Everything Is Right on Schedule

(One of the 5 5-word mantras.)

When is the right time to take one of these Breakaways? Once you’ve gotten that promotion or while you’re still putting in your time? Before or after having kids? After renovating the kitchen—or should that project wait so those funds can fuel the Journey jet? Of course, the question of when often leads to agonizing reappraisal and regrets.

Is it too late? Did I miss my big chance after leaving my last house, job or relationship?

To all these questions and more, the wise, resounding answer is: Don’t worry. Everything is right on schedule.

The fact is, there is no perfect time for an undertaking like this. Or for anything, for that matter. If having a child is rather like adopting a creature from outer space with 24/7 needs and neuroses, when’s the ideal time for that? If starting a new career means falling down the expertise ladder feat-first and learning to climb all over again, what’s the suitable time to schedule that descent? Who knows?

But pity the procrastinating parent who, as the t-shirt says, wakes at age 45 one day and screams, “I can’t believe I forgot to have children!” And pray for the lost soul who endures a lucrative life in insurance because he never had the guts to try his hand at graphic design. They can never know the clarity of 20/20 hindsight, which allows the optimist to later believe that the child, career change, or sabbatical came at just the right time–regardless of how frightful the leap may have been.

Trust yourself. You’ll know when it’s time. Looking back, haven’t you usually?

Frankly, “Everything is right on schedule” is not so much about planning or scheduling as it is about faith. And to a large extent, so is the heartfelt BreakAway–which is one large, illogical, major-league leap of faith. This mantra is just a catchier way of saying,

“I can do this: I have faith in my beliefs, in myself, in the world I’ve set up, and in the world at large. Therefore, I will attempt this leap.”

On a more mundane note, it also helps if you have the simple confidence–a smaller form of faith–that you can do the important things you set your mind to. A Sabbatical is not a religious journey (although it could be). But the spiritual potential is huge, and having faith is essential. You don’t need to explain it, and few want to hear about it anyway. But deep inside, you have a little secret that makes you feel, really, really good about life and yourself. And the path you are on.

If you think you lack faith, maybe you need to go find it–and perhaps this becomes the Mission portion of your Sabbatical. If you think your faith runneth over, don’t be so smug; you’re superhuman or superlucky if taking on Temporary Retirement doesn’t reduce you to tears now and then. But that’s nothing compared to the sorrowful regret of unrealized dreams.

So go ahead: Let your faith set you free. Free from fear. Free from inertia. Free from the need to control that which is a process–not a procedure–like Breaking Away. “Everything is right on schedule” gives you that faith, plus the freedom to take an intuitive, organic approach to planning your big move.

Confused? Intimidated? Mind racing? Good! You may already be thinking seriously about doing this. And guess what? You’re right on schedule.

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