Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sabbatical - Things to do - Volunteering

There's so much things running in my head on the things i can do and pursue during my personal sabbatical from work it sometimes gets me really excited. I would be driving and suddenly would have some bright ideas on a business plan, or i would be lying on my bed imagining all the things i can do and learn that my mind gets so active i couldn't sleep. Just yesterday, i woke up from bed in the middle of the night googling on volunteering and charity. 

When i was 17, i wanted to be a social worker. After completing my JC studies, my plan was to enroll in the university to be trained in social science.  However, a teacher dissuaded me and convinced me that it was better for me that i go get a traditional professional degree which is a safer bet for a better income job, unless i have a rich dad. I can always do volunteering work or engaged more in charity at any later point in life. I gathered the advice was pretty practical and makes a lot of sense and  hence dropped the idea to be a social worker as my first career.

Since i graduated, work has been relentless and it just gets heavier over the years as i get more entrenched in the working world. I tried to do some charity here and there but time and work demand always work against this wish. This is one of the reasons why i have been having ideas to stop working in the corporate, to start a business or something, to one day have time on my hand,( the new rich (NR) to borrow Timothy Ferriss), so that i can spend time on meaningful things, such on charity, and on things i have interest in.

Anyway, to side track a bit, i recently bought this book, The 4-hour work week from borders, which talks about escaping the 9-5 and it has been a really inspiring read. At least, it provides some hope that this kind of lifestyle is possible.According to the author, the New Rich (NR) are those who abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility. This is an art and a science we will refer to as Lifestyle Design.

Back to my volunteering. I'm considering this or a residential Zen training in my potential to-do -list plans. It's a residential volunteering opportunity where you get to live in the study institute, work on charity and non-for profit projects, study on Buddhism and spend time learning on personal development.Volunteers will live at the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley in shared rooms and receive vegetarian meals, a small living expense stipend, and a full scholarship for Institute classes and workshops

I think it's quite meaningful as i can get to do meaningful charity work (i'm thinking of working on Tibetan Aid Project ) and gets to improve on my knowledge on Buddhism. But as i have other plans to consider, i do need to seriously plan my schedule a bit to see if it works. Otherwise, i will explore other options.

Life is great when you have time on hand! :)