Humans are the only animal on the planet who trade their time for a paycheck. The other creatures sharing the planet approach life in a different way. They wake up, fill their bellies and then take the rest of the day off to hang with their friends and relax. Not us. We keeping working and working, always working, never satisfied. We are on the Hedonic Treadmill and don’t know how to get off.
What if you found out you didn’t need anything but food, basic shelter and friends to be happy? What if, once you’d earned enough to get the basics, you stopped working, or saved the excess funds so you wouldn’t have to work for most of your life? How little could you live on and be happy?
It is actually possible to live like this. Many people do.
There are different ways to approach it. Some use extreme approaches like those who follow “Extreme Early Retirement” methods and some just choose to live without money like Daniel Suelo, “The Man Who Quit Money”. Some take more moderate approaches, but still choose not to build their lives around accumulating an unnecessary excess of resources. They swap closets, drawers, garages, and storage lockers full of pointless, unnecessary excess in exchange for simplification, minimalism, and deeper meaning and happiness in life. They pursue experiences rather than things. They build positive relationships instead of material goods.
The most important thing we need to understand in order to quit our jobs sooner is that we go to work to pay for things. The less things we want, the less we need to go to work. Once you understand that “things” won’t make you happy, the sooner you can develop a new “Philosophy for Living” that doesn’t revolve around a job, but instead revolves around being truly happy, and for most people going to work is not happiness.