What is downshifting? Choosing a lifestyle
Downshifting - what is it?
Imagine that you are offered to choose a lifestyle. Option one: high incomes and a successful career, but a very hard, intense rhythm, clear rules, following a routine, submission to authorities, naturally, inevitable overloads and stresses.
Option two: a lower rung on the social ladder, modest wealth, no career prospects (but you don’t want them!), Sometimes doing nothing at all, and, most importantly, complete freedom - live as you like, because you don’t depend on anyone .
Preferring the second option, you choose downshifting - that is, a conscious drop in your career, in status, social level for yourself, your family, free choice of place of residence, occupation, hobby.
What is downshifting in English is an automotive term meaning shifting to a low gear. This is how people tired of the mad rhythm of modern life want to switch from achieving the goals imposed by society on their inner feelings and follow their desires and values.
Downshifter - who is it?
The consumer society imposes its own values on us - you have to be successful, reach career heights, look your best, have solid capital, attributes of a rich life - apartments, yachts, prestigious cars and status accessories.
If such a world view is close to you, then you are yuppie, that is, an ambitious and ambitious “white collar”, you certainly want to be a leader and go to your goal literally right through.
But downshifter, who is it? Let us try to understand what is pushing a person who is successful at some point to give up everything and move from the position of head of a large company to the place of an ordinary manager or even give up city life and go to a deaf village. Many go to distant warm lands - to Goa, to Thailand, but more on that later.
Perhaps a striking example of downshifting can be called the act of one of the first Russian multimillionaires, the founder of the first Russian commodity exchange, German Sterligov.
The businessman, politician and public figure, leaving all the business, moved with his family (and he and his wife had five children) to a village near Moscow, where he started a natural economy.
Partly, however, Sterligov returned to business, having established the Anti-Crisis Settlement and Commodity Center, but is not going to return to the role of the oligarch in the usual sense.
Answering the question: who is this downshifter, we come to the conclusion that the person who was “pulled out” by the race for material goods and the conflict between the dubious values of the “beautiful life” and psychological comfort could drastically change their lifestyles.
What is downshifting abroad and in our country, is there much in common and what is the difference?
If you ask a question - downshifter, who it is - to residents of the United States and Australia, then there will be no problems with the answer. It is in these countries that downshifting is more popular than anywhere else.
More than 30% of American citizens adhere to such views to one degree or another and a quarterAustralian. Downshifters from Australia create their alliances, help each other and in every way promote free life.
American supporters of downshifting, including the majority of fairly successful middle-aged businessmen, most often sell their business and property and devote their lives to traveling. And they are engaged in leisure time - teaching English, and some - photography and blogging.
British downshifting often has an environmental focus - people willingly grow organic products, recycle garbage, and save energy.
In both Europe and the United States, such a form of downshifting is practiced as moving from a city to the countryside, where life is more measured in nature, with family.
According to statistics, more than 12 million people in the Old World consider themselves to be downshifters.
Downshifting in Russia
The famous Russian downshifter can be called the great writer Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, who for a simple rural life, called to live in harmony with nature and himself.
What is downshifting in Russia and Ukraine, and why is it not so developed here? First of all,for economic reasons - the level of wealth of our people is much lower, they just did not have time to get fed up (and some were full) with the material benefits that are promoted by the consumer society.
Yes, and instability scares many - how to quit a good paid job, if tomorrow may not be any. And how to leave all acquired by overworking (I quote the hero of your favorite comedy without any irony)? Our people value what they have and are afraid of losing it.
In addition, the living conditions in our outback scare the habitual comfort of the townspeople. Any English village can be compared with a cozy town with all the benefits of civilization, and we?
However, a true downshifter is not afraid of domestic difficulties and begins his life almost from scratch somewhere in a remote village or eco-settlement.
Freelancers, who are to some extent dependent on employers, can be called partly downshifters, because they work according to an order, but at the same time they have a freer lifestyle. They do not need to work in the office or at the factory from call to call; there are no immediate superiors.
We most often downshifting people choose creative professions.Many writers, actors, artists, designers prefer to live in the bustling capital of seclusion somewhere in the country or even in a remote village.
But more of our downshifters attracts the East.
Downshifting in Thailand and Goa
Creative people often seek to find inner harmony, they are attracted by Eastern exoticism, wisdom, traditions, the opportunity to live in a leisurely rhythm and do what they love.
There are such downshifters, which are more attracted by the warm climate and the opportunity to relax on the beaches, not bothering to work. The source of income for this category of people is renting their homes for rent, as a rule, this is enough for a completely comfortable living.
Downshifting in Goa, as Igor from Kiev says, costs him 600 y. e. monthly, and he rents an apartment in the Ukrainian capital 2 times more expensive.
But for those for whom downshifting in Thailand or, say, in Sri Lanka, not just a complete relaxation, but a normal full-fledged life, do not want to idle at all.
Such people open their business: restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, offer the services of a guide, language teacher or yoga.
Downshifting - reasons
There are a lot of reasons why a person decides to change his life:
- stresses and the need to keep everything under control;
- high management requirements;
- fatigue from work, constant stress;
- unfavorable climate in the team;
- lack of personal time for yourself, family, hobby;
- a sense of the aimlessness of their work;
- protest against routine and routine;
- the desire to live by their own rules, not obeying generally accepted standards.
But not everyone can become downshifters. Sometimes people decide to temporarily downshifting in order to just relax, come to their senses and understand what they really want.
Some, abandoning their usual life on the spur of the moment, under the influence of emotions, soon begin to miss the old way of life, acquaintances, communication, and, of course, good income.
So, before you decide on cardinal changes, you need to thoroughly understand what downshifting is for you personally. And is it worth making such sharp life turns.
It may be worthwhile to simply choose a profession that you prefer, turn your hobby into a job or stay in your professional environment, but not in a managerial position, but where there is less weight of responsibility.
How to prevent downshifting
If downshifting becomes a massive phenomenon, what should employers do? Care for free bread by qualified employees, dismissal of the best staff from work threatens companies with serious financial problems.
Therefore, managers interested in the stability and development of their enterprises should consider and take measures:
- set clear, achievable goals for employees and motivate staff to accomplish them;
- provide an opportunity for professional growth and self-realization of workers;
- create a favorable microclimate in the team;
- organize the rest of their employees - a full weekend, vacation, the opportunity to work part-time.
What is work is only a part of our life. And when she begins to interfere with her health, communication with her family, agreement with herself, there is a desire to learn from your own experience what downshifting is. Just do not hurry, think - is this really your conscious choice?
Who are downshifters, from their own experience will tell the hero of this video.