The Keys To Unlocking A Self-Sufficient Life
We’re all stuck on a treadmill. But this isn’t the good kind of treadmill; the kind that gets you fit and healthy. This is an oppressive and insidious treadmill. It’s a treadmill that keeps on pushing the cost of living higher and higher while the economy works against you to ensure that your wages never quite rise to meet it. Not only is this treadmill leaving us out of pocket it’s also endangering our wellbeing. We’re working harder and for longer hours than ever before while the simple prospect of paying the bills becomes increasingly untenable. Thus, we work longer hours, pull down overtime and even start side hustles to attain financial equilibrium. While this can be a great way to segue into entrepreneurship (more on that later) it’s not great for our physical or mental health. Our stress levels are at an all time high, meaning that we are sleeping less and wringing less and less enjoyment from our increasingly hectic lives. As our dwindling disposable income places more constraints on what we can do with our free time, it seems as though constant anxiety and depression are becoming the norm for most of us.
You are what you eat, and the treadmill isn’t helping there either. It makes low cost, low quality sugary, fatty, salty convenience foods easier to access than ever before while making healthy produce like fresh fruit and veggies hard to get our hands on especially if we live in a low income neighborhood. The treadmill will, if we don’t make an effort to get off it, propel us into a miserable, stressed, malnourished and ultimately short life. It’s not just us that the treadmill shows a casual disdain for either, it also cares very little about the planet. It’s happy to release pollutants into the atmosphere, leave dead zones in our oceans and raze our rainforests just to keep itself moving forward.
So, how do we get off this treadmill and live a life that’s altogether more self sufficient and less dependent on ethically bankrupt corporations, big business and the casual exploitation of the many for the capital gain of the few. The great news is that there are a number of ways in which you can do this and you can incorporate as many or as few into your lifestyle as you like. Whether you choose to completely transform your life or simply vow to make better choices as a consumer, here are some ways in which you can unlock a self-sufficient life…
Getting out of the corporate rat race
When we accept the unfair pay, unreasonable conditions and exploitative contracts imposed upon us by big business, we implicitly empower the corporations who exploit us. It doesn’t have to be this way. Whatever you do and wherever your skills, talent and passion lie, it’s more than likely that you can make a living from it on your own terms. While entrepreneurship obviously has its own challenges, trials and tribulations, it also provides you with an opportunity to change the business landscape from the inside. You can make a living on your own terms while giving your employees good working conditions, job security and proper remuneration for their efforts.
Even if starting your own business from scratch is daunting for you, it’s likely that you could earn good money taking your talents to the freelance markets, taking back your independence by working directly for those to whom you provide your services. You can charge your clients what you’re worth rather than what your corporate overlords deign to pay you. You can build up your client base freelancing in your own time as a side hustle and then slowly transition into freelancing full time thereby ameliorating some of the risk. If you’re able to work from home, so much the better, you can make a real positive difference to your carbon footprint not to mention foregoing the drudgerous commute to work and back. Speaking of the home…
Getting off the grid
Energy companies are amongst the most insidious corporations on the planet, responsible for a wide range of environmental and humanitarian disasters. Anything that you can do to mitigate your home’s reliance on them should be lauded. Of course, getting off the grid or at least reducing your reliance upon it can require some serious investment. Nonetheless, installing solar panels on your home or investing in a Silent Generator can not only make powering your home a whole lot more ethical, it can save you a small fortune in the long run. Check out this great article on the ethics and logistics behind taking your home off the grid.
Growing your own food
Whether you want to turn your home into a homestead or simply want to ensure that the produce you put in your body is organic, free of harmful chemicals and lovingly home grown it pays to grow as much of your own food as you are able. Of course, not all homes and gardens are ideally suited to growing fresh produce. Where you live can play a huge part in what you are and are not able to grow. Nonetheless, you’d be astonished at what you can do with hydroponics. While, again, this involves significant overhead costs, the longer you use it to grow your own nutritious and delicious foods the more you’ll save in the long term and the less you’ll fuel corporate greed.
Getting out of the disposable mindset
Finally, one of the most important habits you’ll need to break is the disposable mindset. We live in an age where virtually everything is so abundant that we’re keen to throw away and replace things long before we consider the benefits of repairing, rebuilding or repurposing them. Not only does this lead to a whole lot of unnecessary expenditure for us, it also tends to translate to more landfill waste and a very unhappy planet. Try and get out of the habit of treating your belongings as infinitely disposable and replaceable.
The planet will thank you for it!