Unfortunately, nature is not so concerned about our happiness, so this is not something that comes with our genetic code.
Consequently, if we want to be happy, we need to do some work to understand how happiness works and to master the art of making ourselves happy.
There are tons of resources you can find about happiness.
In this article, we are going to explore how going off-grid can play its part in making you and your family happier.
Sidenote: this concept is an extract from our "Modern Off-grid Guide".
The 3 components of happiness
Happiness is made of 3 parts.
The key to a happy existence is to build a life where these 3 ingredients are present in the right proportion.
The 3 ingredients are:
You can easily understand how living your life without one of these would make it just miserable (unhappy).
Ingredient 1: Love
Some of us enjoy spending time alone. Some of us convince themselves they are better of alone.
While there are a few people like that, the large majority of us need a social life and someone to love and who loves us back.
For most of us, a life without Love would be extremely unhappy.
NOTE: for people who prefer to be alone, Love can also be towards activities (fishing, hiking, painting, …).
Ingredient 2: Money
As we say goodbye to our adolescence, we quickly learn that one needs Money to go places and to do stuff.
This life lesson is so strong that some of us become obsessed with making more and more Money, as if just by making more of it they could become happier.
But to make Money one has to work (usually) and work takes some (or much) of your precious time.
Consequently, chasing Money robs you of Time and, sometimes, of Love.
Ingredient 3: Time
Of the 3 ingredients of happiness, Time is the most underrated.
People sacrifice Time to chase Money.
Some people sacrifice Time to chase Love.
The result is a very busy life, filled with duties and chores... all activities that make others happy and that give little return to ourselves.
The happiness diagram
To sum up this information, we can draw a simple diagram.
You can see how the 3 areas of such a diagram overlap with each other in 3 places and how they all overlap in the middle.
That “middle” is the sweet-spot where we want our life to be... but to get there we must first understand where we stand at the moment.
A - You have Love & Time
Since the dawn of time, this has been by far the most common situation in all forms of societies.
We have families (small groups of people who love each other) and we all have some kind of job.
We live a modest life, which is calibrated to the money our jobs bring into the household.
We do not have excess money, but we work just 8 hours or less... so we can use our spare time as we like (provided it doesn’t cost us money).
Pros: we don’t spend too much time working, so we have free time to spend with the people we love.
Cons: we don’t make enough money to be able to afford things and experiences. We are stuck in our lifestyle and we cannot make it better.
B - You have Love & Money
This is the second most common lifestyle (or life-trap) in modern society.
We have families (small groups of people who love each other) and we work most of our awake time to provide for them.
Somewhere along the way, we made decisions that stretched our financial commitments and now we have to keep working to pay our bills.
We have a house, one or more cars, we have been on vacations... but now we became slaves of all of that and we can’t afford to take a break from work.
Pros: we have some extra money to spend to enjoy some experience with our loved ones… and they’ll keep loving us for all we provide for them.
Cons: we don’t have enough time to do the things that make us happy. We are slaves of a job.
C - You have Money & Time
This lifestyle is on the rise but it is still fairly uncommon.
Once, having Money and Time meant you were born rich.
Today, it is more likely you managed to get a lot of people working for you, or you created a system that makes Money when you sleep.
In any case, you became really good at leveraging Time.
Many people that go through this experience tend to isolate themselves from the world and live in their own bubble.
They become paranoid about the thing they created and they spend most of their Time trying to protect it.
There is a spot where the 3 diagrams overlap.
People whose lifestyle is in this spot are:
- surrounded by people they love and who Love them back (don’t have to be many people);
- making enough Money to be able to support their lifestyle and still have the freedom of making choices (on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis);
- in control of their Time, typically deciding when and where they work and what are their priorities for the month, week, day.
Usually, their lifestyle is not too expensive and they are people who like a certain routine (hence not chasing the next shiny object).
...but how do you move closer to the sweet-spot?
Reaching for the sweet-spot
The way to approach and reach the sweet-spot depends on your current situation:
C) these folks have it easy. All they need to do is to drop all their worries and go find someone who can love them for the smart and extraordinary person they are.
B) these folks should simply downsize their lifestyle and suddenly they’d have fewer financial obligations which would allow them to take the foot off the gas.
A) these folks shall look at their situation more carefully. Is it possible that by removing financial commitments they’d end up having spare cash?
Moving off-grid will force you to downsize your life.
It will cause less spend, give you more time, and give you the possibility to fill your life with more love.
All this combined will move you toward the center of the happiness diagram.
However, this does not guarantee you'll find happiness...
Downsizing (or going off-grid) simply helps to shift your position from an abundance of Money (extreme right in the diagram) to an abundance of Time (extreme left in the diagram).
Love you have to find by yourself :)
If you are interested in learning more about going off-grid, get our Modern Off-grid Guide.