I apologize if this post is a bit lengthy.
So this morning at about 1:30 am I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. I decided to start my day then, so I spent some time meditating, and then I just laid in bed listening to music and thinking about my life. I thought about work and just how much of my time I spend with work. In a given 24 hr weekday (mon-fri) I spend about 16 hrs a day working or doing things related to work. I have 2 part time jobs. Between actual working hours, transportating to/from work/ from one job to the next, getting ready for work in the morning/ getting ready for the next day of work at night, all of that adds up to about 16 hours. I get about 6 hours of sleep a night. That leaves me with 2 hrs of free time a day. 2 FUCKING HOURS a day. I do usually have Saturday and Sunday off.
My next thoughts consisted of why I put myself through this. I work 2 shitty part time jobs because I went to college with no idea of what I wanted to do. I graduated with a degree in Psychology, which you really can’t do anything with unless you go back to school which I’m not ready to do.
Then I started thinking about the world and society in general. Most people talk about “working hard” and how it will pay off later. And i do work very hard. But what exactly are we working hard for? For money. And why do we need money? To buy shit.
Now I take full responsibility for my life and the choices I make/ don’t make. I don’t blame anyone else for the situation I’m in. If I knew what I wanted to do, maybe I wouldn’t be working low paying/ long hour jobs. But then I started thinking about the people we consider “rich” or “wealthy”. They make a lot of money but they’re still working. Why aren’t they making a lot of money and not working anymore? All my thoughts boiled down to one thing: consumerism.
We are brainwashed into this system since the day we’re born and the vast majority of people dont realize it. We work to buy shit we really don’t need. We’re constantly being advertised things and are lead to believe we need them when we don’t. The “reality” shows on tv that glamorize celebrities living these extravagant lives, the mainstream music with these artists constantly glamorizing being rich and having all these material things, and obviously commercials. They all advertise to us. They reinforce materialism and the need to define who you are with material things.
Take the PS4 and the X Box One for example. The majority of video game players have perfectly fine & working XBox 360s & PS3s but they are going to get rid of these systems to buy the newer ones coming out because they believe that they need them. Same thing with iPhones. A new one comes out and people will get rid of their “old, outdated” iPhone that works just fine to get the new one. Why?
The craziest thing about the system we live in is that you HAVE to buy into it. You can’t have food & water or have shelter without working. You can not work but you’ll be homeless. You need some form of income.
So anyway, I’ve decided to quit both of my jobs next month to go backpacking thru Europe and Egypt. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t want to work hard my entire life with this dream of retiring at 65 when im old and near death. I don’t want to help make rich people, who dont care about me, get richer. Also, i dont need most of this material shit. Since I have to work, I rather be my own boss and create my own hours. I dont have any concrete plans yet but I think I want to start my own business or get a job where I can set my own hours around my schedule, like a clinical psychologist.
There have been other posts on this site about living on $10K a year and at first, i thought it was ridiculous. But after some thought, it is very doable. So I guess the main thing I realized is that I don’t have to work so hard after all. I can do the things that i want to do and truly live the life that i want to, not the life i think im supposed to live because everyone else is living that life. I don’t care about the “image” I have in society. My occupation or the things i own dont define who I am.
Thanks for reading.
This sounds like the last 7 years of my life. I spent the last 7 years traveling the world, working a part time job and saving money so that I could go travel again.
Take it from me – when you know what you want to do, you’ll know. When you figure out your passion in life and what you were born to do, that’s what you’ll want to work hard for. In the meantime, go see the world. It will make you a different person and make you appreciate everything and everyone so much more. Traveling is the only thing I never felt bad about spending money on. It will enrich your life in ways nothing else can.
Enjoy your travels sir. Best of luck to you.
@krkrich, Excellent post, I’ve been thinking about the same thing and I too realized that I wanted to travel while I’m young and able instead of working until retirement.
It’s interesting that you mentioned the PS4 and Xbox One because I was thinking the exact same thing, and even when the next gen consoles come out they will still be releasing the big titles for the PS3 and Xbox 360 so its pointless to drop 500$ on the brand new consoles. When I mentioned this to some friends of mine they were shocked, it never occurred to them that they didn’t really need to buy the new consoles, I guess that’s a good example of the brainwashing you were talking about.
People are so conditioned these days to think certain ways and do certain things and they don’t even realize it. Like the other day I was watching one of the newer episodes of American Dad and normal I enjoy the show but I keep notice subtle amounts of racism and things that enforces conformity. I ended up turning it off after about ten minutes because it was so obvious that the show was trying to manipulate the way that I think.
Your on the right track. We as humans tend to get caught up in this world we live in. I can not stress how much that this is not the lives we are supposed to be living. The universe doesn’t care about your job, your fancy car, your facebook status or anything. So if its not all these things that we were told to do or go by by our society then what is it? That is a question that you have to answer for yourself.
