Ask yourself this question:

If you had a year off—with pay—how would you spend your time?

Maybe you would travel the world (or even just your own country). Maybe you would start your own business. Maybe you would get comfortable on the sofa and watch back-to-back episodes of Columbo for twelve months.

At the very least, you could catch up on your reading.

This is a useful question because it basically asks, without the grandness, what it is you want to do with your life. It’s a far less daunting question though, less Existential and without the stage fright of having to make a big decision.

Best of all, a year off with pay is possible (if not easy) to engineer. Save 50% of your earnings for a year and take the next year off, paying yourself a monthly salary.

You could see this as a challenge. If you’re currently worth £0.00 or more, (i.e. you’re not in debt or already rich) try and save 50% of everything you earn in 2011 with the aim of taking 2012 off. I dare you!


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

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