5 Ways to be More Self-Sufficient


In this current day and age it seems as though I am often reminded of the state of the world in which we live in by both older and younger people. Both demographics often speculate that the United States and the world are coming to an end or total collapse in stability (at least the world/societies we know today). I will not lie and will admit that when I was younger I too shared a similar ideology, but will be the first to admit that though the demise of the modern world is inevitable at some point that doesn’t mean that it will end tomorrow or in the coming months or years.

A way I coped with the observations I was making within my environment and the issues becoming more apparent, was to start figuring out how to do stuff on my own and take responsibility for what I can control to become more self-sufficient. We have become too familiar with the comforts of modern society and fallen prey to malicious marketing and consumerism that has been normalized within Western/American Culture. This weaponized consumerism is what keeps the rich richer, the poor poorer; leaving us stuck at our dead end jobs wishing for an escape. Marketing teams and various corporations have worked hard to keep us reliant on their goods as to increase quarterly/annual returns and keep shareholders happy.

Now I will be the first to admit that I am by no means an economist, but it is apparent that capitalism in its fundamental state is based on the notion that infinite/exponential growth is both realistic and sustainable. On a singular, finite planet I will argue that his doesn’t work well with population ecology and the overall finite resources that are found across the Earth.

I am by no means advocating for everyone to build a bunker and start identifying themselves as preppers, but to encourage a bit of accountability and self-realization to the idea that the “good times” we are experiencing now could one day end within the near future. What I mean by that is that if you look within the past few hundred years it is evident to see that within our lifetimes we will see multiple recessions, housing market crashes, wars, drought, famine, natural disasters, pandemics, etc. Covid-19 exposed the fragility of our supply chains within the United States and the war with Ukraine and Russia showed how intertwined the world is in regards to keeping the world going.

To help make the potential transition to a more difficult period of life easier for you I hope to give you some basic tools which seem to help those who perpetually live in times of struggle. Many think in order to be self-sufficient you must own 50 acres and have a lot of money, but I can assure you that this is far from the truth. In all honesty, you can live a pretty sustainable life while living in an apartment. It will just take a bit of hard work and commitment. Many of the tools I plan to list will help improve your life in many other areas and give you a sense of peace that you cannot buy online or at a store. Anyways, enough with the introduction on with the show.

1. Live With Intent

I recently began reading a modern translation of the late Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ journal titled, Meditations, I haven’t finished the book yet, but am grateful that I picked the book up. One of the first points Marcus writes in his journal is the realization that we are mortal and that we don’t really have as much time on Earth in this body as we think. A good quote from the book is as follows, “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think” (Aurelius, p.20). Another quote on the following page that correlates writes, “Even if you’re going to live three thousand more years or ten times that , remember: you cannot lose another life than the one you’re living now, or live another one than the one you’re losing. The longest amounts to the same as the shortest. The present is the same for everyone, its loss is the same for everyone; and it should be clear that a brief instant is all that is lost. For you can’t lose either the past or the future; how could you lose what you don’t have?” (Aurelius, p. 21).

What Marcus is trying to say in these quotes is that you can’t spend your time worrying about the past or future too much, all great work is done in the present! If you spend all your time thinking about your past mistakes or how good life looked through the rose colored glasses then you end up missing the fruits of today or taking any initiative to change your life for the better. The same can be said about the future. If one focuses about the future too much they tend to get wrapped up in one’s expectations whether realistic or unrealistic and your happiness ends up being tied to an outcome or idea.

This is the first skill that everyone should learn to develop. This is the foundation of having discipline and working in an efficient matter. It helps prevent depression and anxiety. When you are focused on the present moment it is impossible to think about anything else. From this point you are able to address issues in your life and take them on head on rather than avoid them through distractions or any various form of escapism. This is why bars are full on Fridays and adults are addicted to video games. At some point you have to trade a better life for quick dopamine.

I am not saying to run around saying “YOLO” like it is 2012 and live irresponsibly because we can die at any time, but to be 100% content with what you achieved throughout your day, if you can’t feel satisfied at the end of a day then something in your life needs to be reevaluated.

2. Take Control of Your Finances

Once you are able to start living every day with intention you are then able to address the major issue within your life. For the average person here in the United States your main issue is usually related to money/savings. Many Americans live their lives in debt from student loans, car payments, credit cards, etc. This debt ends up making you a slave to the bank. Often coercing the individual to stay working jobs they hate and keep them living a miserable life, thus incentivizing the use of various forms of escapism to help give a temporary release from the misery of day to day life.

