Someone recently said that they liked what I’m doing but couldn’t work out what my motivations were. A really good question as it turns out – in responding I had to think it through.
I’ve always been what I optimistically refer to as self employed. This has taken many forms, and usually been a struggle. For a few brief years I had a ‘real’ job, which after being my own boss seemed easy, and relatively free from the responsibilities I’d had. Having walked into the trap, I came very close to picking up the bait (in the form of a mortgage), at which point the door would have shut behind me, and escape would have been nigh impossible.
Luckily though I resisted temptation (it seemed so grown up), and by the end of my stint as production manager, I was desperate to get out and be my own boss again. The next few years of financial struggle were hard, but still better than the 8am to 6pm treadmill.
Even before I stumbled across Simon Dale’s website and then Lammas, I had the realisation that the path to real freedom lay beyond the earn to live mentality. At the time those around me refused to see it, but the idea was there, in my head, and I couldn’t let it go.
I’m a practical person, and growing my own food, making my own furniture, my own woodburner, my own tools, my own shelter, felt easy, and completely natural. I enjoyed the feeling of being empowered by creating my own reality.
I’ve said to a number of students that have come here – stop trying to earn more – start trying to need less.
It sounds obvious, but its easily done, and yet so few people do it. Forget needing to earn money to pay huge oil bills, for expensively packaged food from M&S, driving a nice new car, wearing those designer shoes, having that lavish wedding. Let it go.
Ask yourself – what are my needs? For me it was somewhere to live, that is warm, dry, comfortable. Oh and I need an internet connection. Everything else is a bonus.
Maybe it is cultural? A group of students visited today and some were interested, but only one lad really ‘got it’. Where was he from? Samoa. Make what you will of that.
So my motivations:
- To live in a place that I have created. That follows my rules. One that I have shaped.
- To have time to be.
- To use my energy to work when necessary to meet the needs of my family. Not some bank.
- To be resilient.
- To remember that I have free will, and that if I am unhappy with a situation, to exercise that free will.
- To live within my means.