As the end of the academic year (and summer) approaches, our lab recently organised a retreat that provided a valuable opportunity for introspection and personal development. Throughout the day, our discussions revolved around the purpose of our research and its broader societal implications. We were very fortunate to welcome guest speakers, Jonas Wachner from the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Kim Hoeks from Nijmegen Gemeente, who shared their insights on applied (behavioural) research and the practical application of our findings for the betterment of society. Moreover, we dedicated time to exploring the fundamental steps and skills necessary for a successful academic career. The retreat served as a great source of motivation and focus for our lab members and their research.