Get Off the Treadmill

by Frost on January 31, 2012

*I’m on a two-month blogging vacation while I backpack around Southeast Asia. Until I return, I’m posting excerpts from my book, Freedom Twenty-Five: A 21st-Century Man’s Guide To Life. If you like this post, you should buy a copy for yourself and everyone you’ve ever met in your life.*   

The bare necessities of life are extraordinarily cheap. $15,000 is more than enough to comfortably feed, clothe and shelter a man for a year, with more than enough left over for entertainment.

But recent graduates will usually feel deprived on a salary three times that amount. Suddenly, it’s no longer acceptable to spend $300 a month on rent, wear ripped jeans and threadbare sweaters, not own a car, and furnish your living room by driving around in a friend’s truck on garbage day. As a student, frugality is tolerated, even celebrated. But with a diploma comes the maladaptive desire to spend tens of thousands of dollars a year on the requisite status symbols of yuppiedom.

The young men and women caught in this mindset are on track to spend the rest of their lives mired in what they perceive as poverty. Their tastes for nicer apartments, cars, clothes and other material goods will increase in lockstep with their salaries. There is no finish line in this race, although the mirage of one always seems to loom just out of reach. If only we ran a bit faster…

But running faster isn’t the solution. Stepping off the treadmill is.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Calpuleque February 1, 2012 at 7:22 pm

J, I feel you on that one. I have one friend/roommate (I’m in college btw) who insists on spending money on dumb shit. But guess what? He is spending his parents money and hasn’t worked a day in his life. He talks heavy shit too but the time to actually spend he is cheap as fuck and he says he wants to make his own money but hasn’t gotten a job.

I feel like I need a group of friends into this shit like I am but they are hard to come by. My other friend/roommate is obsessed with a girl…WHO HAS A FUCKING BOYFRIEND!!! His entire mood for the day/week/whatever is determine by how she acts towards him. It’s fucking pathetic. I honestly think he changed his major just to get into a class that she is taking (he switched his major to match her minor) and he always wanted to study abroad in Italy but she is studying abroad in guess where this motherfucker decides to go now?…Filling out his application for France right now. It’s funny but depressing at the same time to be surrounded by all of this

J February 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm

It frustrates the fuck outta me. Nobody seems to get it around me, I feel like I am being pushed into a corner. I feel like a black sheep. When your whole environment is against you. Pushing you to live a life of consumption, status symbols and mindless BS, it’s enough to make one go insane.

I tell people the lifestyle I desire, and they look at me like I’m the weird one.

Chef In Jeans January 31, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Breaking away from the consumer culture mindset might be the best thing any man can do for himself at the moment. Every man must realize self improvement > consumption

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