It’s almost ridiculous. Everyone is talking about the world changing, things getting worse, pollution, waste, crime and economy. The largest part of the world is circling the drain, and we are far over the maximum number of human beings that our earth can sustain. We are consuming more than the earth can supply in terms of water, food and other non-renewable resources. A keen eye, open-mind and a bit of self-study should go a long way in convincing the simplest of folk; it is a fact. Fortunately, various keystone organisations and commoners alike are understanding the meaning of “limiting growth”. This is thus, understanding your self-imposed constraints.
This post is not about trying to convince anyone about the limits, the consequences or when they will occur. There’s a tonne of articles out there on the topic, and readers here are apt enough to know this! 🙂
Here is the thing, though! You are limiting yourself. We are limiting ourselves and the directions we could take by considering only the status quo. Like a road car on a smooth road, you are following a path pre-fabricated for you. It connects your origin to your destination and all you need to do is turn the steering wheel to stay on it. Smooth, an occasional bump or pothole, and some minor insignificant forks where you can go right or left. You will reach your planned destination, and you will see nothing more than the scenery along this road that someone else paved for you. Simple, boring and dangerous. This is the life of the bulk of people on earth.
We live our lives, programmed into us by parents, educational institutions, governments and religions. We have no willpower to consider living any other way, because it could get us ostracised, hurt or criticised. A free man is the enemy of the system. It means less tax into the coffers of fat cats, less fear, uncertainty and doubt about disease and suffering, medical aids and the sausage-machine which is the educational system (basically stamping out duplicates to replace the previous tax paying drones). Some may have attempted to get off this road but as soon as you got your first proverbial flat-tyre, you were soon “helped” back on to the road and ridiculed by closed-minded and jealous friends and family. It is what it is, so what can you do?
You can do anything, if you open your eyes and consider that you are a free man, free woman, with limited time and a lot to invest – which could be something other than money. If you drive to work, and pay attention to everyone else leaving their homes in cars, both of which you “have to have” apparently, then you probably noticed how stupid it looks. Thousands of worker ants, all following rules imposed on them by something, having to be away from family and kids, so that they could pay the debts they incurred to get to work. It sounds harsh, but this is what we are doing. We sleep when they tell us to sleep, we watch and believe what they tell us in the media, we eat what they say we can eat and we look past the opportunity to live free lives. Learn from your mistakes before it is too late.
- Your time is yours, whether you use it to rest, or work
- You work as hard as you need to, because all outcomes are yours (as opposed to most of them going to your employer)
- You do what you can, physically and emotionally, without being forced into moral, ethical, physical or psychological hardship out of necessity
- You sleep and wake up as per your personal chronotype, which results in better physical and mental health
- You may live free with savings, or independent of them – choice means choice of how much income you need
- Free comes with de facto independence. Dependencies are bad, like any crutch or vice in life.
- Travel time can be eliminated or shortened because you choose what you need, how much and when.
- You stop buying chemical, mass produced rubbish and either grow more fresh food or trade with other free folks.
- You consider freeing yourself from large insurances and ‘what ifs’. A simpler life where you have less wants, and only needs, means you have less to protect.
- More free time, outside of the work you already love doing for yourself, yields more productive hobbies and activities with the family.
- Real freedom means you can break any rule, anything you read here and still morph your situation into something YOU want.
I continued this article by writing about the ‘but i have debt’ and ‘i cannot just quit’ stuff. After a few words, I deleted it. Everyone’s got their own situations, own dreams and passions. The thing that keeps everyone stuck is the lack of decision-making, the lack of powering through and just making a change, and the fear of giving up material things. This is your burden to carry, and only you can decide how to go ahead. Approach, plan and action – without the analysis-paralysis. Again, self-imposed constraints and excuses are synonymous.
What happens next is anyone’s guess. I am on the doorstep of this leap; I feel it coming along. I have a plan, but life is not compatible with plans. Whatever I do will be met with new challenges, and ones I did not think about it. It really is a journey, and I will make it work. Like you, I am stuck on the last step and I just need to make that leap. I hope I can write about it in a few months, once I overcome my own self-imposed constraints 🙂
Thank you for sticking through with a post that was a little abrasive and to the point, but it needed saying. There is nothing more energy-draining than whining or dreaming about something and then never going for it. Life as we know it is not the only way, in fact, it should not even be this way. If you take one thing from this post, then it should be this: If we’re not making progress towards our life goals, no one is to blame but ourselves. Period.