What Would You Do With a Year Off?

What Would You Do With a Year Off?

Chelsea, selected from Intent.com

Close your eyes. Imagine for a moment that you had a year — 365 days, 8,760  hours, 525,600 minutes — to do anything you please, with $100,000 to cover your  expenses. Would you travel? Would you continue working and give the money to  charity? Would you take the time to simply do nothing, maybe go on retreat?

Last week, Mallika encouraged readers to consider what they would do if they  had a year off. I have to say, my first inclination was default to the  “make-the-world-a-better-place” answer– give it to charity, of course! I mean, I  know this may sound crazy, but I love working. Even if I had a year off, I don’t  think I could bring myself to drop my job and do nothing. So if my ideal year  would include working anyway, why not give it away, especially when we know  that contributing to others’ happiness is a much greater source of joy and fulfillment than anything  money could buy?

But as I thought about it more, I remembered the words of a friend I have who  keeps trying to convince me of the important of “leisure” and “pleasure” in my  life. I know, foreign concepts for the modern workaholic, right? A few months  ago, when I went to visit her in Miami, her assignment for me was to get a  pedicure once a month — which has been surprisingly difficult for me to actually  follow through on. I have a hard time slowing down, relaxing, engaging in an  activity simply for the sake of enjoying it.

have always wanted to travel. I’ve never ventured outside the  US (not even to Mexico or Canada), and I’ve long wanted to visit other cultures  — learn about how they find happiness, purpose, and meaning in their lives.  Taking a year off for travel… now that would be cool. But would it be  fulfilling? Would I be mentally, physically, and spiritually satisfied with  taking a year off to travel?

What if, I thought, I could combine those three things somehow? Create a  year-long project that would combine the work I love (writing), giving back  (service/charity), and the leisure (travel)? What would that project look  like?

Here’s what I came up with. If I had $100,000 to take a year off, this is  what I would do:

  • Take a writing tour of charity organizations in four different countries  around the world, spending three months deeply immersed in each community
  • Listen and learn about how each organization’s programming is benefiting the  community and transforming individuals’ daily lives
  • Document the experience through a series of articles that synthesize  personal stories, scientific research, historical background, etc
  • Highlight major social issues affecting underserved communities  (poverty, violence against women, water shortage, climate change,  HIV/AIDS, etc) and what people are doing to help
  • Record interviews with staff, volunteers, scientific researchers,  and other involved professionals at each nonprofit to shed light on best  practices
  • Compile all the articles into a book at the end of the year

So that’s my dream year. Heck, maybe that’s my dream life. I think it’s a  good recipe for happiness: find meaningful work, connect with people, give back  to your community, and take time to enjoy the ride. I guess, really, you  don’t need $100,000 to do that.

What about you? What would your dream year look like? What do  you think is a recipe for a happy year and fulfilling life?

Gold Peak Tea is giving away $100,000 to one deserving  person to do whatever — whether it be travel the world, write a book, start a  nonprofit, or simply kick back and enjoy the comforts of home. To enter,  you can fill out the application on their Facebook.

Do ‘bath salts’ drive people crazy?

The unregulated ‘bath salts’ from overseas can cause the brain’s danger instinct to kick into overdrive, making the user see everything as a threat.

By Natalie Wolchover, Life’s Little Mysteries
On May 26 in Miami, a naked, “zombielike” man viciously attacked a homeless man, biting off and eating much of his face. Police shot and killed the 31-year-old attacker, Rudy Eugene, who, according to some news outlets, may have been high on “bath salts” at the time of his cannibalistic attack.

These soothing-sounding substances are not what they seem. Manufactured in China and sold legally online and in drug paraphernalia stores under misleading brand names like “Ivory Wave,” bath salts contain a bevy of newly concocted chemicals, such as methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), which aren’t yet banned by the federal government. When snorted, injected or smoked, the synthetic powders can induce a state of paranoid delirium paired with abnormal strength, a combination that often leads to horrific acts of violence.   Read More Here ……