Returning home to the biggest ‘work’ lie
Our home is the UK, but is it the best place to be?
We’ve been back in the UK a couple of weeks now and there’s something we have noticed which we just didn’t come across once while on our Home Exchange adventure. And it’s come up so often already that it’s really made us pause and consider.
Everyone has to do things they don’t like, right?
Since being home it’s been really apparent how many people are unhappy with the jobs they have got, or are desperately looking for a job which they are quick to explain they are likely to dislike even if they are ‘lucky’ enough to get it. For those in work, too many are dissatisfied with the hours, demands or money. But they daren’t rock the boat because just behind them is a queue of people ready to jump into their slot with indecent haste given half a chance. The culture that has been created leaves a nasty taste and reminds us a) why we avoid the news media so deliberately b) why we chose to leave our families, home and familiar environment so damn often.
But even with all the negative influences, why are so many people not only willing to accept but prepared to talk themselves into desperately wanting something they already know won’t make them happy? Why are they clinging to situations which are making them miserable?
Taking risks to find greater contentment
One of the subtle differences about people you meet on the road and those that you return to is that the first group have taken some risks.
Is taking a risk worth seeing sunsets like this?
They’re not living a life of freedom and adventure because a genie granted them three magic wishes. They are there because they made difficult decisions, took choices that most people thought they were mad to even consider and took some major anxiety producing risks. The result? Of course, some of them have less money than they’d had in their old life. But instead they’re waking up with the sun on their faces, with a clean slate of a day ahead with which they can swim in a mountain side lake, find serenity in an incense filled temple or drink 50 cent fruit shakes while replying to emails from a leafy cafe. It seems to mean more than a fancy car which they have big monthly payments for, the ‘security’ of a stressful job and the sense that they are working all hours of the week so they have somewhere to collapse at the weekend in peace before the whole thing starts over again on Monday.
The contrast with people back home is that it seems like people are making choices because they have been worn down into believing that that’s just the way it has to be. I’m starting to really understand the term wage slave. It’s easy to think you have freedom, but unless you are really exercising that privilege, it seems a lot like you don’t.
Decisions based on fear often aren’t your best
So why do some people take those risks and others make their decision based on fear? Surely, there must be similarities in what they have to lose? Most people don’t have a big financial safety net. Most people have responsibilities. So why do some people risk all that for something better, while others retreat further into their shell of discontent? There’s a theory of motivation which describes how some people are more compelled towards pleasure whilst others main motivating force is the avoidance of pain. Are we letting an innate impulse for pain avoidance lock us into a more insidious discomfort after all?
It’s perfectly natural to attach a sense of security to things we actually have limited control over, a regular wage, scraping by, and a job when others don’t have one. As much as we might not like what we have now, it seems better than the unknown. But that thinking is flawed- sometimes the devil you know isn’t better at all.
Amazing times to live in
People are still waiting for others to give them jobs, for great opportunities to appear in the job ads or through promotion at work. But there are a wealth of opportunities to take a lot more control over your destiny, if your desire to change your circumstances is strong enough. We live in a time that offers us an unprecedented and remarkable opportunity to carve out a different life.
You CAN genuinely run an internet business from a beach
The internet has opened doors to which weren’t even conceivable to generations before us. At what other time could we decide we want to be travel writers- and do it? To run our own consultancy- and do it? To take off and travel for a year- and still earn a living? To decide ourselves what we can offer- and find the people we can help- without anyone else dictating how or where or what we should do? And we aren’t special; we are just playing at business, screwing up on a regular basis but learning as we go. We took risks, and whether we succeed or fail spectacularly, it’s down to us. It’s a good feeling.
See what’s really there
Within the unknown lies a wealth potential. It may not be easy, it may represent a long and difficult path, but surely taking steps towards something which might be wonderful is better than staying stuck in something you already know is not? If we insist on ignoring what’s at our finger tips and limiting our options, despite all the evidence to the contrary, we may as well still be living in a period where we truly didn’t have any choices. Irrespective of what everyone may tell you, now is NOT that time.
Are you changing the way you live?
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