Uncaged Secrets

Cultivating Your Anti-Work Skill [ICYMI]

Published 8 months ago • 2 min read

Read this on

Read time: 3 minutes

For years, you’ve been building “in-demand” skills.

But that’s led you astray.

Let’s build a superior skill instead. Enjoy.

The Secret

Our programming starts early.

And it’s all centered on the necessity to work.




So, knowing no alternative, we strive to become “work” machines.

(Reinforced by societal whisperings of “become a machine or be replaced by one.”)

Out-working others is how you:

  • Get financial security
  • Climb the ladder
  • Get “ahead”


Our machine-like nature attempts to say “yes” to all the emails, meetings, and projects.

Our minds fear what’ll happen if we say “no.”

So, every day is an attempt to keep up.

But what’s the reward for “keeping up” and succeeding?

Falling behind...and more work.

No doubt, hard work is necessary in moments and seasons.

This is how we “level up” and access new opportunities.

But long-term work obsession does not lead to prosperity.

Instead, it leads to:

  • Unhappiness
  • Mediocrity
  • Regret

Treating symptoms instead of the root cause

Years go by, and we finally look up, asking, “What the f*ck am I doing?”

It’s an existential moment for many (I see it up close every week).

Most people go into solution mode:

“I need to switch companies.”

“I need to take more vacations.”

“I need to start a real estate portfolio.”

No, no, no.

Those are all just diversions.

You’re avoiding the root issue: you’re afraid that if you stop working hard like everyone else, “bad” things will happen.


Fear is what’s causing the shitty effects in your life.

Keeping you hostage to work types and styles that you hate.

So, how do we break free?

You need a new skill that no school or employer will ever teach.

I’m talking about your anti-work skill.


Anti-work means cultivating the bravery to decline the “normal” onslaught of potential work that attacks your screen, desk, and mind daily.

We do this to create space (time, energy, and mental/emotional).

Space is the place where miracles happen.

You’ve got 100 new requests each day, but what are the 2-3 essential items?

You’re not “quiet quitting” or pulling a fast one on your employer.

You’re just finally giving yourself permission to be in control.

…to choose your work

…to protect your time

…to do what matters

Practically speaking, anti-work looks like this:

  • Everyone else continues on in robot mode
  • Instead, you choose to be human and assert your agency
  • You carefully say “yes” to only a few essential items
  • You resist the urge to cave to false “pressures“
  • You value your precious attention, and become hard to access
  • In return, you permanently regain space in your life
  • And with this space, you can breathe, be, and build a new chapter for yourself (e.g., be present with family, start your own business)

Anti-work is a skill unto itself — possibly the most valuable one you can develop right now.

It requires daily mental programming and continual re-commitment.

That’s how you overcome the fear.

That’s how we create space.

And it’s how you be your future self…now.

PS - Here's how I did it. You can too.


Clarify your “happiness” means.


Activating Mindful FIRE: Adam Coelho (host of the Mindful FIRE podcast) joins me to discuss the unique intersection of mindfulness and financial independence. We discuss how to make work optional and accelerate the manifestation of a life we love. Enjoy!

That’s it for today, my friend! I appreciate you.


Already a subscriber?

Uncaged Secrets

by Matt Doan

Battle-tested strategies for escaping the Corporate Cage and using your superpowers to build entrepreneurial freedom (career & life). Leveraging 15 years in strategy consulting to build a 7-figure lifestyle business and give my family the life they deserve.

Read more from Uncaged Secrets

Read this (and previous posts) online Issue #149 Read time: 3 minutes Hey Reader, I know you’re craving freedom right now. But it feels elusive — as though every move you’ve made is insufficient. Let’s clarify the path forward today. The Secret The world sold me lies as a kid. That everything I could ever want would come from picking a "good" career path and following the rules. You might've been sold similar lies. That's why you're reading this now. But we both know nothing could be further...

6 days ago • 2 min read

Read this on Issue #148 Read time: 3 minutes Two paths. Which will you choose? The Secret Safety. Freedom. Your inner voice won’t shut up. “I want to own my time.” “I want to do work I love.” “I want to inspire my kids.” So you endlessly research the “how.” But when it's time to act, you freeze. Logic wins. Years zip by as you're stuck in analysis paralysis. The "safe" path pulls you back, despite your dreams. Don't kid yourself. Choosing the status quo has hidden dangers. You...

13 days ago • 1 min read

Read this on Issue #147 Read time: 3 minutes I’ve been on this entrepreneurial journey for over 5 years, and out of corporate for the last 2 years. Today, I’m sharing 12 lessons I wish I’d known in shifting from corporate to entrepreneurship. The Secret Here are 12 lessons I wish I’d known in graduating corporate life and becoming an entrepreneur: (CONTEXT: I had a wife, 4 kids, and a lifestyle to protect.) 𝗗𝗼𝘄𝗻𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗳𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗽𝗼𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 1) Target corporate for 4 hours/day (essentials...

19 days ago • 3 min read
Share this post