My recent mini-retirement got me thinking. A lot. How can you create a life you don’t need to escape from?
Honestly, I have a lot of bumpy bus rides where I’m too nauseous to do anything except stare out of the window and try to keep my lunch inside my stomach. What do you do at these times? Right, think.
What got me thinking this time was a quote I read:
‘True self-care is not bath salts and chocolate cake, it’s making the choice to build a life you don’t need to escape from’ – Brianna Wiest
While bath salts and chocolate cake might be a good idea at times (okay, chocolate cake always), it is no true self-care in the long term.
Your goal should be to take good care of yourself at the moment AND work towards your long term goals. This quote reminds me that we should all aim to create a life we enjoy. If that feels impossible to you right now, aim to create a life that you don’t hate.
Create a life where you don’t have to purchase things to make yourself happy, a life where you look forward to things, and a life where you can pursue whatever makes you happy.
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What About My Current Life?
When I say: create a life you don’t need to escape from, I don’t mean that you have your dream job or your life should be Instagram perfect.
I mean that you’re finding ways in your current life to facilitate what you want. It doesn’t have to be big: watch that movie you like, go for a walk in the park with your dog, or spend more time with your loved ones.
Your career doesn’t have to be your passion, dream job, or whatever people call it. It should allow you to do what you enjoy in your free time and be happy with your life.
I know that work can be stressful at times. BUT your job shouldn’t leave you sacrificing things that are important to you.
It can be bad when you don’t enjoy your job. I dreaded going to work every morning. When I was there, it was okay. Going there is honestly the worst part.
Monday through Friday wasnot my favorite part of the week. Saturday is my favorite day since I can do things with friends and relax. Often times I found myself thinking about going to work on Sunday again, dreading the Monday morning.
Besides that, I started this blog to track my financial independence journey and stay accountable. I totally love blogging and it has taught me so much more than I would expect.
Every single day, blogging is the most exciting thing I do. I get up at 6 am to write my blog posts and to do some general blogging things. That’s why it’s not hard for me to get up in the morning, but believe me, it’s hard to stop writing and go to work.
Of course, this doesn’t have to be your life, blogging or working towards financial independence. But I do want to say that it’s important to look forward to most of the days in the week.
Your job doesn’t have to be your absolute passion, but it can enable you to find something you love to do in your free time outside your job.
Your job can be a stepping stone to make your life better and you can work slowly towards eliminating things in your life that don’t give you joy.
What Does A Life That You Don’t Need To Escape From Look Like?
Over the last couple of years, I’m really working towards building a life I don’t need to escape from. What that looks like for me is:
- Looking forward to most days (even if that day is a working day)
- Doing purposeful work
- Having free time for my hobbies
- Take care of myself
- Get rid of things I don’t need that clutter my mind and space
How Will I Even Reach That?
All this talk about how to create a life you don’t need to escape from reminds me of a quote that is often mentioned:
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” – Seth Godin
This quote not about how vacations are bad, they are actually very enjoyable and I like going on vacation a lot. It’s more about enjoying life every day of the week, not only when you’re on holiday or doing something fun.
It tells us that we should create a life that we enjoy. For me, when my life is a balance of all the things mentioned above – I have my ideal life.
It’s a process for sure.
I recently met someone on my trip who was working as a data scientist. She had a great salary and decided to travel for two months. After the two months were over, she called her boss to ask to extend. They couldn’t do that for her – so now she’s still traveling.
Besides that, she’s doing freelance work every once in a while now to cover her travel costs and to continue traveling. I tried to convince her to start a travel blog, as she’s already traveling for a year and she has so much information!
The point is, you can make life better in a way that suits you. Think about what gives you joy and focus on that.
Once you found the thing that brings you joy, start to eliminate stressors from your life. It can start small: get sufficient sleep every night, eat great food, go work out a few times per week, or eliminate coffee from your life.
The process is simple, but it will NOT be easy. Good things in life are mostly simple but rarely easy. Go for it!
So, How To Create A Life You Don’t Need To Escape From?
There are many ways you can start to create a life you don’t need to escape from. Start from where you are right now and make small steps from there. There are always things you can change in your life to make it a little better.
Here are the things I apply in my life to make it better:
1. Try To Figure Out What You Want
Some people will be like: how can you not know what you want?
Well for me that can be very hard at times. Especially since I used to please people all the time, putting their needs before mine. I never was listening to what I wanted, so starting with that was hard for me.
At this moment in time, I know more which direction I want to go to – but what that looks like exactly is not something I entirely figured out yet.
If you want to create a life you don’t need to escape from, knowing what you want is crucial.
If you want to figure out what you want, you can ask yourself these questions:
- What brings you joy?
- What are you passionate about?
- Can you do more of that?
- What adjustments can you make in your life that make this possible?
2. Get Rid Of Clutter
I don’t know about you, but physical things can definitely be a burden. They distract me and even stress me out.
I didn’t know how much my stuff was influencing me until I started to declutter. When I do something, I go all in. I decluttered my entire room Radical style, meaning that I sold or gave away more than half of my stuff.
I’m currently on my clothing ban as well, meaning that I don’t buy any new clothes for an entire year. Only two more weeks until I complete that – I’m extremely proud of myself.
Try decluttering and getting rid of your stuff for yourself, and you’ll notice how much freedom it gives you.
The other thing is: DON’T go and replace everything that you have decluttered for new things. That’s not the point. You are trying to live with less, not to live with new things.
3. Focus On Relationships
I found my relationships to be extremely important in this process. My friends and family are what bring me joy!
I love what kind of person I am when I’m around them. They make me feel loved and I always have the best time when I’m spending time with them.
Find your tribe, find people who support you on the quest to your goal, and you will notice that your quality of life increases significantly.
This also means that when there are people in your life you don’t feel supported by, make you feel bad about yourself, or you simply don’t connect with – try to have less of them in your life.
I’ve seen people less over the years that don’t align with where I want to go in life, that’s completely normal. Don’t feel guilty for choosing your own joy.
4. Take Care Of Yourself
By taking care of yourself I mean: focus on filling your cup first. If your cup is empty, you can’t fill the cup of others. If your cup is full, go after that fulfillment in life by helping others and being selfless.
This is primarily done by doing what feels good to you.
Try to say no to things that don’t fall under ‘things that I enjoy’. People who created a life they don’t need to escape from haven’t reached that by saying yes to everything.
If you’re having a hard time taking care of yourself, here are 18 ways you can treat yourself without breaking the bank!
5. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure
I used to be very afraid of failure. Over the years I’ve learned that failure happens, and that’s okay.
Every time you fail, you learn something. You fall forward. You reach the next level.
Being afraid of failure means that often times you don’t even try. You give up on your goals before you even started.
Wouldn’t you rather try something and fail, or would you rather be thinking about if your idea would have worked?
6. Don’t Give Up
Great things often require you to work hard. To put in a lot of work. You might work long hours, have multiple jobs, started a side hustle, help your family, and more.
It’s hard work, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up. Go for it! Do that thing you always wanted!
How are you planning to create a life you don’t need to escape from?
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