This is the second part of a two-part series. If you missed the first part, read it here
Here is how we finished the first part:
A new era sounds pretty dramatic, but really, it’s not, not really. With the pass of time, comes change, this is inevitable. Sometimes, when the conditions are just right. When that pressure towards tipping point has finally reached the outer limits of the vacuum it’s confined too, a great change occurs. A change of such magnitude, that the mechanics of a society collapse and begin to rebuild themselves a new. How it gets rebuilt is entirely determined by the people within the society. We determine which parts of the old machine can be used to build the new one, and which ones should be thrown away.
When this happens, we call it more than just change, we call it a ‘new area’. What differentiates change from an era is how far removed the society is, from what it was.
So, the big question is, ‘how can we prepare?’
1. Get Some Perspective
It is very easy to fall into the trap of despair and depression because of one’s own problems. But really, how big are your problems?
The truth is, humans are exceptionally good at finding problems. In fact, we are so determined to find them that we can find problems tomorrow in something we deemed perfect only last year!
Researchers took several hundred volunteers into a laboratory and gave them a simple task. They had to look at a series of computer-generated faces and then decide which ones seem “threatening.”.
The faces had been carefully designed by researchers to range from very intimidating to very harmless.
Over time, the researchers showed them less and less threatening faces until only the very harmless faces were shown to the volunteers. But, the number of ‘threatening’ faces identified by the volunteers did not change at all.
It turns out as people are confronted with fewer problems, they expand what they define as a problem.
The researchers did another experiment, this time they asked people to make an even simpler decision: whether coloured dots on a screen were blue or purple.
As the blue dots became rare, people started calling slightly purple dots blue. They even did this when they were told the blue dots were going to become rare, or offered them cash prizes to stay consistent over time. The results would suggest that this behaviour isn’t entirely under conscious control – otherwise, people would have been able to be consistent to earn a cash prize.
One more study was done, this time testing peoples ethical judgement.
This time researchers asked volunteers to read about different scientific studies, and decide which ones were ethical and which were unethical.
As was done in the ‘threatening’ faces study, over time less and less unethical studies were presented to the volunteers but what didn’t change was the number of reported unethical studies by the volunteers.
As less unethical studies were presented, they simply widened the scope of their judgement to ensure problems could keep being found.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because this phenomenon explains so much why people fall into this trap of fear, despair and depression. As we overcome our problems, we simply widen our scope and find some more. But think about it, if something didn’t concern you last year, why should it concern you today?
It isn’t rational and I truly believe the reason we have so much anxiety and depression in the western world today is because genuine problems have largely been eradicated. As society has solved each problem, society has found another lesser problem to focus on – until we end up with problems that are not problems at all. But because they are not problems, resolving them is impossible and therefore this little fact becomes a real problem. Depression sets in as we try to find solutions to non-existent problems.
A little perspective can help to overcome this. We need to consider the problem we think we have and then compare it to the problems of people living in a less fortunate situation. Yes you’re broke, but are you going to die from lack of food and water? Yes are government are tyrants, the media lies and the schools want to indoctrinate your children to be a part of their mechanical system as perpetual slaves – but, at least you know this. So many out there are oblivious to these facts, but you know, and therefore you are immune to the lies.
Perspective goes a long way to making the terrible, seem less terrible. Broken your leg? Well, no worries, could have been worse, you could have needed your leg amputated!
Rather than look at those better off, try to look the other way and be thankful for what you’ve got relative to those with less.
2. Understand this – Freedom is a state of mind
In a time of great societal upheaval, it would be wise to understand what freedom is, and more importantly, how to find it.
While many consider ‘freedom’ as a term used to measure the level of oppression and restriction placed upon ourselves or another, I would argue this is not the true meaning of freedom.
The word itself is defined in the English language as:
‘the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants.’
Which is in line with what I am about to say. Freedom is a state of mind. Any restrictions we feel may have been placed upon us are illusionary. They are the desires of another.
Our freedom is defined by the level of fear and compliance we chose to maintain. For the large part, most of the restrictions we feel imposed on our life are not even defined by law, they are defined by societal expectations.
