As a student, you probably had a whole toolkit of motivational strategies at your disposal.
Now that you’re a productive member of society, the rules have changed. Whether you’re an independent professional charting your own course or just another cog in a large, bureaucratic organization, you’re expected to derive inspiration from within.
That’s not always possible. External motivation is often precisely what’s needed. And, sometimes, it takes a village.
For many professionals, retreat workshops are those villages. If you’ve never thought about attending one before, here are five reasons to reconsider.
Great retreat workshops shake you out of your old, tired ways of thinking and show you new ways to look at the world. Arnold Siegel’s retreat workshops, for instance, introduce attendees to Siegel’s uniquely American philosophy — Autonomy and Life.
You don’t have to become a lifelong devotee of any particular philosophy or belief system following your retreat workshop. But you shouldn’t waste the chance to broaden your intellectual horizons and internalize new tools and strategies to guide you through life.
Another benefit of global thought: the realization, and acceptance, that not everything is within your control. Great retreat workshops provide valuable perspective on what’s really important — and the grace to know when letting something go might be in your best interest.
It’s not just your professional life. Lack of motivation and inspiration can affect your personal relationships as well. If you’re worried that your emotional doldrums are jeopardizing your marriage, look for retreats designed explicitly for couples. Check out this Chicago Tribune retreat primer for ideas. And even if you don’t attend a couples-only retreat, try to bring what you learn back home with you anyway.
There’s nothing quite like ditching your smartphone for a few days and re-discovering the simple pleasures of analog interaction.
Sure, you can do the same on a solo camping trip or self-imposed “technological house arrest” at home. And many retreat workshops make no bones about their affinity for technology — some are built by, for, and around tech, in fact.
But any retreat workshop, no matter the theme, takes you away from the daily grind. By definition, you’re not expected to answer work emails, field calls, or slog through research. You’re thereby empowered to take ownership of your relationship with technology — to choose when, how, and on whose terms (your own) to engage with it.
It’s impossible to overstate this paradigm’s power. Don’t let it go to waste.
If nothing else, retreat workshops give attendees time to think. When you attend a workshop, it’s not just the constant buzz of technology that you’ll leave behind — it’s the myriad mundane pressures that invade and constrain your personal time. Your retreat is your time to quell your inner monologue, reset your headspace, and refocus on what’s really important.