Have you ever considered what it would be like to ignore everything society has tried to teach you? Do you think you could give up on your career and go in search of adventure and a life that you actually want to live, rather than the one that has been laid out before you.
This is a book for those who dare to dream. For those who have contemplated quitting their job and jumping into a exciting new world but have never got round to doing it. The Avant-Garde Life might just give you the motivation and confidence to open up and make the change. Using a practical approach, The book is written to carefully deconstruct every conceivable barrier and encourages you to overcome them. This is not just about making a single journey: this is about embracing a totally new way of life; one filled with happiness and fulfilment.
Be sure of this. What you are about to read, is not for everybody. In fact, it is not for most people. If you are happy to live life in one place while adhering to conventional society, this is not for you. Although there is nothing wrong with being content to live a comfortable life, you will simply find that these pages are too far displaced from your own reality to gain anything useful from them. These words are for the people who find themselves asking what more there must be to life. The individuals who want their life to change, but don’t yet have the courage to make that change. ‘The dreamers,’ if you will.
If you are a dreamer, but lack the courage to make the jump, these words are intended for you and you alone. This life is not a holiday and it does not fall into your lap. It takes a fair amount of work and a whole lot more desire. However, if you want it enough, it is very much possible.
Because the outcome is so favourable, many people around the world are now choosing to engage in similarly experimental ways of life. Instead of following a routine in which one knows what will happen each day, life itself becomes a great adventure. If you feel that there is something more to life and a great big world for you to explore, you might, just maybe, be the right sort of person to make it happen.
To begin with, we’ll complete a self-assessment of your suitability for this reading material by answering four simple questions. Take a piece of paper and a pen. Or ask to borrow a pen and use a napkin if you’re in a coffee shop. It doesn’t matter if you have to write on the back of your hand or scribble your answers with a crayon. What matters is writing down honest answers to the following questions.
Question 1, yes or no: In ten years time, if you have made no changes to your current life, do you think that it will have taken you in a direction that will be making you happy and fulfilled?
Question 2: If you had $50 billion, how would you live your life on a day-to-day basis?
Question 3: When you wake up each morning, do you look forward to the day that awaits you?
Question 4: If you could wake up in 5 different places for the next 5 days, where would you choose to wake up?
You should now have a little scrawl of answers that could help to shape your life. If you read the questions without writing down answers, STOP! Write down your answers so that you know what they are. Sometimes we don’t know ourselves as well as we think we do. When this is done, you may proceed.
We’ll think now about what these answers mean to us.
Question one, in essence, asks you if you are currently living the life that you want to live. If you answered yes, great. I am truly happy for you and you should continue on this path. Maybe even send me a message to let me know what it is that you’re doing because I love to hear from people who are happy in life. However, if you answered no, it means that you are on a path that will never make you happy. Whether or not you desire to search for adventure, if you are on a path that cannot make you happy, it means that you need to make a change in your life. Religious arguments aside, you only have one life to live, so why waste it doing something that is anything less than wonderful?
Question two addresses the financial constraints of money. I am not an anarchist and I do not promote the downfall of society or abandoning the use of money. However, the pursuit of wealth over the pursuit of happiness is a dangerous path similar to accidentally accepting a mint ice cream. Sure it looks delicious and pistachio-ey at first, but by the time you have a taste, you realise that it tastes likes mouth-wash and that you have made a terrible mistake. You can’t give back an ice cream you’ve already licked because you’ve already committed to it. The saving grace about mistakenly accepting a mint ice cream, is that when the ice cream is gone, the issue is over. When you are on a continual pursuit of wealth however, there is no end date. It is only when people remove the issue of money from their lives that they start to think about what it is that they really want to do with their lives. These aims do not need to be world changing. They need only provide happiness and fulfilment to the individual with whom they are associated.
By removing the need for a job, the answer to question two tells you what you want to do in life. Bill Gates does not choose to give his fortune away because he doesn’t want the money. He gives it away because he has enough and he realises that there are greater desires in life than accumulating possessions. By bypassing the excessive money accumulation process and taking no more than you need, you too can work on realising your dreams. You do not need to first accumulate billions of dollars in order to do this. Please note: I have the utmost respect for Bill Gates and believe that he has made, and continues to make, truly wonderful contributions to the world that benefit both him and others around him. I am not talking about Microsoft.
Question three asks if you are happy. If you are happy, you will wake up with a zest for life in anticipation of the day to come. Happiness is an incalculable sum of people, places, and experiences in your life. It encompasses everything. By this definition, other than health, what more is there to life than happiness? If you are not happy, you do not love your life. If you do not love your life, you must change it for the love of yourself and the people that care about you.
Question four relates to travel. If you have answers for this question that take you outside of your current home, then you desire some form of travel. If you found it difficult to answer such a question because of the infinite number of choices, your desire to travel the world may be insatiable. Alternatively, you may have no answers for question four because you live in the best place in the world. If this is the case, I recommend that you stay there and keep it a secret because this is not a common feeling. If you tell everybody about this wonderful place that cures you of a desire to travel the world, everybody else will come running and ruin it for you.