• Set up a life you don’t need to run away from

  • run away

    I read this in an article in the paper this morning as I was balancing eggs, coffee and reading material on a small café table. It was attributed to Seth Gordon and as things are inclined to do on a Saturday morning, it jumped up and hit me between the eyes.  I often think I might run away. When I did a quick online search to verify the quote, there were many references to Seth and his words. They obviously resonated with quite a few.

    How often have you said, “I’ve had enough, I’m going to run away from all this”? I recall doing so when I was about eight or nine, when I was feeling generally unappreciated on the home front. The only problem was, I had no idea where to go.  Add a few decades and I still think about running away, though I have more idea now.  It varies from week to week, but thoughts of Italy, various Asian countries, Cook Islands and a motor home in which I can follow my whim feature heavily.

    Although not insurmountable, there are some problems with running away and they will vary according to your personal circumstances and life stage.  If you are on your own, then social isolation is something that needs to be considered. If there is a significant other, or dependents in either younger or older generations, then there are the needs of other people to be considered.

    Financing the escapade is yet another conundrum. Great if you have invested wisely or have a passive source of income, but otherwise a steady source of finance is useful.  In our imaginations, we are usually running away to a simpler life, with the assumption that our needs will be diminished too. There is still a base level of financial support that will be required. That might be from finding employment during our travels or else in establishing a new source of income, something that we can do on the run. 

    Never stifle your dreams. They sustain you when you need an alternative to today’s reality and also provide an incentive to make the most of today. If you want a better tomorrow, you have to lay the groundwork today. Personally, I think that running away is a great idea and there can be many benefits:

    • a chance to break old habits;
    • not being tied down by possessions;
    • learning new skills;
    • Meeting new people; and
    • enjoying new experiences.

    If you’re thinking about running away, it might help first to understand what it is that you’re running away from. Presumably, it’s a situation that no longer meets your needs or perhaps stifles you in some way. Given that doing an overnight bunk might not be feasible, what about thinking of the changes that you really can make?  Draw up two lists, one with easy changes and another with changes that will take a while.  The easy list should have some achievable wins on it, and some of them should take you a step closer towards an achievement on the long term list.

    The key to it all is planning. That planning may be focussed on how to make the here and now so good that you don’t want to run away, or it may be focussed on how to progressively get you closer to your disappearing goal. Either objective is good. It’s the strategy that’s important.

    In subsequent blogs, I’ll talk about more specific running away strategies. Perhaps you can share how you make your existing life more rewarding, or else how you plan for the great escape.

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