock her in
Land-whales aside it’s been in the last two months that my mindset has really solidififed. My life now, and my life choices seem completely normal. Instead of having weird existential panick attacks like I occassionally did in Singapore I now have random blissful satisfaction attacks. I could be walking round the city at 11am on a Monday morning, about to settle down for a day’s work on my projects in a cafe and it’ll just hit me: this really suits me. Working for myself, on things that interest me, and not plugged into that awful, betatizing and ludicrous farce known as an office career.
I think what’s made the difference is two things:
A certain time must pass before you just stop freaking out and your hindbrain adjusts to your new lifestyle. There’s a lag. Secondly, for me, I’ve become more productive now than I ever was in employment. I work, on average, at least forty hours a week, usually hitting a coffee shop six days a week and spending a good six hours in there working on my projects.
My time outside of ‘work’ is now centred around work.
To enjoy your free time you must make work time your main focus. What is “free time” anyway? That’s a result of office-conditioning. ‘Free time’ to most is ‘time not spent in the misery of the office’, and they seek the most direct contrast to that which is to assume doing absolutely nothing provides the opposite emotion to what ‘working’ does. People in miserable jobs actively seek to spend time staring at the TV and nullifying themselves. It’s oblivion: the opium den.
Free time to me has changed. I could sit round all day if I wanted but I don’t need to: I choose to work on my projects. I enjoy it. It makes me feel satisfied and productive. When I don’t do that I like to work out, do martial arts, socialize with friends or… ok… occasionally watch an episode of Breaking Bad.
Quitting work has really been about finding a new form of ‘work’: one I find more palatable. Working my own hours, on my own projects and without any meddlers.
The key moment for me was setting up my online business. I did it just for the hell of it, as I’d always wanted to dabble, and I didn’t really expect it to be successful. It’s done better than I thought. It could go horribly wrong and end overnight, as it’s a little volatile, but at the minute it makes me a little trickle of money. Enough money to scrape by on, or to live well on in a cheap country. You can raise a family on £40 a day in Prague.
It’s been liking that first daygame lay: suddenly everything becomes real. I now have a little business that makes me real cash for little work. I see the system how I did it and all the confusion and doubt is removed. I enjoy this way of working and am now working on new projects and products, hoping that each one will make me a little, tiny bit of money.
I’m also working, by the way, on finish my first ever Game book… which I don’t think I’ve let on about yet. Watch this space.
So, to wrap up, here’s a quick summary of things I’ve learned about taking a sabbatical.
- Base your time around building a job or skill or working on a project, not on being idle. The fun from that will wear off quickly and then you’ll wig out.
- For me, I could not relax until I’d transitioned my ‘time off’ as a form of escapism into ‘time working towards a plan to never return’, and making enough tiny steps to see that that could be reality.
- Expect an emotional rollercoaster. It could take a year to get used to it.
- Chip away at (building up) your self discipline. Learn to manage your own time without the rigours of the 9 to 5.
- Learn that the way to be happy is through removing anxiety and getting satisfaction. Men get this through a sense of forward momentum gained through productivity. Find a project, or a form of work, and work hard at it.
- Do not make Game the most important thing in your life. Could you be happy (perhaps not long term, but briefly) where you are now with no chicks? The answer should be ‘yes’.
- Understand you don’t need to be a Google AdWords millionaire to make a living. Teach a little english. Get part time work. Reduce your expenditure. Try and live off a minimum. Set up a business and just aim to make $5 a day. When that works try and scale it up. Little pieces eventually all add up.
- Live somewhere cheap. Learn how cheap life in non-Anglosphere coutries is.
- Don’t hop locations too quickly. If you are normal you need friends and activities for your vibe. These take time to build and time to enjoy and bear fruit.
- Don’t be afraid to return home to rebase for a while, then try again somewhere else.
- Don’t listen to people who haven’t succeeded in this lifestyle.