Tabula Rasa meaning blank slate in Latin, is the epistemological theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that their knowledge comes from experience and perception
I definitely agree with this because unless you experience something you don’t actually know what your perception on it is.
hey man. i cannot express to you over words how much i feel what you’re saying right now.
dont judge it by its cover (seems like cheesy marketing) but the book “The 4 Hour Workweek” really gave me a lot of insight into this issue. Cannot recommend this book enough.
Jordan Lejuwaan, the founder of HE, is working on the Valhalla Project which relates to this issue for sure.
Personally, I’m working on figuring out connections to find a job that suits my current lifestyle, and pays me enough to be secure while I figure out a way to make lots of money with minimal time investment after income starts flowing. While I’m still living at home which saves rent, I’m figuring out how to buy my own RV to live in, for a few reasons:
1. I can travel across North America, and to an extent, live where I want
2. Low cost of living
3. I won’t just be throwing money at an apartment for rent, never actually owning anything.
4. It can actually be a nice place to live if you choose right… for 50,000 you can buy a 5th wheel RV and you’re set
Message me if you wanna talk more man, we’re on the same page.
@thunderfeet, thank you. I wish that when these new video game consoles release, no one buys them. I would love to see what would happen. Lol. Of course that won’t happen. It just makes me so sad how people just want to stay current and be in on the latest thing when you really don’t need to. It doesn’t matter. But I’ve just about completely stopped watching tv. Except for an occasional sports game. It literally disgusts me and when I look at the time in my life that I waste sitting in front of the tv, it makes me even more sick
@Jpongo6, I totally agree with you. This really isn’t the life were supposed to live. People have this false sense of fulfillment that they believe that they need to satisfy. What will it take for people to wake up & realize that we don’t have to live like this?
@themoment, thanks for responding to my post. I will definitely check that book out this summer. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve heard about the Valhalla project on here but I don’t really know too much about it so ill do some research on that as well. I will message you to talk.
I feel you completely. I just graduated from college with an English degree, and my entire focus is set upon creating an alternative lifestyle that will allow me to do work I love and travel the world.
There are more possibilities than ever before, honestly. I’m working for AmeriCorps this summer as a camp counselor. I find it rewarding to be helping kids, but I’m still in Lincoln, Nebraska, where I went to school.
However, in August, I’m heading to Busan, South Korea to teach English for at least one year. I’d recommend you look into teaching English abroad. Another option is WWOOFing (http://www.wwoofusa.org/), which stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. You can work basically anywhere in the world. You work four or five hours per day on an organic farm, and they pay for your housing and food, so all you have to pay for is traveling expenses. I’m considering WWOOFing in Europe or South America after I leave South Korea.
Another option I recently found out about is working on a cruise ship. I talked to a girl from London who works on a Carnival cruise ship right now that travels from Seattle to Canada and Alaska. She gets $1,800 per month and doesn’t have to pay for food or living expenses. She said the position was easy to get and that you sign a 6-month contract, so it isn’t something that has to be long-term. I’m considering doing something like that to Australia down the road.
Finally, I’d recommend you do some brainstorming in the way of online entrepreneurship. Derek Halpern is one name that comes to mind when I think of your situation. He just had a psych degree and started socialtriggers.com, one of the most successful blogs about, well, blogging. Basically he gives marketing advice that incorporates psychological research studies. There are a million and one ways to make things happen with the Internet. It takes time, energy, and dedication, though. I’m in the process of establishing an online stream of income with my blog, Refine The Mind.
Hope this helps you. You sound a bit discouraged, but keep this in mind: Your disillusionment with the ‘American Dream’ (or as I like to think of it, the American Nightmare) is a monumental step toward freeing yourself from the hampster wheel of consumerism. All I can stress to you is to get damn passionate about something and make it your fucking mission to beat the system and to live on your own terms. If you do that and refuse to quit, no amount of capitalist propaganda can defeat you.
Best of luck, my friend.
@bashfulkoala, thank you for your feedback.
When I was nearing graduation, Americorp was the 1st idea I came up with. I really wanted to move to New York so I applied for a couple of different positions there but didn’t get chosen for any. They sent me information about other locations in the US that could use help, but at the time, I wasn’t open to moving somewhere that wasn’t New York. Since then, I kind of threw Americorp into the back of my mind but I think I will look into it again now that I have a different mindset.
Recently, I have been doing some research on teaching overseas but one of the things I keep running into is how difficult it is for black people to get and keep jobs out there. From my research, it seems like while it isn’t impossible to teach overseas, they generally prefer white Americans.
Working on an organic farm and the Carnival Cruise ship idea sound very interesting and I will definitely look into both of them. I guess the most important thing for me to do at this point is to figure out what exactly my passion is.
Again, thanks for the advice!
Great vibe and insight from this topic. I’m currently checking out my options for WWOOFing in Hawaii or California. Never thought about cruise lines. Couldn’t find any recruiting partners based in the U.S. though.