Many will recognize the character Tyler Durden’s line from book/movie Fight Club, “It’s only after you’ve lost everything, that you are free to do anything” which has some truth to it, but the same can be said on the other side. Sure if you are dead broke you can do whatever you want because you will still be broke at the end of the day, but if you can get out of debt and have a bit of money saved up you will see that money opens up a lot of opportunity if put in the right places.

If you can minimize buying things you don’t need and putting a good chunk of your income into assets rather than liabilities to generate a form of passive income or hold/appreciate value over time then you are heading in the right direction. Being able to generate your own income frees you from the shackles of relying on other people for a paycheck.

3. Stop Equating Material Goods With Happiness

The topic of money tends to rub people the wrong way and I understand. I long for a time where money didn’t matter or exist, but it is the world we live in now. I am not going to sit here and preach to you about what to invest in or to put your money into gold and silver, but rather ENCOURAGE you to take the time to become financially literate and learn to have money work for you rather than to use your finite time in exchange for money.

I currently work with an individual who claims to have more money than time and is working in his 60’s. I often will hear this person talk about how they are going to use their paycheck to buy a new gun, tool, boat, or car part despite having plenty. I realized years ago that buying things is often a hobby here in the United States and is used to fill a void in people’s lives as it delivers a form of dopamine. After reading a few sales books I learned that most of the stuff we buy is on a whim and triggers an emotional response rather than a logical one. I am not immune to this phenomenon, but am glad than I am aware of it when I fall into the trap.

Very few things truly bring long term happiness into your life. Having a minimalist perspective of items in your life can help reduce clutter and prevent you from losing your money. If you were to die today many of the items that you cherish right now would either be sold for less than what you believe them to be worth or thrown in the trash. Less is more and the things we end up owning ends up owning us.

4. Take Control Over What You Eat

Once you learn where your money should go after freeing yourself of debt you should then focus your efforts on figuring out what you are eating. I mean really? Why are there so many chemicals and artificial food dyes in many of the popular foods we eat here in the United States? We are being manipulated on all fronts and continuously being fed poison. I often joke that a toxic society creates a toxic environment. Our waterways are poisoned, as is our land, fish, and wild game. Despite our nation having relatively long lifespans estimates here in the United States we are beginning to see greater rates of cancer in our youth and young adults, no one really knows why this is happening, but it is easy to speculate that there is something wrong in the way we eat and live.

Many of the foods we are given as children are hyper processed and contain copious amounts of sugar and/or salt. A high sugar diet is correlated with many serious illnesses and can have a negative impact on your gut health (which is where most of your digestion occurs). If you can localize the food you ingest by growing/cooking it yourself or buying from a local organic farmer/rancher then I deeply encourage you to do so. Not only will you be reducing your carbon foot print, but you will be able to obtain food that contains more nutrients and freshness than that commonly found in the supermarket. How many times will we have to read about food recalls because of listeria, e. coli, salmonella, lead or other contaminants found in food?

5. Stop Paying Attention to Trends

For anyone who has read this far I can tell that my words are resonating within you. After you have made it this far you will start to recognize issues within pop culture that keep us in this perpetual cycle of dependency. I wrote a few blogs related to the ideas mentioned in this blog in regards to freeing yourself. One was my reflection on a documentary I watched called, Happy People, and the other discussing how to find freewill within you. I hope that these blogs actually help people and don’t come off as a big self-help ramble. Regardless, the moral of the story is that if you are following the path of least resistance you often are following the lead of others, thus becoming a sheep. The term sheep often has a double standard here in the United States, many use it online as an insult in regards to political ideology for those who seem to be following blindly. On the other hand those who claim to follow a form of Christian faith tend to refer to themselves as a sheep with the lord being the Shepard.

I personally subscribe to the idea that sure there are some good general ideas to follow in your day to day life, but I refuse to sell my soul or personal convictions for the sake of fitting in or following a path of least resistance. It is often more difficult to stay true to your own moral/ethical code, but is worth it in the long run (especially if money is involved). If you can keep your life as simple as possible and as free as possible you will find the key to happiness. It should be said that freedom is not free and comes with its own risk and cost. Stay focused on your own path away from whatever everyone else is doing.


Now I know this isn’t what you may think about when thinking about self-sufficiency, but everything you expected me to say is already played out. Everyone knows that they should grow/hunt/raise their own food or buy in bulk, but I think the information I listed out here is more valuable. There will be more information on the subject in the future, but I felt that these were some of the more important lessons that I have learned within the past few years. I hope I introduced you to some new perspectives of what it means to be self-sufficient.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *