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by Clarita via MorgueFile

A lot of people ask me “what is lifestyle design?”

To them, it sounds weird. Almost cultish.

This is a strange comparison because lifestyle designers usually succeed by painting the mainstream as cultish and slavish.

Lifestyle design has been around for a long time, since the age of Aristotle and Socrates, and probably long before them. In its most basic form, lifestyle design is about making conscious choices to better your life. Because everyone has varying definitions of what a better life means, there are gurus and self-help artists for every range of demographic and interest. Lifestyle design is usually focused on our wants, after our basic needs of food, water, clothing and shelter have been meant. It is the exploration of idle time, and we shouldn't feel ashamed that we desire a life of idle time.

That's what makes lifestyle design so fun. It's a way to say Fuck You to the Establishment, the tastemakers who tell you what to wear, and where to go on vacation, and even worse, tell you that you must work 50 hours per week for 40 years before you can join the elite club of the retired. And the most insidious thing about what they are selling is that it feels good, and it sounds right. It makes logical sense that if you believe you owe some debt of gratitude to the world for it allowing you to thrive and eat as many different type of peanut butter as you can imagine.

I think H.L. Mencken said it best when he described a platitude as – a) something that everyone knows is true, and b) something that is not true. Mencken laid it all out for us, just as many others have before and since.  The System is a con game, meant to constantly churn out workers and consumers. Nearly everything is unneeded. If the electricity were to shut off forever, 99% of products would never be missed, like the newest way to automatically clean your toilet bowl.

Lifestyle design is truly self help in action. It's about taking what you read, seeing what others have done, and putting a plan in action. Whether it's working at a menial job for 6 months and saving up enough to spend the next 6 months on vacation, then repeating it, or saving every red cent for ten straight years and retiring early, there are many ways to apply lifestyle design fundamentals to your life. It's all about finding the ideas that work for you.

Are you married with kids and debt and stuck in a job you hate, with a mortgage tied around your ankle? Do you feel like you can never leave, that you are on a treadmill of work and exhaustion, all just to stay afloat and keep the banks from taking away your things?

I think married people can take new control of their lives, and radically change the way you live and what you give and pass on. I am currently in the stages of finding this new way for my family. If you are in the same place, I hope you will subscribe to our RSS Feed and stop by on a regular basis.