One of the biggest differences between those who make a success of
themselves and those who don’t is the foresight to plan ~ Maya Mendoza.
Since about 2010 the term Lifestyle Design has been coined to sum-up or describe the process of unconventional living and taking control of your destiny. It’s a term, and a movement popularised by
Chris Guillebeau’s Art of Non-Conformity and Tim Ferris’ The 4 Hour Work Week
In a nutshell the philosophy of Lifestyle Design comes down to is this:
- Defining yourself and your life on your own terms.
- Thinking about Life as a blank canvas, and your own life as the paint.
- Taking your dreams off the shelf, opening the box and making them happen NOW not later.
It sounds seductively simple, doesn’t it? After all, why on earth would anyone with any gumption settle for what society deems acceptable, average or normal if they hanker to travel a different road?
If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. ~ Jim Rhon
Although there are no official Lifestyle Design rules or step-by-step road-maps to follow (that’s’ the fun and the challenge of it) many people seem to define the term based on Tim Ferriss now famous book.
Personally I wonder the wisdon of swapping one pre-designed template for another that’s simply based on one man’s ideal, and an experiment in creative living.
I would say that lifestyle design has always existed and always will. I can remember back in the 1980’s we used to call it Living On Purpose. In the late 1990’s the popular term was Conscious Creating.
There is an art and a science to it that is rarely discussed, and in my opinion the term is banded about with little real understating of the long-term benefits, or the potential pitfalls.
True Lifestyle Design is a broad concept that embraces the truth that we can live any way we desire. That each person has a choice to forge their ideal life crafted from their deep values, dreams and ambitions…. and it will be different for every individual
What I have noticed over the decades is that for an individual to succeed in forging their own way through life, there are specific qualities that either inherent in that person, or need to be learned and developed. In addition there are a number of practical components that should be considered. These include:
- A desire for a greater sense of personnal (and often financial) freedom an flexibility
- A requirement to seek more fun and have more time to enjoy it.
- A need to follow your heart despite distractions and demands.
- The ability to question your motives and assess your needs honestly.
- A strong curiosity abut the wider world
- Resourcefulness, self-reliance and the ability to take responsible for your independence
- Commitment to question your status quo and examine your life and motives
- The motivation to take the time to break the mould; reflect, review and plan your life
It’s true that many 21st Century Lifestyle Designers are Location Independent or Digital Nomads. It goes without saying that many do not have a conventional job. They often create their own income, work freelance and live a ‘laptop lifestyle’ without the constraints of shift patterns or 9 to 5 hours.
Now that lifstyle model may apeal to you or not. It makes no difference as for Lifestyle Design to work for you, you get to do it your way.
So what is Lifestyle Design for me personally?
The essence of it is about shaking things up and not taking things for granted, shedding the old and excessive; embracing experience rather than gathering stuff, and making more self-aware and conscious choices.
It’s about examining life, and wondering – experimenting and doing what it takes to break free from entrapments that may have defined you to this point.
It is about taking action to express more of yourself more often – getting out the box, breaking the mould and reinventing your style. I think Paulo Coelho touched on it in his book The Alchemist…
“we must all go to a journey to fulfil our Personal Legend”
~ Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist…
Fundamentally, Lifestyle Design can be a gentle reassignment of your preferences and priorities, or it can stretch right out into the ultimate Extreme Makeover. Either way, you progressively become your own life expert that creates perfection from the raw materials of your values and imagination.