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A Personal Retreat: Do You Even Need One?

A personal retreat is an investment you make in yourself. I have often heard people say, “make an investment to secure your future,” or “secure your future with an investment.” But I rarely hear someone say, “Invest in yourself.” 

When I say personal retreat, people often confuse it with a short vacation or spending some time for fun. But, in reality, it’s much more than that. And those who do go on these retreats have different names for them. Bill Gates calls them “Think Weeks,” and he takes two of those annually.

In this post, I will explain to you what a personal retreat is. What is its purpose, and how you can plan one yourself? I have already given you the jist of what a personal retreat is. Now, let’s go ahead and figure out its purpose.

What Is The Purpose Of A Personal Retreat?

We are often so busy with our day-to-day activities that we forget to check deep within ourselves. And when the water rises above us, we realize we need a break. That self searching break is what we call a personal retreat. It gives us the opportunity to focus on what really matters. Allowing ourselves to leave all the distractions behind. This is what I mean by “Invest In Yourself.”

“The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself” – Warren Buffett

Let me tell you a little story about a very successful businessman. You know him as the face of Apple Inc. Yes, you guessed it right. I am indeed talking about Steve Jobs.

The story goes something like this: In the mid-70s Jobs went to India for a personal retreat. He ended up living 7 months there. A year after he had gone, he launched a company that would forever change the way we perceive technology. The company we all know today as Apple Inc. He explained in his biography how this retreat to India had marked him. Out of all his experiences there, Jobs remembered his stay in Uttarakhand (a state in India) the most. He stayed in an Ashram there and learned meditation. 

Now, I am not saying you should pack your stuff, leave your life behind, move to Uttarakhand for 7 months and learn meditation. But if that is what you want, then go for it. The lesson to learn from this story is to “Unplug Yourself,” and indulge in activities that you otherwise won’t have the time for.

Unplug Yourself

You know how most things automatically start working again when you unplug and give them a rest? We all have experienced that in our lives, but we can’t explain why. Let me explain it to you: this happens because we use these devices for months upon months. After all, that’s what they are made for. Then, we occasionally start noticing that they are not performing as well as they used to. It is frustrating when that happens, right? Then, these devices start breaking down. That is when we unplug them and call a technician to take a look. The technician then ensures that these devices are properly maintained, gets them going, and gives you a few advice on how to maintain them properly. 

Now, place yourself in place of the machines. We behave exactly like that. We keep working for months upon months, and then we have occasional bad days. After that, we just don’t feel like showing up anymore. But we still force ourselves to keep going until we eventually break down. Why not just Unplug ourselves for a while before that happens? You are the only one who can answer why.

So, you’ve finally decided to unplug yourself, but you are uncertain about what you would do on the retreat. Or you think you can’t spend that much time with yourself. Everyone thinking of going on a personal retreat is faced with similar uncertainties, which brings me to the next section.

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Nurture Your Inner Goddess with Self-Love and Meditation”

What To Do On A Personal Retreat?

Before going into what you can do on a personal retreat, it is important to note that you don’t have to channel your inner Steve Jobs and head to India for seven months. You only need to take a couple of days off every quarter of the year or every six months. Here’s what you can do on a personal retreat.

1- Spend Time In Nature

Nature is a great healer; it can help you focus and concentrate more effectively. Studies have shown that spending time in nature helps our minds and bodies relax. It can also help improve our creativity and problem solving abilities. 

We spend a lot of time in the office and urban environments, which can lead to sensory overload and contribute to mental fatigue. Spending time in nature is a good way to take a break from our day-to-day life. Even Bill Gates secludes himself in a cabin away from all the hustle and bustle. He uses this time to read, think, and focus.

2- Immerse In Reading

Reading is an excellent way to spend meaningful time during a retreat. Besides, there are a lot of benefits that come along with it. Reading can help improve imagination and focus. It is especially helpful for people working in creative roles. You can also improve your sleep, increase your knowledge, and reduce stress levels.

3- Explore New Places

Another thing you can do on a personal retreat is explore new places. A retreat does not mean that you should just confine yourself in a cabin for two days. Yes, spending time alone and retrospecting is a part of it, but not all of it. You should explore a new local cafe and have a hot mocha. Talk to a few locals and socialize. Try to learn a few new things, things like the history of the place you’re staying at. Explore the culture, ride a camel, and try something you’ve not done before.

You can do a lot of other stuff on a personal retreat. You can start your journey towards meditation and return as a more joyful and happy person-a person with clarity, who knows what he wants to do and achieve, who has his priorities aligned with a vision in mind and a divine power. You can tap into that divine power through meditation techniques like Yoga.


Let’s get back to where this blog post started: “the original sin.” Do we even need personal retreats? And the answer is yes, yes, we do. We can all operate like machines as much as we want. In the end, the reality is that, unlike machines, a technician can’t fix us in hours. 


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