‘Keeping up appearances’ can be a very hard habit to break. So many struggle on with their lives in a permanent state of stress and relative discontentment because the fear of ‘what others will think’ holds them prisoner.
Many pack their dreams and desires up carefully in a little place in their mind, occasionally revisiting them in times of need. But as life goes on, and time passes by, these dreams become fantastical impossibilities of a life never to be.
All of this is because of one’s own doing, not because of your government, not because anyone physically restrained you and locked you up in a cell; but because your mind kept you prisoner using fear, and you obeyed.
So, now more than ever we must understand just how much of our freedom is actually being taken away by our own doing. Once you realise this hard yet simple truth the chains fall away.
3. Time to Trim The Excess
Recession, recession! Everyone is talking about it, though few quite seem capable of doing anything about it. But the recession isn’t really what people should be talking about. The hardships to come have little to do with a recession. It isn’t the recession threatening to price 99% of the population out of private travel through green carbon taxes on fuel consumption. It isn’t the recession pricing the working to middle-class out of buying a property to live in. It isn’t the recession that is replacing millions of factory workers every year with robots and automated systems. The recession is just another symptom of the much large agenda at play.
No matter how much or little you have right now, you can probably trim back a little more on how you live. I don’t mean giving up the basic necessities of life or even downsizing your housing – exactly what you need to trim back on will depend on your situation. For many though, a radical readjustment to how they live could be a very wise move at this point.
There are ways to increase your income which we’ll get in the next section. But a more reliable and simpler way to increase your expendable income is to reduce your lifestyle.
Two of you living in a 4 bedroom house…. Necessary? Personally I’d rather rent it out and rent a 2 bedroomed place.
Or, if you are like me and want to take trimming back to a whole new level – move into a camper van! In one simple move, we wiped out rent, council tax and reduced energy bills by around 95%.
And before you screech at me ‘well it’s ok for you, but I’ve got kids!’, may I just add, I have two kids, two teenagers, myself and my wife, two dogs and a cat all living in said same camper van. So, please give me a break on the excuses.
The question I often get is, ‘But why should I have to cut back on my lifestyle?’. The truth is, because you can’t afford it. How fair or unfair that maybe is totally irrelevant. It is far less upsetting to clean up your lifestyle yourself then have it torn down in the future by someone else without warning. Take control of your own life and be realistic in the lifestyle you lead.
But of course, there is another way……
4. Diversify Your Income
The old saying ‘Never put all your eggs in one basket’ is wise advice to just about everything in life and not more so than with our source of income.
We are entering a time of significant change. With this significant change comes a change in societal needs and where value will be found. This mean, your income today could be gone tomorrow. In order to stay valuable to others, we must remain relevant in the world of today, not the world of yesterday.
So you have a day job, but what if tomorrow you lose your job?
More and more jobs are becoming obsolete as technology, efficiency and societal needs move forward. It is far better to prepare for this before it affects you. Don’t leave it until you’re out of a job with only last months pay cheque to survive off.
The best way to approach this is by establishing first ‘What am I already good at’. Are you good with computers, mechanics or electrics? Maybe you great at sales pitches. We all have things we excel in, or could excel in if we spent a little more time on it.
Once you’ve established this, research what the current trends are for income in these areas. All you need is a smart phone or PC and you can scour the job listings on sites like FIVER, Upwork and freelancer – what do a lot of people want?
Now, in your free time (yes, you all have some) begin educating yourself further in your established areas of interest and skill. The internet has a wealth of information allowing you to learn just about anything you want. The only thing holding you back to becoming employable in this new field of work is you.
You don’t even need to be the best. In fact, how good you are has little to do with whether you’ll find work or not. If you can pitch yourself well, you’ll get work – fact.
But it doesn’t have to be online work, though I recommend everyone tries to find some form of income they can establish online. There are plenty of other skills such as hairdressing, plumbing, mechanics, gardening, building, cleaning, mobile phone repairs, etc. All of these are perfectly viable ways to earn income with good sustainability over time. All of these are also fairly easy to secure your first client with as well.
Having this second, or maybe even third and fourth way in which you can offer value to others, places you in a far better position than most people. It also gives you more confidence and security in your own day to day living.
Also, as a bonus – you’ll enjoy it, I promise!