In the language of sociology, the term lifestyle normally refers to a combination of interests, opinions and behavioral patterns of an individual or group. It typically reflects an individual’s attitudes and values as a means of forging a sense of self. On the About page of this blog, I define it as a reflection of an individual’s response to the challenge of life.
To most of us, however, the word lifestyle conjures up images of fast cars, mansions, exotic vacations and other things generally regarded as the trappings of success. At a more down to earth level, it means holding down a “good” job, hopefully for a lifetime, whilst looking forward to enjoying retirement at the age of around 65. In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek Tim Ferris calls this the “deferred–life” plan and introduces the concept of Lifestyle Design, which he defines as ditching the “deferred–life” plan, and instead creating a “luxury” lifestyle in the present. After all, 65 may never come.
A “luxury” lifestyle in this context does not necessarily mean fast cars, mansions and exotic holidays, rather it means having enough time, income and mobility to do what you want with your life, as opposed to what you feel obliged to do. In other words, lifestyle design is about doing a job or earning a living in a way that suits your chosen lifestyle, rather than having your lifestyle dictated by your job. It is about taking action to put yourself in a position to do what truly makes you happy…to pursue your life’s goal!
Your Lifestyle Design
Now, what is your life’s goal? Most people do not really think about this deeply. Most believe that having more money would be the answer to all their problems. “If only I had more money” is a refrain I am sure we have all heard many times, even if only in our own heads. Little do we know that having an excess of money is not the answer to everything and can in fact lead to more problems than it solves. Ironically, it is this type of thinking that keeps us on the treadmill of the all-consuming routine and stops us undertaking the critical self-examination necessary to create a life of fulfilment.
Therefore, the first step in the Lifestyle Design process is to start with your life’s goal. If money, time and mobility were no object, how would you live your life? What would truly make you happy? It maybe that the fast life is indeed what would make you happy, which is fine. For others, happiness would be the ability to spend more time with family, help others by doing charitable work and/or have more time to pursue interests and hobbies. Once you truly know what would make you happy, you can then determine how to achieve it.
Put the Internet to Work…
The aim of this blog post is to hopefully change your thinking about the nature and purpose of work. For sure, the reality is we all have to work to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. But how many do so with complete freedom and enjoyment?
Fortunately, we live in the information age and the internet has empowered a lot of ordinary people and changed their lives beyond recognition. Now, to many the internet is like America’s Wild West, full of ridiculous get rich quickly schemes and shady characters ready to take your money at a click of the mouse. To others, it is a haven that offers the opportunity to earn more than they would in their regular job and gain the freedom to do what they want for the rest of their lives. I subscribe to the latter and this blog is designed to be a repository of information on how to put the internet to work to achieve the time, money and location freedom you need to be truly happy.
An Exciting Opportunity to Change Your Lifestyle
Finally, I want to say something about the pursuit of dreams. Dreams are the foundations of life and below I have posted a short video which I hope will inspire you to take action to change your lifestyle. With hard work and determination, anyone, regardless of background, color or creed, can use the internet to transform their lives and realize their dreams.