Remaining Positive About Lifestyle Design

Lifestyle Design is about dreaming of a future free from the restraints that are placed on us by societal norms. That is, free from a job we hate, stepping away from rampant consumerism and discovering things about ourselves that we never thought we possessed. Whilst dreaming, Lifestyle Designers begin taking steps to make these life changes a reality and along the way there are inevitably a whole range of hiccups that many of us don’t like to talk about for fear of appearing to be a dismal failure. A recent post by Adam Baker (When to Quit Traveling) about giving up travelling the world earlier than planned and returning “home” to start a normal life again is a great post because it highlights the hurdles that Lifestyle Designers face when trying to find a different life. And it’s authentic – something that is so often missing in the entrepreneurial/Lifestyle Design world.

In the same vein, I face issues which question the very nature of Lifestyle Design. After recently splitting with my good friend and partner of 12 years, my visions of Lifestyle Design have been turned on their head. My plans were interwoven with my partner’s, my financial plans were based on a couple sharing expenses and my whole future was about living independently, but as a couple!

So what happens when you decide to split with your partner and you’ve already started down the Lifestyle Design path? My immediate panicked thoughts turned to the “normal” life.  A full-time job, a nice house, retreating to a place I was familiar with… It all sounded so comfortable and it’s what I thought I needed immediately after a break-up. I think I also seriously questioned whether this whole Lifestyle Design gig was for real or just a charade to mask deeper-seated discontentment. It was almost as if I had switched to believing that a life of discontentment was actually OK because it’s what everyone else is doing.

Well, I’m here to say that I was able to pull myself out of that temporary lapse of sanity. But things are different now and I look forward to the challenges of Lifestyle Design with a different set of eyes. Certainly, life in the future seems a little more open to my own whims – but this question keeps coming up. “Why bother with Lifestyle Design?” And the only answer I can come up with, and it sounds logical, is that it’s too easy to settle into discontentment and that true happiness is something that needs to be strived towards. And that by definition requires effort and perhaps a journey with a myriad of hurdles.

But it also begs the question.  “How does one remain positive about lifestyle design when the chips are down?” It’s certainly something needs exploring as the new breed of Lifestyle Designers journey forth into the unknown and these obstacles present themselves.

4 thoughts on “Remaining Positive About Lifestyle Design

  1. It’s easy to panic when a change like that happens, especially if it’s not your choice. But whatever lifestyle you’re living is probably because you wanted a way out of the ratrace lifestyle we are all told to strive for.

    Sure, there are plenty of things outside your control no matter how you want to live. Running back to the perceived safety of the familiar is an easy solution, but your life is still going on, partner or not. Is spending the rest of your life back at a “job” really what you want out of life? To some people it is. That’s okay. If it’s not for you, don’t go there out of fear. You’ll have your whole life to regret it.

    Plenty of people are single and doing similar things to whatever you were doing. You may have to alter a few parts of the plan, but in all likelihood, you can still go on much the same way.

    No situation is perfect all the time. Having 2 incomes is nice, but only having one belly to keep full has it’s advantages too. If you can find a way to get creative with your new situation, you’ll do just fine.

    1. Yep, I agree. It’s at these crisis moments that we often want to retreat to what is comfortable and of course that’s the easy way out. For some that’s appropriate, but for me I still want to make a good go at it otherwise all the stuff I did before I only did because it was easy. Can’t wait to see how things unfold! Also love to see how other people’s situations unfold because it’s not a linear journey.

  2. Wow, Adam this is a very profound and honest post. I was thinking today about the different life situations people are in the lifestyle design community. I have never come across anyone who had started down the path of lifestyle design with a partner and then split. The way your write about your thought processes and what is going through your mind is inspirational. Bouncing back from a life event like this will only make you stronger. The rest of your life awaits.

    1. Thanks, Mark for your such nice comments. It’s really important to respond positively in these times or else you can easily just revert to what you know. That is, monotony. And monotony when the chips are down is even worse than before! So, yes I too think that bouncing back will make me stronger. Cheers!

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