Just mentioning the possibility of voluntarily living off grid is almost guaranteed to bring blank stares and questions regarding your sanity. The reason for this reaction is that most people have a lack of understanding about being off grid. Such a thought conjures up visions of being thrown back into the dark ages with little or no conveniences, bathing in a cold stream, perhaps using animal skins for clothing, using an outhouse (or not), and living by candle light. However, with modern technology, the reality of living off grid is actually quite different.
Choosing such a lifestyle does not necessitate being a Luddite. Modern-day folks that live off grid often have a lifestyle that is a marriage between “old -fashioned” country skills and modern technology. They are often creative thinkers that manage to recreate many of the modern conveniences associated with city life. Their only real limitations are based on climate, regional conditions, available capital, individual motivations and personal lifestyle preferences. Furthermore, if you were to meet some modern-day folks who live off grid, you would likely find that they do so for a variety of reasons and they tend to have a completely different mindset.
The reasons that individuals choose this lifestyle are as varied as the people that make this choice. For some people living off grid is a dream fueled by the desire for a simpler way of life. It is a way to live their life in relative comfort and security without the interference of others. In other cases, living off grid is necessary due to a remote location and lack of access to a public infrastructure. Others want to be modern-day homesteaders, forsake contemporary conveniences and get back to the absolute basics. There are also those that live off grid because they are preparing for the apocalypse and the resulting social chaos.
Obviously, living off grid means different things to different people. But, what is the common thread that ties this varied group of people together?
What is the off grid mindset?
For many thousands of years our ancestors lived a life that was short and hard, filled with hunger and danger. On an evolutionary timeline, homes and agriculture are a recent luxury. As society and technology began to advance, we learned to shape and manipulate our environment. Society is now at the point where it is possible to inhabit almost every imaginable place on the planet. Furthermore, today’s generation has grown up with the internet. Instant gratification is the norm. However, the end result of this relative ease and comfort is that humanity has changed.
Most people in modern society are not necessarily ignorant, lazy, or powerless. But there is no denying that the majority of people in modern culture entrust nearly every aspect of their survival to someone else. Lights come on at the flip of a switch. We warm ourselves by turning up the thermostat. Flawless fruits and vegetables are readily available. Meat is fresh and vacuum packed and does not come from the cow anymore; it comes from the grocery store. We enslave ourselves to deep personal debt and we live in a culture of rampant consumerism. We then work endless hours to support that lifestyle never realizing there is a different way to be.
Despite the fact that modern culture has been on this road for many decades, it is possible to extricate yourself from the rat race. However, for many people the thought of living off grid seems bewildering and overwhelming because it could mean a complete change in lifestyle. It may also require skills that you do not have. Consequently, making this change is going to require a bit of forethought and planning.
If you choose to move off grid, there will no doubt be some fundamental changes to the way in which you live. Therefore, before you decided to chuck modern society and head for the hills, it would be wise to analyze your reasons for wanting to live off grid and be self sufficient. It is also extremely important to define your goals.
Your reasons and goals will give you direction and ultimately shape your way of life. Your reasons and goals will help you design a lifestyle that supports and nurtures who you are and what you value. Living off grid will require a spirit of independence and a commitment to a sustainable lifestyle. It will require that you take control of many of your own resources. It will require critical thinking, planning, problem solving, and sometimes a lot of creativity, ingenuity, and hard work.
All of these things are at the very heart of the off grid mindset.
If you approach off grid living in this fashion, you will soon realize that this way of life is not only for the bold and adventurous, it is also for anyone who has the desire and determination to just do it.
Living off grid and becoming self sufficient will help you regain a sense of autonomy and make a connection between effort and reward, which is an important part in making life and work meaningful.
People who are dependent on others for the necessities of life will always be subject to the demands of those people. With the proper knowledge, determination, creativity, forethought, and planning, you can break this cycle of dependence. You can learn to be much more independent and self sufficient.
This is the off-grid mindset.
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