Do I have to downshift?
Any kind of shift, upwards, downwards or sideways, to a more sustainable and meaningful future often begins when we decide that the demands of our modern working life do not justify the rewards. We might reach a point where we yearn for more time to enjoy our families, our relationships, and to participate in our communities. Then there’s a transformative process that happens once we consciously intend to change our lifestyle to meet those needs. This might well be a ‘downshift’ if the starting point is from a position of high income. However, for you it might simply involve a sideways shift – a move to something different. For some, it’s actually more of an upshift, and this might be the case for you if you prefer to grow your life and livelihood by creating or upgrading an ethical or sustainable business, for example. Of those who do downshift, some do that voluntarily, some are what I call “forcibly downshifted”, for example through stress-induced ill health, redundancy, relationship breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances. A new kind of upshift then follows as a more meaningful and fulfilling path starts to become apparent.