Who says we should live by the rules?

I found out about this really interesting site/blog called Location Independent Living. It seems to be outlining how one person was able to start their own business that was not tied to a specific location (web-based, I’m guessing) and how that freed them up to do what it is they really want to be doing. In this person’s case, it seems to be to travel the world.

Check out this excerpt from the About page:

Who says you should live by the rules?

Are you fed up with having to live by the rules that say you have to work really hard, make lots of money so you can buy a house with a big mortgage that you then have to work even harder to pay off, until you can finally retire with a nice little nest egg pension…and finally start enjoying your life?

So were we…that’s why we packed in our jobs, set up our own location-independent businesses, sold our house & most of our stuff and left to travel the world indefinitely, searching for our paradise places.

I think this statement has some interesting parallels for followers of Jesus living in America today. Imagine for a moment, if we replace a few words in the last part of that statement:

Who says you should live by the rules?

Are you fed up with having to live by the rules that say you have to work really hard, make lots of money so you can buy a house with a big mortgage that you then have to work even harder to pay off, until you can finally retire with a nice little nest egg pension…and finally start enjoying your life?

So were we…that’s why we packed in our jobs, set up our own location-independent businesses, sold our house & most of our stuff and redirected our surplus of resources (time, money, creativity, etc.) towards furthering the Kingdom of God by helping those in need around us.

Granted, I don’t think we all have the know-how to setup online businesses, but the principle behind this idea, of not simply going along with the American Dream, is a good one no doubt. I haven’t heard too many Christians in America that are challenging the notion of “work really hard your entire life so that you can rest once you’re really old.”

Where’s the balance in that? There’s got to be a happy medium.

Am I taking crazy pills here? Let me know…

(HT: Lifehacker -> ZenHabits)

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6 thoughts on “Who says we should live by the rules?

  1. Interesting, I just came across this similar book: The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Hardcover)

    Amazon has the blurb and interesting editorial reviews:
    http://www.amazon.com/4-Hour-Workweek-Escape-Live-Anywhere/dp/0307353133/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1199863374&sr=8-1

    Either way, I’ll be honest I’m not sure if what these books (including your edit) propose is any better than the american dream…because ultimately they’re both take care of myself first then look to others. Maybe it’s just my idealistic viewpoint, but I’m not satisfied with the answer that it’s “how the world works” aka you need money. Even though one could argue that someone who becomes rich conventionally or by above could have a bigger sphere of influence in the world…I wonder if someone who gave their life all out with basic life needs a distant second to the kingdom would still have the greater effect.

    2 other things:
    * do you want my 19″ Flat CRT? I’m going to give it away…
    * we should hang out soon!

  2. Rob-

    Long time no see! Glad to hear from you. Don’t need the monitor, we’ve already got one like that. Thanks though! And yes, we need to get together. Our offer stands to have you over again, whenever you’re free. Just let us know, busy man! 😉

    Back on topic, I wish that we didn’t need money… but thus far I haven’t figured out how that’s possible. Aside from maybe living in a rural environment and making everything you need (growing food, etc.). So, the best thing I can think of is to do 1 of 2 things:

    1) Make more money, but spend the same as I do, so that I can give more away to help people. This might use up more of my time though, if I want to work somewhere that I can make more money.

    2) Make the same, or less money, doing something that takes up less of my time, and drastically reduce my expenses, so that I can have more surplus.

    It seems that #2 is the one that is most likely to also provide more free time, and not just free money, so that’s why I’ve resonated with that option. I think what I’ve described in this post can jive with #2 here, in that if you can quit your “normal” job, and get enough income to get by by doing something that doesn’t require as much of your time/energy, then that’s a huge net increase in resources that we can now use for the Kingdom…

    I don’t think that’s necessarily a “me-first” mentality. I think it’s actually a “me-last” mentality, cause you’re sacrificing all the luxuries of life in order to not be owned by your job or your stuff, so that you can actually make a positive impact around you…

    I think this is drastically different from that 4 hour work week book (I’ve heard a bunch about it before), in that his model is that you OUSOURCE all your work to people in India, etc. Which is definitely a me-first mentality, in that your time is better than theirs, so you dump your crap work on them so that you can go gallivant around the world… That’s a completely different animal than creatively trying to come up with a way to make money, in less time, without exploiting anyone, so that you have more free time and money to do better things, like help people….

    What do you think? We should get together so we can talk about it more… 😉

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