6 Undeniably Unconventional But Exceptionally Effective Tips For Breaking Free

Hello readers, My names Jonny, I’m 24, retired and currently fighting off swarms of advancing fire ants in the South of India. So now you know a little more about me I am sure you will feel more comfortable reading this post.

Why Read?

Being a reader of this blog I guess you are keen to break the mold and live a slightly more unconventional life than most, and kudos to you.

For my first post here, presumptuous to think I’ll get another I know, I thought I would give you a run down of some very different but quite possibly genius advice for breaking free of the rat race which will help you, as Cody puts it, live life on your own damn terms.

Just so you don’t think I am just writing crap or am a raging egomaniac, it’s worth knowing that I quit my boring ass but stupidly high paid project management job around 8 months ago, started a company and went off to travel the world and haven’t died yet, so I do have some experience in what I say. This is what worked for me.

1. Go Babylonian On Their Asses

The Babylonians knew how to party, they also knew how to create incredible wealth. Sure their wisdom is 6000 years old but that doesn’t dilute the awesomeness of it.

Babylon had no natural resources, no decent trade routes and no defining advantages when it was in it’s infancy, but very soon it became the richest city in the known world. How did they achieve this? Well, they had a system. Agree with it or not, they used it and millionaires today use it. Its a multipart system as all good systems are, but one of the fundamental principles which we can apply here is that they kept a percentage of all they earned for themselves.

“But Jonny”, I hear you say, “I keep everything I earn mate.” WRONG. The council owns some of it, the tax man owns some of it, the supermarkets own it, the clothes stores own it, credit cards own it, etc. Most people don’t actually own anything they earn, it is gone almost as soon as they get hold of it.

If you are serious about breaking free you need to create a stash of cash to either buy you some time or invest. Over 18 months I saved enough to survive a year abroad without a job so I could build my business. Without this stash, I would never have been able to leave, unless I robbed a bank.

2. Talk The Talk BEFORE You Walk The Walk

You see what I did there? It’s important. Too many people try to walk the walk and then talk about it, but this is very risky because it is too easy to bail out on your dreams.

I advocate that if you want to do something then tell everybody, even before you have bought the tickets. When I was thinking of quitting my job, a big decision because by doing so I not only lost my income but I had to pay for the additional degree I was studying towards but wouldn’t complete, which cost me serious amounts of cash. To make sure I didn’t back out I picked a country, Thailand, and then proceeded to tell anyone who asked that I was quitting my job and moving to Thailand. This was before I had booked any tickets or even handed in my resignation.

I knew that the chances of me bailing on my dreams of being an entrepreneur and becoming wealthy because of doubt were huge and so I reversed the tables and by telling everyone what I was (thinking of) doing, made it a much bigger risk to not make good on my plans, as I would be losing face with a lot of people that I respect and that respect me. Don’t bail on our dreams, tell others so you can’t.

3. Don’t Punch Your Boss In The Face

In fact, this doesn’t just go for your boss, don’t punch anyone in the face…unless they really deserve  it.

Of course I don’t mean this literally, but I use it as a metaphor for not burning bridges when you leave your job, you never know when you might need them.

4. Get Really Pissed Off With Life

Sometimes the only thing that is going to get you out of a rut is if you get really, really mad.

The thing that finally pushed me over the edge was when the worst thing that could happen to me in life happened.

My mum died. Overnight nothing seemed to carry the importance they once did. Not a job, not what people thought of me, not even my future security. I got pissed off with life, ditched everything and went to live life how I wanted, damn the consequences because frankly, life is too short. Love those that are dear to you, because I learned the hard way that you are never sure how long you will be lucky enough to know them.

5. Burn Everything

Right, let me clarify before the pyromaniacs out there go nuts. I didn’t actually burn anything, I just threw a lot of stuff out. Big difference.

Before I left England I took an inventory of my life and realized I had a lot of crap. Over one weekend I ditched more than 90% of it. Clothes, gadgets, watches, bags, sports equipment. Anything I had duplicates of or I didn’t ever use or were just low quality, was ditched. I kept only the very high quality stuff and only stuff I actually used. True I probably chucked away hundreds, if not thousands of pounds but I can tell you it was one of the greatest things I have ever done in my life. Not only does it completely de-clutter your life, it de-clutters your mind and revolutionizes your concept of an object’s value. Now I invest in quality and I invest in the long term, not tons of useless junk. I challenge you to do it, it’s hard, not many people can be emotionally detached to chuck most of their possessions away, even if they have never used them – try it and see. Colin from Exile Lifestyle is a good example to follow.

6. Live The Movies

Sure Hollywood is over exaggerated and it’s just a script and actors, but how awesome are the lives they lead? Start making your life more like a movie, why not? Most things are more possible than you think.

I love movies and I love taking elements from my favorite characters and trying to weave them into my makeup.

Now I am not saying it is always possible as to date, I still can’t fly, however it is an interesting angle on developing yourself. Study the characters you want to emulate and act like they would. In big decisions I come across or if I have massively messed up I always think “What would X do?”  WWXD. And you know what, it helps. Just don’t try and be impervious to bullets, that just doesn’t work.

To Sum Up

Re-read these pointers and try applying some. Get yourself up and away from the screen and make a start on changing your life. It is not as hard as you may think.

