Are you living the way you’ve always wanted to live?
If you are, congratulations! I’d love to interview you about how you did it!
If you aren’t, it’s possible to become the creator of your own life.
Lifestyle design is about living with intention and working in harmony with your purpose.
How I Define “Lifestyle”
I describe how you choose to experience your life as a “lifestyle”.
It is the pattern of habits for how you spend your time, energy and money. Those habits include how you work, have fun, learn, energize yourself, spend time with other people and generally engage with life.
Here are some examples of common lifestyles people live today based on how they work:
- 9 to 5 corporate
- full-time parent
- spiritual vocation
- government employee
- medical profession
- union employee
- hourly-wage employee
- truck driver
Most of those professions prevent you from choosing how to use the vast majority of your time, repress your potential for becoming financially independent and compel you to work according to a common work standard.
Of course, if you don’t want more time and more money or don’t care about choosing how you get to work, that’s your choice too!
Sure those lifestyle enable you to choose your profession, where you work, where you live, how you eat, your friends and how you spend your free time.
Unfortunately, you’ll spend more time working than anything else in life. Like it or not, your career path influences how you get to live the rest of your life.
Imagine having complete control over every decision in every aspect of your life? I know that sounds intimidating to some, but that’s what lifestyle design is all about.
Let’s Discuss What “Design” Means
When I use the term “design” I am describing an intentional plan based on thoughtful research outlining the actions to be taken to achieve a specific purpose.
Design is used in each and every aspect of our lives from the house you live in to the car you drive to the clothes you wear to this website you are using right now.
Funny how “design” has made our modern lives possible, yet most of us don’t think of using it as an approach for living our ideal lifestyles.
Too many of us our stuck in “survival mode” as our limited personal resources of time, energy and money are drained away by the latest demands of the moment. Life is running us down, instead of us running our lives.
Want to live and work on your terms? It just takes a little planning.
What Is Lifestyle Design?
I like to think of lifestyle design as living every aspect of your life with intention by living in complete alignment with your purpose, values, motivations, abilities and needs.
My version of lifestyle design is about living a self-directed life. It’s about making your own daily schedule. It’s about work on your terms. It’s about building a lifestyle around more meaningful work.
I know many people think of “lifestyle design” as a method for getting our of work to maximize your leisure time. I completely disagree. I’m not in favor of workaholism, but I’m also not in favor of sitting on a beach for the rest of my life.
Lifestyle design is about finding your balance of meaningful work and time to restore. Life is all about the tension between the expenditure and recovery of your energy.
I do believe the rise of the Internet, mobile devices and social media have the potential to give us more control of our time, so we can live more of our lives on our terms as first advocated in the Four-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.
After all, if you are going to spend most of your time working, you might as well work in a way that makes the most sense to you and gives you the most meaning.
Lifestyle design offers infinite new possibilities.
- If you only want to work 6 months out of the year, it’s possible.
- If you never want to work in an office again, it’s possible.
- If you want to have a side business outside of work, it’s possible.
- If you want your work to fund your travels around the work, it’s possible.
- If you want to spend more time with your family, it’s possible.
- If you want to make as much money as you want, it’s possible.
Benefits of Lifestyle Design
The greatest benefit of lifestyle design is liberating yourself from the traditional expectations of what it means to work.
1) Work Should Be Meaningful, Not Miserable
I believe most people believe work needs to be “miserable” to be defined as “work”. I think that’s just plain crazy. I’m not saying work still isn’t going to be hard, but it can be much more satisfying and rewarding.
I enjoy working and I probably work more now as an entrepreneur than I did as an employee because I’m in alignment with my motivations for work. I love what I do for work.
2) Be Valued for Your Output, Not Your “Facetime”
When I worked in an office, I never liked my work to be judge by how much I was “seen” in the office. I wanted to be judged on the quality and output of my work.
Now YOU get to judge my work (and I know you don’t care how long it took me to write this post!)
3) Become Self-Reliant
Someone recently asked me, “Stephen do you want to live in a zoo or in the wild?”
Basically, she was asking if I wanted my food brought to me or do I want to go find it myself. Do I want a steady paycheck or constantly go find sources of income?
I definitely want to live in the wild. I enjoy choosing how much money I get to make. Lifestyle design has made me more self-reliant and has given me the opportunity to share those skills with a community of people just like you.
When you live in the wild outside the walls of Corporate America, you are more adaptable and flexible because you are constantly seeking new opportunities.
You are exposed to alternative ways of working you never knew were even possible. As an experiment I once ran of my businesses from Spain for 4 months and never told any of my clients!
You can adapt more quickly to new advances in technology than a large organization because it’s more accessible and cheaper than ever before. You are also more nimble.
You are constantly meeting new people and learning new skills. Coasting and getting comfortable aren’t options. You maintain your edge.
4) Control Your Long Term Income
I have never had an interruption in my income in the last 16 years since I was laid off and started working for myself.
The majority of my family members, friends and colleagues on the traditional employment path have all lost part of or all their income at least once in the last decade.
Employment once seemed the more secure method of making a living. Now it is becoming less secure by the day.
You no longer have to accept the traditional employment paths laid before you. You can design your own path now.
Start Designing Your Ideal Lifestyle
The first step toward design your lifestyle is by answering this question, “What is the work you’ve always wanted to do?”
You might not have an answer or maybe just a rough idea. That’s ok. From my experience, you are in the majority.
To begin your quest to find an answer to that question, you need to start learning about yourself, so you can make decisions about your lifestyle in alignment with your ideals.
To start learning about yourself, you need to develop a practice of self-awareness. It is easily one of the most important skills in life never taught to you. I believe it is the most effective method for learning about yourself.
Your life is the sum of your habits. Your self-knowledge directs the development of your habits. As you practice self-awareness and learn about yourself, you will become aware of the habits that will have the greatest impact on helping you design your ideal lifestyle.