Downshifting is a social phenomenon of purposeful conscious descent on the social hierarchy associated with the “life for yourself,” “refusal of others’ goals.” The key moment for downshifting emergence is a conflict of values between the goals imposed by the society – a career, wealth, status, and inner values – self-knowledge, hobbies, socializing with relatives, etc.
A downshifter is aware of the illusory nature of imposed goals, because the more wealth is acquired, the more you want. In this case the problem is not so much in the status and wealth, but in fact, what price you often have to pay in the society: stress, illness, lack of free time, family conflicts, etc. Choice of a downshifter is a conscious refusal to participate in the “rat race”, which implies a decrease of material income and is often perceived with hostility by the family and society. In reward for this a downshifter gets inner satisfaction from life, the opportunity to do things they love, to live as they want.
Downshifting is ideologically connected with the New Age and hippies’ culture. It was in the ‘60s of the last century when the idea that a human should live for self-knowledge and not just for the physical maintenance of the body began to develop. Since the ’90s this social and cultural phenomenon has been spreading widely throughout the world, particularly there are many downshifters in Australia, USA, UK. For example, in Australia the proportion of downshifters is 26%.
American downshifters are often successful businessmen aged 35-40, who sell their businesses, villas, yachts and set out traveling around the world. Very often they are engaged in the teaching of English and photography. In the East, people are looking for tranquility, harmony and inspiration. Many downshifters teach yoga, foreign languages, do custom writings, open up their restaurants, souvenir shops, etc.
In general it is hard to set borders of the phenomenon of downshifting as they largely depend on the specifics of a particular country. For example, in the UK downshifting is closely related to the environmental movement (production and consumption of organic products), and includes the use of recyclable materials, etc. In the US and Europe downshifting is manifested in moving from the cities to the countryside to the slow-paced and quiet life with the family. Denial of women of a career in favor of housekeeping is also a common practice of downshifting. Some downshifters earn income as a professional essay rewriter.
Downshifting in modern society is gaining momentum, and the desire to spend more time on self-development and education of children away from the vices of civilization plays an important role among the motivation to change lifestyle. Many people go to India and Thailand to do spiritual practices or simply to enjoy their life. If you ask to do my research paper for me about India, we are here to help you.
Downshifting often gives a person an opportunity to better understand themselves, their true needs and desires. Giving up a well-paid but not satisfying job, a person finds a business to their liking which can be writing education essay online. Doing it for themselves, without pursuing any material interests, he/she often finds that this business gives them a good income, because everything that is done sincerely and with heart is really good.
Examples of downshifting are not necessarily success stories. Firstly, people are often well aware of what they want to escape, but very vaguely – what they seek. And difficulties of a new life may break many of them, for example, rural life for an unused city dweller may not be such a pastoral picture, as it appeared in the office. Another aspect is that downshifting is seen by many people as an escape from themselves, but it’s impossible to escape from yourself.
Downshifting has not only an individual but also a social dimension. In this case we are talking about a strategy for sustainable human development, when the provision of quality of life is not an end in itself, and a decent life is not achieved at the expense of future generations (environmental degradation, depletion of resources, etc.). Many rightly believe that to survive humanity needs to look for new paradigms which correspond to the high level of technical and spiritual development. Downshifting is one example of such a path, allowing just to be happy, not applying efforts for this and not elbowing way through competitors.
Pros of downshifting:
1. Finding harmony. Job filled with constant time pressure, quarrels with authorities and colleagues’ gossip is a major stressor. Being in a state of extreme stress, people simply can not perceive life as something that brings happiness and peace. The majority of office workers lack this very harmony with themselves and the world around them. Quite often downshifting leads to the fact that yesterday’s clerks become calmer, and begin to take a more positive view at things.
2. Self-realization. It happens that a person is not satisfied with their work solely due to the fact that he/she had chosen the wrong profession. It is very difficult to make an artist or a talented essay writer to enjoy the paths of an accountant. Many high school graduates, under the pressure of their parents or because of ignorance of what exactly they want to do, go to university on a specialty, which they hate for their whole life. Years pass, the person realizes what he/she is attracted to, talents are revealed, but the workbook still contains a hateful job position. There is only one way out – to fall out of the race and start a different path, the one that will take a liking.
3. Health promotion. Stress has not brought anyone any good. On the contrary, it takes away more health than any disease, because it’s often the cause. Dissatisfaction with life creates stress, a person becomes ill and in an effort to save what you can not buy for any money, leaves nervous job to devote more time to themselves. He/she begins to eat healthy food, exercise, and breaks off bad habits
Cons of downshifting:
1. Lack of understanding by others. Still, we tend to think that the goal of life is a successful work and that we can only work in the office from start to finish for a certain amount of money. Therefore a desire of a downshifter who suddenly decides that no office, no money, no success have no value for him/her, is a reason to condemn them. In the main, in such cases, people condemn those who do as they would like to do, but due to certain circumstances they do not dare.
2. Reduction of income. In fact, a person who decided that he/she would do something completely different from the previous type of activity, for instance, write good academic papers, can achieve even greater success. Especially under the condition that now he/she fills the life with business, bringing pleasure. But the peculiarity is that this favorite business he/she will need to start from scratch, which means that for some time they will not be able to afford all that they could buy and get previously.
3. The feeling of isolation from the world. Downshifters, who prefer backwoods to bustling metropolises, first enjoy the peace and self-knowledge. But then many of them understand that the world is not just four walls surrounding and a beautiful pond outside the window, the world is other people, interesting events, the feeling that you are in the team, etc.
So, now you see that to enjoy downshifting you should be a successful office worker who is tired of career rush for money and status, and who agrees to exchange material wealth for inner peace and tranquility.