Great Resource: My good friend Sam was able to negotiate a severance package equal to six years of living expenses and break free! Imagine being able to quit your job with money in your pocket and insurance to cover you for months. Learn how to negotiate a great severance for yourself in Sam’s book How to Engineer Your Layoff! Never quit, always get laid off so you can collect a severance, health care insurance, deferred compensation, unused vacation days, and be eligible for unemployment. If for whatever reason you do not find the book helpful, Sam provides a full refund!

How To Make Money Quitting Your Job

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Jonny Gibaud

Guest post from Jonny Gibaud. Co-founder of Emergency Food Storage.


  1. says

    Awesome post Cody!! I really enjoyed some of the tips you provided by adding your personality. I realy want to work on tip #1,#2, #5. In regards to #5, did you do or do you recommend applying it towards “friends”/family, especially those who do not show support?

    • Jonny | thelifething.com says

      Hi Monique,

      Although I am not actually Cody, I did write the article so perhaps I ca help with the answer.

      With regards you question, tough one. Personally I would never actually set anyone on fire but I guess if you mean cutting the ties with people that hold you back then yes I would say you do need to and I have on many occasions.

      I have a good core or people that are lifelong friends but people change through their lives and so the people you associate with need to change also.

      It is always worth remembering that who you spend most of your time with is the kind of person you are going to become. If it helps, I have a post on my site called
      A Happiness Fundamental – The Social Spider Webspiderweb/ which is a tool for helping you diagnose who you are going to become in your current situation. Worth a look.

      Thanks for the comment.

      • says

        My apologies Jonny! Originally it said it was written by Cody.

        Thanks for the response! I absolutely love your blog…. I spent all day on it yesterday especial on the section of escaping the 9 to 5 rat race! I will check out the post you recommended!

        Once again, awesome article!

        • Jonny | thelifething.com says

          No problem, I had to slap Cody around a bit but I think we are friends again.
          Thanks for spending so much time on my blog, but I don’t think that is healthy. My sense of humour can rot brain cells after a while.

    • Jonny | thelifething.com says

      Hi Meg,

      You are very good looking so to be more like me you will first have to get roughed up a bit. I recommend a bar fight or two, though I do share you passion for cars…and unfortunately crashing them.

      Thanks for the comment, I already think you are awesome.

  2. Matt says

    Great stuff Cody!

    I particularly enjoyed #6. I think there’s many plausible truths weaved into movies (even the outlandish ones) that we can extract and use in our own lives to make them more enjoyable, meaningful, and remarkable. And although I too cannot fly (yet), that doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep at it :)


    • Jonny | thelifething.com says

      Lol, It appears Cody is doing well from this article. He must owe me a drink.

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for the comment and good luck with your flying mate.

  3. says

    You write really well Jonny … love the stuff about emulating the lifestyles (within reason) of movies; it’s what we want out of life frequently, but it’s not “realistic”, so we say it’s just the movies, life can’t be like that.

    It seems alot of people would rather live vicariously through the movies instead of creating their own movie, and that’s sad :(

    • Jonny | thelifething.com says

      Hi James,

      Thanks my friend, compliments are always appreciated. Definitely the “within reason” part is essential but I guess the level of “reasonability” will vary depending on the reality of the individual.

      I love movies but don’t want to live my life through them, unless someone will pay me to act…but that seems unlikely.

      Thanks for the comment.

  4. says

    My condolences for your mum.

    #4 resonated best with me. When you get pissed off it’s like new DNA is activated. It’s takes a deliberate focus the be the MF’er. Thanks for sharing, posting and remember to take names while you kick a__.

  5. says

    nice to see someone talking the talk before walking the walk too! that was my strategy. i am a thinker, not a doer. SO, to keep myself more accountable, i started telling everyone i could about my “idea” to move to the Philippines for a year. that way, i could keep myself accountable and would be more likely to follow through once i told people. it really works!

    i’m in the philippines. i traveled to india before that. i’m loving every bit of it!

  6. Jonny | thelifething.com says

    Hi Floreta,

    Sounds awesome. I am currently in India but was planning on the Philippine before I settled on Thailand a few months back. It is still on my todo list. What is it like?

    • says

      Ah, I love it here. Beautiful beaches. Friendly people. English speakers (97% literacy rate). It’s not as dirty, smelly or vibrant as India. There’s a certain charm to India that will always have my heart..

    • Jonny says

      Financial Samurai, that is a great name. I am off to your site right now to learn the way of the Fiscal Samurai.

  7. Zoran says

    All our biographies are alike only I had to make ‘acrobatic breaking free’ process together with wife and 3 daughters under 6.

  8. Ash says

    Cody! You’re the best!


    Hahaha, oh hubby…your writing never fails to make me smile. That quick wit of yours never gets old.

    By the way, my mom died, too. That means that neither one of us will have a mother-in-law. Looking on the bright side? :)

    In all seriousness, though, I feel you.

  9. wordriffdrift says

    I liked what you said about not skimping. quality of life, not quantity ( you only get one ). It just takes a little harder work, and there is always work. you know…If you want it. also good call on south east asia and the indian sub-continent. absolutely. some memories never fade.

  10. says

    So I’ve taken your advice to heart and acted on it; the whole “talk the talk first” was such a freeing thing to read. Having debated for months on whether or not I should start a blog about trying to leave my 9 to 5 (while still being in it), I took your advice as a license to just go ahead and start.

    Thought you might like to know that you were one of the voices that gave me the courage to step out and try something scary. Thank you!

    I look forward to walking the walk before very long. :)

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