Up until a couple of years ago I had a series of rat race jobs. I had bosses, deadlines, stress, car repayments and a mortgage. I knew there had to be better lifestyles than the one I was leading. I’ve been online since about 1997 and was immediately fascinated by it. Then after a couple of years I began to realise that people could earn a living online.
I read a lot about how to make a living online but there was always some ebook I had to read or some course I had to do or some piece of software I had to buy. I suffered from information overload on a couple of occasions and went off-line for long periods to clear my head.
Always, their seemed some piece of the puzzle missing and earning an income online became an elusive dream. I had a very stressful day job and often I simply did not have the energy to put into an online business. Long periods of time would pass where I could only dream of leading a better lifestyle and leaving the rat race behind.
Then the recession of 2009 hit and I lost my rat race job. The decision to leave the rat race was made for me. This blog is about how I escaped the rat race and survived to lead a better lifestyle.
When I first lost my job my health was a mess. I was overweight and depressed from years of continual work and financial stress. I decided that my health was my most important asset so I started walking and bicycle riding every day and only eating one meal a day.
I read a book called “Selling Used Books Online” and decided to start my own business selling used books. I didn’t make a fortune every week but it was enough to pay the rent and feed myself.
It was a part-time business so it gave me plenty of free time.
Around the same time I got into and decided to de-clutter my life by selling my house, car and most of my household goods. I was sick of the work consume treadmill and wanted to stay off it. I simplified my finances and no longer wanted to be weighed down by material possessions. I wanted the freedom to mover where I like when I like.
I still looked at other online business models but none of them really suited me. Then I stumbled upon Rosiland Garner’s Affiliate Blogger Pro site. Click here to learn more. She was teaching affiliate blogging. I could write and I wanted to sell digital products online. So I joined the site and have been slowly been able to build up my income. I even liquidated the used books I had and closed my used book business. Now I have no work stress, no financial problems and my office is 100 metres from the beach.
The best thing I like about being retired is that you have no bosses, no goals and no deadlines. Even if you have to have goals and deadlines, you are the one who set them so you can delete or modify them at will.
After being retired for a while, you realise that the more goals and deadlines you set yourself, the most stress you will have in your life. I like drifting through the week with no set agenda. Every time I find myself setting goals, I review them and delete as many of them as I can. This gives me free time. I like free time.
You are the only one in charge of you, so why not make life as simple and relaxing as possible. I find the less goals I have, the more time I spend in solitude and peace. When that happens, the more creative I become. I would much rather make money by being creative than productive. Ask any creative person, peace and solitude are prerequisites for the creative process. Whether it be writing, music or art.
Our society brainwashes the young into believing that they must set goals and deadlines in order to achieve in life. What society does is create a lot of productive robots. If half of them had an original thought it would be lonely. The education system mainly teaches rules with little time to nurture creativity.
Most teachers are non-creative people turning out productive robots. Creative people are not attracted to the teaching profession where they have to repeat the same information year after year. If they are a creative person they soon get out of the teaching profession.
A lot of creative people find their creative talents by accident during times of their life when they don’t have to study or produce. They have plenty of time on their hands so they start to create. Original work needs plenty of time to be created.
The more people that realise they don’t need bosses, goals and deadlines, the more creative society will become. Bosses, goals and deadlines is very left brain consciousness, very logical, rational and judgemental. When you eliminate these concepts from your mind and realise all you need to do is enjoy the moment and entertain yourself, you enter alpha consciousness, very creative, intuitive and imaginative.
Society needs plenty of creative, intuitive and imaginative people to keep evolving. Otherwise things would stagnate and nobody wants a stagnant society.
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The first two things I did when I entered “retirement mode” a couple of years ago were eat when I’m hungry and sleep when I’m tired. I realised that I no longer had to comply with the 9 to 5 routine so there was no need for set meal times or sleep times. I stopped wearing a watch. Now there is only night time or day time.
The next thing I did was get rid of my phones, the landline and the mobile. These are the greatest “intrusions of privacy” ever invented. Now my day is uninterrupted and I can get on with my business. All my communication with outside world is done via email. Email is great, I can send messages when I want and answer messages when I want.
The other thing I did was avoid the rat packs. I hate queues and crowds. I do my errands and shopping “off peak”, usually mid morning or mid afternoon on week days when the kids are in school and the adults are at work.
I avoid the pubs and clubs during week-ends, especially Friday and Saturday nights. There are more hospital admissions and police call outs on Friday and Saturday nights than any other times during the week.
Once you enter “retirement mode”, the routine of the rat packs is very predictable. Most of them are running loose on week-ends so this is when I do my work. Week days are when I enjoy my time off free from crowds and queues. The only thing you have to remember during week days is to avoid peak hours of traffic. This is usually 7am to 9am and 3pm to 6pm.
I live about 100 yards from the beach so the rat pack arrives on hot week-end days during summer. About the only good thing is there are usually a lot of bikini girls. I’m not a prude so if they want to flaunt their bodies in public that is ok by me.
The only thing about lots of bikini girls is that they attract lots of young ratbag drivers in hotted up cars. They think the only way to attract the attention of the bikini girls is to screech tyres going around a corner or do burn-outs. I’m sure the bigger the car they have the smaller their brains.
Then there are the Harley bike riders who do laps. I’m sure they don’t have mufflers on Harley motor bikes. Maybe that’s the attraction to them. By the end of some week-ends in summer, the locals are glad to see the end of the rat pack.
I adopted a minimalist lifestyle a couple of years ago when I lost my rate race job. I realised that I had accumulated a lot of chattels that I no longer used or needed. They were taking up space and collecting dust.
So I had a series of garage sales and also sold some items on ebay. What I was eventually left with were a few items that nobody wanted. So I gave them away to charity organisations. It was one of the best things I ever did. I realised that they were just a burden to me as I would have to store them or pay to move them if I wanted to travel.
I also had a car that I needed when I had a rat race job. When I decided to retire and be a part-time writer, I decided to sell the car. It was a depreciating asset that I no longer needed. I sold it through the local paper and have been getting around by public transport and bicycle ever since. I don’t miss the expense, ratbag drivers, police harassment or traffic jams.
When I first retired I was overweight. I had been overweight for a couple of decades and had tried high protein diets, low calorie diets and more exercise without any success. Then I noticed that a friend of mine who had been retired for over a decade only had one meal a day and kept his weight in check by this simple habit. So I decided to give it a try. I limited my meals to one square meal a day and maybe a snack or two if I was particularly hungry.
I also walked or rode a bicycle for just a half an hour a day. I lost two stone within three months and have kept my weight down ever since. It was a great feeling being able to get rid of my old wardrobe and buy a few good quality clothed instead. Now I have more energy and eat only when I am hungry instead of at regular meal times. When you get older and lead a more relaxed lifestyle you don’t need to eat three meals a day.
When I got rid of all the excess chattels out of my life I knew there was no point in replacing them with another set of chattels. Now I make a list of groceries I need every fortnight, go to the supermarket and get them and then leave immediately. If there is anything else I think I want to purchase it goes on my wish list for at least a month.
I find by using this method many of the items I thought of buying were just a “want of the week”. After waiting a minimum of one month I usually have no desire for them as my circumstances have changed. I have completely eliminated impulse buying. One of my favourite mantras is “I like the bhuddistic calm of having money in the bank.”