Do you really want to be a cog in the machine?
Have you ever wondered about your place in society? Your part in the system you live within? Have you ever wanted to do or be something different, something wild or “outside the square”, and it seems like just a crazy unachievable notion? Have you squashed those maverick thoughts, beating yourself up for not being grateful for the privileges bestowed by our “western” society?
Much of our developed world society runs on systems: the political system; the education system; the health system; the monetary system; the legal system, to name a few.
The more developed a society is, the more systems and subsystems exist.
Have you ever travelled with a group of people and no tour guide? How much slower did you go, and how much more complex did simple decisions become?!
If you sign on to a travel system such as a cruise, or a bus tour, everything is faster and simpler isn’t it! It’s all been pre-planned and pre-organized for you.
But what is the downside of this mode of travel? You have to follow the plan don’t you. You must be back at the boat by 4pm, or you’ll get left behind……
Living Off Peak
My life changed a long time ago when I read a Readers Digest article about living “off peak”. (I, like many others needed to be told that I didn’t have to do things “by the book”.) As a result there are loads of little things I now do differently – to live life on my terms, which I see as working my own machine, instead of always being a cog in someone else’s machine. I wonder if you can relate to any of these…..
I choose to be either first or last when boarding a plane. I only stand and pick up my bags when those in front of me have moved, and I can actually disembark. I don’t open my (snail) mail every day. That happens about once every two weeks, when I do it all at once – filing, paying, organising in one timeslot. I don’t shop on weekends (unless it’s a weekend market – for a few bits and pieces) because of the crowds. I choose to use a credit card for the rewards, the convenience of tracking expenses, and the buffer, but not for perpetual borrowing. I have my own business and its products, to serve my clients, rather than being a resource for another business. I have some investments in superannuation, and some outside of it, to maintain a balance of control and tax effectiveness. I don’t have all the standard “health” tests the doctor recommends, preferring to eat, move, and think well, for optimal health. I plan to never qualify for the Age Pension. My goal is to never have anything to do with Centrelink.
Get the idea?
The Sovereign Individual
Someone I know refers often to the concept of “The Sovereign Individual”. I haven’t read the book of this title, and I think there is a strong theme of being the captain of our fate, the master of our destiny, and setting up our affairs to be as independent as we can. We have a whole lot more choice than the system would have us realise.
It’s not convenient for the tour operator to let you know that they could pick you up at the next stop if you miss the boat and then get yourself there. So of course this information is not volunteered.
It’s not convenient for money management and investing to be taught in schools, since it’s such a values-driven activity, and is perceived to serve no public purpose.
It’s not convenient for the medical specialists to let you be in charge of your own health or disease management, for they would have to tell you more, explain all your options, and let you choose. Where is their power and superiority then?
If you can feel that part of you hammering on the inside saying YES – I want more autonomy, more freedom to follow my outlandish dreams, more power to make my own choices about health, wealth and happiness, then I strongly encourage you to step gracefully outside of the system in as many little ways as you can. You don’t need to be a rebel, and you don’t need to be arrogant or selfish. You don’t even need to totally reject all elements of “the system”. You just need to ask “how can I get the outcome I want in this moment, for this issue, that will make my spirit soar?”
Cogs are necessary components and I’m not suggesting there is anything wrong with them. But if you feel you are supposed to be your own power source, running your own machine, rather than a part of someone else’s then it’s time to shift. Take that step out and begin the creation of your own machine.
What is the first move you will make? Let’s get some discussion going on this one!