Have you heard about this… and no, I’m not talking about checking out of a hotel. Although the concept in it’s most simplistic form is the same.
What I’m referring to is checking out of the norm, checking out of the societal expectations, and checking out period. If you have read the book Atlas Shrugged, you’ll understand this. The first line of the book is “Who is John Galt?“. A question that gets answered, but only once you are about 2/3rds the way through the some 1000 pages. In effect John Galt checked out. He saw what the societal/governmental expectations were and he decided to checked out. He decided that no longer was he going to play by the rules. Rules he thought made no sense, but also that confined him in such a way that it stifled his creativity and freedoms. He instead took that energy and those ideas, and he decided to build his own society. He brought together the brightest minds and those with passion and drive to build a grassroots society one that is not confined by rules that stifle creativity and one that fosters an environment where there is mutual benefit, instead of being taxed for those ideas.
I think you get the picture. Considering that Atlas Shrugged was written by Ayn Rand in 1957, this is hardly a new concept. Although, I think that when Atlas Shrugged was written, it likely flew in the face of the general populous and was likely regarded with disdain for the method in which John Galt stopped the motor of society.
That was then… So Fast Forward to today. Recently a movie has been made from the book (part 1 at least). And I can’t help but look around and observe. There are more and more people I know that are either doing it, or thinking about it. Yes, checking out. They are tired of the societal expectations, they are tired of the big corporations dictating the schedule of their work lives. Now I know I said previously I would limit my usage of the word “they”, so let me just say, I know friends and other acquaintances. These are people that have been contributing members of society. These folks have families and they are well respected, however these folks have reached a limit. Don’t believe me ? Go do a search on it. I found several examples of this. Folks that have decided they’ve had enough of living in cubes, or where it didn’t matter how much money, clothes, cars, etc they had… Happiness wasn’t there. So instead of trying to go for more, the decision was to figure out what enough was, and then live at that level. And when I say live, I mean changing job/careers/life to be at that level.
Would you still want to work ? Would you want to pursue other interests ? Be more creative… paint, play a musical instrument, travel … Ultimately what would you like to do ? Interesting concept huh ? Well I’m not taking away your financial obligations, and sorry to burst your bubble on that one… but you have it within you to do exactly that. I recently came across a website where a couple decided they were going to take a year off. Yes 365 days. This couple decided to take 2 years to save for their 1 year off. A plan was made via spreadsheet, and options of the level of comfort were outlined. Here is one such example
This couple decided that a specific amount per day was going to be budgeted for and they figured they could live within those means. This couple also felt that they could likely travel for longer than a year, because they felt they could live on less than what was allocated. To them, every dollar not spent, meant more time away. I don’t know this couple, I’ve only read their stories from their blog. One thing, it’s not that difficult to find examples exactly like this. (if you want, this is their website)
Yes, I get that the internet has made information like this readily accessible. However it makes me think there are some many options out there. If you aren’t truely happy in what you are doing… then exploring those options is not only something you should investigate and consider. You owe it to yourself to evaluate the idea…. what would it hurt if you did a trial check out period. Maybe a year off would be a good start…
I think I’ll open up my spreadsheet.