Re-designing Life: What quitting the rat race has taught me so far.

In late 2016 I quit the rat race. It was long time coming and it was a difficult decision. With hindsight (that devil) I should probably have done it a few months earlier to limit my occupational burn out.

When I decided to take this dramatic decision I had in mind the idea to “redesign my life” in a way that was more entrepreneurial, satisfying, interesting and adventurous both in my personal and professional life.

In truth I didn’t really know what I was doing or how I would accomplish this large and rather vague goal, but I did have a number of key areas which I imagine would make my existence happier:

  1. Managing My Time Differently
  2. Being More Creative
  3. Learning More
  4. Spending More Time Outdoors
  5. Accomplish One Huge Challenge

Five months into 2017, this is how I am faring and what I have learnt along the way.

  1. Managing My Time Differently

A daily journal helps me to record thoughts, ideas, realisations and set a daily to do list.

I generally only check emails in the morning allowing much greater focus on whatever is scheduled for the afternoon.

I have learnt to limit work in progress. It has not been simple but saying NO to work that may be an “easier” line of income is absolutely vital in order to maintain sufficient focus on that which I want to do.

2. Being Creative

I am writing everyday. Creatively for my web site and blog, journalling or jotting down ideas for two books.

What this has brought me, apart from practical help, is joy for the written work, increased organisation and a sort of therapuetic sounding board to calm the maelstrom that often circulates in my head.

I have gone out of my way to meet and work with entrepreneurial people. As a result I am now involved in starting new businesses allowing me to use my business experience to create something new.

3. Learning More

I have been learning a huge amount by meeting interesting and successful people in business, marketing and the outdoor industry as I try to promote my own web site and blog and expand my horizons.

I have learnt a huge amount about online marketing and PR in the last few months — a practical lesson which stands me in good stead for any more business ventures I will launch in the future.

Working on my own has taught me a lot about discipline, organisation and has helped me to recognise who I am and what I want.

It has allowed me to travel more, with my family and experience different cultures.

4. Spending More Time Outdoors

Being flexible with time means I can spend more time doing what I love.

I have also launched a web site and blog focussed on “living better” which for me means being in th emountains or in the countryside and enjoying the outdoors.

It works like a self-fulfilling prophecy in as far as the need to write about mountains, wilderness and nature also ensures I continue to pursue this passion.

My mental well-being is greatly improved by doing this.

It has also enabled me to connect with many interesting, helpful and kind people in the outdoor community!

5. Accomplish One huge Challenge

I set out to run an ultra marathon in 2017 but I have been plagued by a knee injury an drecently I have had to concede that it won’t happen this year.

However, lets look at the positive side:

I have learnt a lot about my body.
I have embarked on a strength and conditioning program which has greatly improved my fitness.
When my meniscus has recovered I will be better placed than ever to take part in an endurance event.
I have spoken to some amazing athletes about their stories and how eminently achievable such a thing as an ultra marathon is to anyone who is willing to try — I will get there!

5 months into 2017, I still have a long way to go but I am more certain than ever that I have made the right decision.

You can follow my progress through my regular blog posts on The Armchair Mountaineer. Please feel free to get in touch and give your thoughts or share your similar experiences!