The one thing that we know that will help the cause is to speak and practice the word. I for one can easily identify someone I meet in life who’s merely existing, not living. One thing that those people usually notice about me is that I’m living life. The spark of life is dim in those who have fallen victim to what they’ve been force fed their entire lives as being “normal life.” However, every soul on this planet that hasn’t started to figure out that something is amiss at least has that nagging emptiness in the back of their minds. The beautiful thing is when they meet people like us who have figured out what that emptiness is, they KNOW that we have something they don’t, and they start watching. Watching turns to participating, individual participation turns into a social revolution, and social revolution heralds in a change of normal. Grab a hold folks, things are starting to get interesting, and you haven’t seen anything yet.
I’d like to offer a bit of insight to the idea of newer is better.
One possible reason most are drawn towards this mindset could be competition. A disturbingly large amount of people are fascinated with being 1st, or at least not getting beat. So when it comes to who has the newest stuff, it’s a way of who is “winning.” A lot of my friends don’t understand how I have such great luck at card games. I tell them it’s all about having fun. They say they like to win, I say I like to play. Who is going to have more fun? You can’t “win” every time…
This is exactly how I’ve been feeling for the past year. I’ve gone through one year of college so far for degrees that I “won’t be able to do anything with” (Dance, Philosophy, and Poly Sci) And after this past year, I realized that after I graduate, I’m just going to travel around the US, live out of my car and audition for different dance companies.(Theme parks like Disneyworld provide housing) And I really want to go to California and see New York and such. I could never see myself with a “real” 9 to 5 job.
@krkrich, the cheapest, and most convenient way to live in the US that I have discovered so far is to invest in an awesome RV/camper, and join a YMCA.
Not only will you have no mortgage, but you can take your entire pad with you anywhere, while enjoying the ability to stack money as your only bills will be basic necessities. You can work out/shower at the Y and your camper should have everything else.
I keep hearing about people trying to wing it and live in tents and beg and shit just so they don’t have to work, but fuck that there’s nicer ways to have a fulfilling life, that’s inexpensive, and allows you to pick up and go whenever you feel like it. Not to mention you can park your camper at the airport and travel whenever/wherever. I’m 99% sure you could live this way with under 10k a year, assuming you don’t want to have an entire family to support or crazy expensive hobbies.
Anyway, I hope you find what you’re seeking, I’m in the exact same boat as you but decided to continue the psyc degree and hit up grad school after all. Living minimally has always been an extreme interest of mine, and someday (maybe after I get my masters) I will definitely look into it. Consumerism pisses me off to no end, it wasn’t until I accumulated a mass of shit I don’t need that I finally started to realize I don’t want to trade my life for material things
Peace and good luck
@justinr, living in a RV sounds like such an experience and great adventure yet it kind of scares me. I guess because I’ve been so conditioned to think living in a RV, and not an apartment or house, is like being close to homeless. But it’s really not. It would allow me to move out of my parents house and save a lot.
The whole living in a tent and begging thing sounds like giving up. I don’t want to work but begging other people to give you things doesn’t seem like a solution.
Thank you for your response and good luck to you as well.
@howardholmes, thank you for that website. I will also look into it and see what I can find.
@krkrich, Things are set up so a fraction of our society can want for nothing, enjoy their paradise of excess while the rest of us battle for the table scraps that we are conditioned to believe will give us some level of satisfaction.
It used to be that the best things in life were free but that has been put to an end, now the only way to be free is to have nothing, want nothing, but even that will cost you to a degree.
Instead it can only come down to being who you want to be, embrace your nature and find where it can exist with the least external resistance.
,. But then I started thinking about the people we consider “rich” or “wealthy”. They make a lot of money but they’re still working. Why aren’t they making a lot of money and not working anymore? ”
Because they enjoy their job…
It’s their hobby. They work, because they enjoy it.
You cant even imagine this.
@bigdadi91, A lot of it is about work ethic and pride. Older generations have a strong work ethic that demands they do their best.
People also like to feel useful for as long as they are capable, it has little to do with how much money they have amassed or about how much they enjoy their work, it is about a sense of feeling lazy when they don’t have to be.
My dad is retired but he does house work all day, it’s not because he enjoys it. He doesn’t have to do so much either, we would all pick up the slack if he wanted to stop.
@bigdadi91, I agree with you. Maybe one of the reasons is that they love their job. On the other hand, in general, people who make more money buy more expensive shit. Bigger house, more expensive car(s), etc. So they keep working so they can continue to be able to afford this lifestyle of material things. I also agree with @trek79, on the older generation and it being a thing of pride. I don’t think there’s really one general reason. It’s a mix of many things.
@bono95zg, lol nothing is wrong with the new consoles. It’s just the fact that people feel like they NEED to have it. And then they make it so that you have to upgrade to a new console. They’re going to eventually stop producing new games for the 360 & PS3 so you’ll be out of luck or forced to upgrade
@tangledupinplaid21, Hey! Yeah, I went to school at UNL and am still in Lincoln for this summer. Nice to virtually make the acquaintance of another HE person from Nebraska. I know one other friend who lives in Lincoln that uses HE, but I doubt there are too many in NE!