In Defense of Sabbaticals (Best of YCP: Karan Bajaj)


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Karan Bajaj is a #1 bestselling Indian novelist with more than 200,000 copies of his novels in print, both optioned into major films.

Karan's first worldwide novel, The Yoga of Max's Discontent was inspired by Karan's one year sabbatical traveling from Europe to India by road and learning yoga and meditation in the Himalayas.

Karan has also worked in senior executive roles at companies like Procter & Gamble and the Boston Consulting Group and was named among Ad Age's "Top 40 Under 40 executives" in the US.

In this episode, Karan discusses:

-The "4, 1, 4" rule and how it helped him to thrive, not only in his career, but in his life.

-His "conscious goal-lessness" during his time off, especially when he is so driven during his working years.

-His advice for someone who struggles to get to the point of realizing that they are already equipped for life and don't need to concentrate so hard on improvement.

-The idea of taking mind- or self-dissolving vacations, where you actually try to change and better yourself as a person as opposed to simply going to a new location.

-How he kick-started my meditation practice with a 10 day silent vipassana retreat and how a vipassana retreat is actually quite accessible for anyone who is interested in trying it (it's free!)

-How his 10-day silent retreat helped him to see that he had been in a constant mode of wanting, or feeling as if he was lacking something instead of living in the moment.

-His one year sabbatical and how he spent the time.

-How living extremely simply for a long period of time helps you to realize that you really don't need much in your everyday life to survive and it helps to make you stronger when facing tough situations.

-The benefits that his retreat gave to his creativity.

-His suggestion to always start with concentration-based meditation approaches.

-What to do when other thoughts begin to creep into your consciousness while you are meditating.

-The joy and inspiration that comes from seeing yourself on a hero's journey. Even if you don't reach the goal, the act of trying is a success.

-How art fixes the world for him.

Karan's Final Push will inspire you to SHUN COMFORT for a period of time in order to be a happier and more creative person in the long term. Quotes:

"What I have learned through this period is that my sabbatical year has to be almost the complete antithesis of my working years."

"I'm always shunning this idea that I have to constantly be better than who I am."

"I just try to operate with this idea that I am complete and I have enough depth to tap into, versus wanting to be more than I am."

"You can't help but to be different after those ten days."

"It's not like some instant moment of enlightenment. You start understanding the endlessness of our thought waves."

"I almost feel that every artist is creating out of a sense that this world is incomplete and they need to create a more complete and idealized version. Art fixes the world for me."

Links mentioned:

The Yoga of Max's Discontent by Karan Bajaj

"My 4,1,4 rule, or why you shouldn't feel the pressure to become an entrepreneur" (From Karan's blog)

Your Creative Push Ep. 2: Approach the first brush stroke with ENERGY (w/ Karl Mårtens)

Connect with Karan:

Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

378 episodes