Posted by: franciscamolina | 11 October, 2010

Let’s downshift – Let’s work less :)

Last Sunday, I was speaking with my flat mate about higher education in her country, France. The following day we were curiously having an animated lesson about education in UK, with Marisa. So I decided to write about it now for my first post in our blog.

Nevertheless, after a few days I’ve found another thing to write about. I realized that in class maybe we don’t really need to know how access to Higher Education is in other countries and in any case I could eventually write about it some other time.

But now what I talk about is downshifting. What is that?

It’s a concept I didn’t know about until my best friend told me. Let me help you: it’s related with ways of living, work daily habbits and money, just the money you need to live, and not the one you live for:

  • Downshifting is a social behavior otrend in which individuals live simpler lives to escape from the rat race of obsessive materialism and to reduce the “stress, overtime, and psychological expense that may accompany it.”] It emphasizes finding an improved balance between leisure and work and focusing life goals on personal fulfillment and relationship building instead of the all-consuming pursuit of economic success.

This concept is, as Wikipedia says , the basic principle of human existence after survival. I will illustrate this sharing an anecdote:

“Once upon a time, a fisherman born in India was living with his family, sons daughters and, grandchildren. As every day, he used to wake up very early in the morning, go on the shore of the lake, and look for the food, fresh fish, what his family ate every day.  This was very satisfying for him because he was happy doing what he liked to do, enjoying with the whole family. One day, as legend says, a very outwardly well-dressed man came to talk to him and make him an unbeatable offer. The fisherman listened carefully.

Well-dressed Man promised him that if he came into town, into the big city, and set its own business as a big exporter, in a Development Centre, he would earn such an amount of money that he could even stop working whenever he wanted and he would come to his village to spare time with his family. Fisherman didn’t get impressed by the newcomed man, and  not changing his usual composure, refused quietly the attempt offer. -Why should I change my life to earn money enough abroad to become rich and to visit my family often, when I can stay here every day with them, doing what I like to do? – Said Fisherman. Quietly Well-dressed Man went disturbed. Fisherman continued  fishing regardless.”

  • Once we know the concept, How do we downshift?

We can downshift by working fewer hours in our present job, or by accepting a job with less responsibility in the company, or we can quit our job and find another one that we find more rewarding. Or we can start our own part or full-time business, perhaps working from home.

If you want to know more about it, visit here.

Maybe now in these times of crisis we cannot even achieve a single job to earn a living, but in case we have it, lets not forget the purpose we’re working for.

Now, I will show you where I have practiced my own downshift this weekend. I’ve been to the Feria de la Tapa in  Marina Real Port in Valencia. With not much money I tasted a few elaborated and delicious “tapas” accompanied with some beers too. Nice “downshifting” beginning for me, as you can see.

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Responses

  1. Hello,

    downshifting is a very atractive concept that I’am sure almost everyone has thought about it when your cirmcustances are hard in your job.

    Even I have thought about it. I have a job with a great responsability (at less I think so) and most of the days I think in downshifting… but when I search in URLs, as the one you have mentioned, and I check that they want to sell to you a book from Amazon I feel disappointed and think that’s only another kind of business.

    Besides I think that of all us have different ideas of downshiting. For instance your example of downshifting is spending money in the “feria de la tapa” my concept of downshifting would be cooking “tapas” in home

  2. Hi, it’s disappointing as you say, that they want to sell that book, I totally agree. Nevertheless, the most important when I linked that url was to provide further information.

    Anyway, as you say too, there many ways to downshift, and spending money on a Feria is not the best exemple. All I wanted was to write something not too boring and carefree as my first post, and I finded it casual to share even a photo of me and the tapas 😀

  3. Hi everybody!!!
    I think that both, going to the fire to have some “tapas”and cooking the “tapas” by yourself, can be examples of downshifting if it achieves the purpose of evading yourselves for a while from the job and the consumption society in which we live.

  4. And what do you think about the little story? Do you like it?

  5. Is anybody else flummoxed by the facts that 1) people around the world are desperate to work while 2) most people feel pressed for the time to do what they want in life.

    We wealthy Westerners and now the developing countries as well, keep tearing into Mother Earth to drag out resources, and smothering her in pollution, all so that we can work more and earn more to buy plastic crap.

    AND our leaders keep saying that we have to keep working and buying or the economy will take the culture down with it. I’m skeptical. Let’s downsize and see whether the Masters of the Capitalistic Universe can’t adapt. There are ways. Kick back my friends and only do what you really need to do and want to do and are proud to do.

    Let’s love one another.


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