Can you imagine doing this — taking a Sagmeister?

The designer Stefan Sagmeister has found a brilliant way to ensure he’s living a Type I life.* 

Think about the standard pattern in developed countries, he says. People usually spend the first twenty-five or so years of their lives learning, the next forty or so years working, and the final twenty-five in retirement. 

That boilerplate timeline got Sagmeister wondering: Why not snip five years from retirement and sprinkle them into your working years? 

So every seven years, Sagmeister closes his graphic design shop, tells his clients he won’t be back for a year, and goes off on a 365-day sabbatical. He uses the time to travel, to live in places he’s never been to, and to experiment with new projects. 

It sounds risky, I know. But he says the ideas he generates during the year “off” often provide his income for the next seven years. 

“Taking a Sagmeister,” as I now call it, requires a fair bit of planning and saving, of course. But doesn’t forgoing that big-screen TV seem a small price to pay for an unforgettable  and un-get-backable  year of personal exploration? 

The truth is, this idea is more realistic than many of us realize. Which is why I hope to take a Sagmeister in a couple of years and why you should consider it, too. 

~ Daniel H. Pink, 

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

* Daniel Pink refers to Type I behavior as intrinsically-motivated behavior, when actions and goals are motivated by inner direction rather than from outer sources. 

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