Sometimes people will tell me how lucky I am to lead the life that I do. And I am the first to agree, but I also feel that there’s a disconnect between the luck that I am assumed to have and the actual hard work that has gone in to transitioning from one way of life to another. In 2013 I graduated from university with a BSc in industrial engineering and am thereby an engineer by education and trade. After University I worked for a few different companies before deciding that my ship needed to turn around. Slowly I started to make changes to my life to try and move in a direction where I’d be more content.
It’s been about four years or so in the making, this change, and now it’s really coming to fruition. At times people ask me about my financial situation and how I get by not having a full time contract with an employer. I feel like society has gulled us into believing that there’s only one way of life. I’m really not that different from anyone of you reading this, I’ve just realised that one can break norms and still get by. True, I’m not going to become rich. True, it’s slightly trickier to get a mortgage to by an apartment or house. But I don’t aspire to get rich anyways and am fully happy getting by the way I do now. Should we throw in some famous words here? OK, To be rich is not to have a lot, it’s to miss little. And I don’t feel there’s much missing in life. I’ve got a place to stay, income to get me by and loved ones to talk to and to laugh with.
The disconnect between luck and hard work I feel originates in a belief that I’m somehow not a “normal” person since I can live a life different to many other people’s lives. I also feel that a large portion of this belief is founded in financial worries. My experience tells me that I work more hours and earn at least as much money as I would working a full time engineering contract. One of the major upsides is that I get to choose what I do and sometimes when I do it. I am sort of my own boss but still employed by the company that I work for. Sometimes I send invoices instead, but that’s mostly up to the client.
I am what some would describe as a searching soul and I bore quite quickly if I am to do the same thing for too long at a time. I struggle to find motivation in office roles and I really thrive when I get to be out and about with people on the mountain, in the forest, on a bike, in a kayak and so forth. I have grown aware of the fact that the life I live really is not for everyone. If you would’ve met me s few years ago I might have tried to persuade you to follow my path, now however I am confident in my situation and fully realise that it is not for everyone. As long as you are happy with what you’re doing then that’s fine. If you’re not happy with your situation then I’d suggest you change it. A good question to ask is;
What would you do if money were no object? – Alan Watts
This question has helped me quite a bit through the years and broken down it usually provides a relatively easy answer to what one really should be doing. Alan Watts was a philosopher and vocational trainer and he used this question in sessions with students. For me it’s provided guidance in situations where I’ve been offered financially rewarding opportunities that I still felt were not right for me. Most of the roles I take on today I would do for free, but since I’ve done them for quite a while I’ve progressed in to being in a position where I do get paid for them.
This summer I’ve worked for an adventure company in Åre on Sweden, running zipline tours and guiding downhill biking, kayaking, hiking and such. Right now I’m on a plane on my way to an assignment in Germany that starts in Tuesday. That’s one week, then it’s back to Åre for a week, then of to Visby for a week and so forth. New places and new faces every week is such a motivation boost for me!
But before that, I’ve got a wedding to shoot tomorrow in Stockholm, so my life is a ginormous logistical puzzle, how lucky I am to be a logistics engineer! 😊
I hope that I’ve inspired you with this post, if I provoked any thoughts, positive or negative please do leave a comment below or send me an email at Sebastian.firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers, and here’s a few photos from travels I’ve done while working. Hopefully one of them will be inspiring.
Photos, from Cascais in Portugal.
This one is from Granada in Spain.