If you are anything like me, as you’ve moved forward in your life, you come to the stark realisation that it’s not as long as you first imagined, and that if you want to really enjoy life, some changes are going to need to be made. This is a scary place to be, especially with a mortgage, kids to feed, family to take care of. But if you spend all your life planning for retirement, you might just be disappointed. You are on this earth for a reasonable, but finite amount of time, and you are not here (despite what governments want you to believe), as a pawn in the economy. We all have greater purpose than that, to live, maybe procreate, and delight in the wonders that are our lives. So if you are hoping to travel, enjoy your family, grow your own veggies, and the rest of it, waiting is not the thing you should do.
Seriously, 40 plus years of work, 9-5, and maybe weekends? If you are reading this and in your 20′s, you may think, “what the hell, I’ve got time”. And yes, you have, but consider this. You are on this earth, a wonderful, individual creation. And you have a right to delight and wonder at what the world has to offer. It’s great to go to college, get some qualifications, but don’t forget the bigger picture. Live life to the fullest, and radiate that to everyone around you. You’ll be doing yourself a favour, and them too perhaps. I look at my young children and so much want them to not fall into the trap that millions (billions?) of the other people who make up humanity fall into. School, work, retire, DIE! And most of that life is working.
There is no need for you to be on that sinking ship, you can have it now, with a little work and some self belief. I implore you to lead the life you want to live RIGHT NOW. Don’t put it off. You really can live the good life without having to wait until you are 60+.
Living a ‘playboy’ lifestyle is not what we are talking about, but you have the ability, and the opportunity to create a lifestyle design that allows you to travel, create hobbies and interests that you can pursue for the rest of your life. And you can do it in the prime of your life.
The Lifestyle Design movement is really nothing new. There have always been entrepreneurs, playboys, ‘dropouts’ surf dudes and the like who have led what many would call an alternative lifestyle. The majority castigate them as lazy, thinking that hard work maketh the person. That’s crap, excuse my French. Working yourself into a grave without flourishing or fulfilling your ambitions is foolhardy at best. Tim Ferriss has really been the instigator of the modern lifestyle design revolution, publish his excellent, and New York Times bestselling book, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich in 2007. It’s been updated, sold in 35 languages, and has inspired millions to change their lives.
Since Tim’s amazing book, which he says was rejected by 26 of the 27 publishers he went to, has spawned a plethora of other lifestyle design related books, blogs and websites. This site 8020 Blogger, looks not just at the principles of lifestyle design, but provides my experience in becoming financially secure through a semi passive income. Yes I still do some work, a few hours each day, but If I want to take it easy, or go on holiday, the income keeps rolling in.
So how is lifestyle design defined. It means different things to different people, but a simple definition from Tim might be:
“The New Rich (NR) are those who abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility. This is an art and a science we will refer to as Lifestyle Design (LD).”
Tim Ferriss is extremely driven, but his drive does not appear to be to make millions, although he obviously has. His ethos seems to be about enjoying the things that people always though was the domain of the rich, but in reality, these lifestyles are graspable, for all of us.
He says, “$1,000,000 in the bank isn’t the fantasy. The fantasy is the lifestyle of complete freedom it supposedly allows. The question is then, How can one achieve the millionaire lifestyle of complete freedom without first having $1,000,000?”
Exactly what lifestyle design means to you will be very personal. Many of you, who are in the early stages of considering a life changing strategy may have grave doubts about your ability to pull this thing off. Do you have the skills, the motivation, the tenacity? My story is this. I have always procrastinated, had reasonable computer skills, but had never built a website, or knew about internet marketing until 15 months ago. I now make more than I ever did whilst employed and am working on new ideas and projects all the time. If I can do it, SO CAN YOU. For more of the lowdown on my apparently terminal procrastination, check this post out. BTW, I feel that I am now in remission, have my own business and different income streams, am location independent, and enjoying the challenges that I face, and choose to face with open arms and my head held high.
Anyone Can Succeed At Lifestyle Design
To start with, you do not have to throw your job in or have mini retirements for 4 months every year to be a lifestyle designer. Just some small tweaks to your work life balance may be enough to give you more free time to pursue your interest. Perhaps a negotiation with your boss might make remote working for a day a week a reality. You just need to sit down, evaluate your position, decide what, if any, changes need to be made, and start to put them into action. In reality, we could all live our lives better. If anyone has it just right, perfect, please contact me with your secret.
Anyone can take advantage of this lifestyle design philosophy. For some of us, it will need massive action and massive change, for others, less radical treatment. But we all need to KNOW that working for 50 hours a week for 45 years is not going to cut the mustard when, in the last years or weeks of your life, you say, “WAS THAT IT?”
Designing your life is just what implies, ‘YOU designing YOUR life’. Not society and cultural traditions telling you the way it must be. Please sign up to my newsletter or RSS feed. We can enjoy this journey together, and change our lives, and the lives of those we love.
How Do You Find The Time To Do What Needs To Be Done?
I have habitually asked that of myself for years. I don’t necessarily have that much to do, but I used to always get to the end of the day or week and thing, ‘was that it?, why didn’t I achieve more?”
It’s this habitual lack of focus that drives so many of us to drink (well, not always literally), and into the loving arms of procrastination. I have always found that procrastination is a nasty little animal, it’s like a leech. Once it gets its tiny blood sucking mandibles into you, it hangs on, and slowly sucks the lifeblood out of you. There’s a saying that is actually used when referring to the ancient herb Borage. That saying is ‘Once You’ve Got It, YOU’VE GOT IT!’, meaning once it’s in your garden, you’re gonna have really problems getting rid of it.
Think of procrastination as the Borage Of Life, once it’s in you, it’s hard to get rid of, and you need some good quality ‘organic’ solutions to get rid of the weed that is slowly strangling you.
Take a look at my starting question again. Getting to the end of a day without achieving anything is nothing more than personal decisions. Time is plentiful, and the great thing is, whether you’re Bill Gates, The Dalai Lama or Mrs Miggins from No42 Nowhere Street, we’ve all got the same amount of hours in the day, we just CHOOSE to use them differently. Some of us better than others
Those of us with procrastinating tendencies are not alone, it’s a massive club, with most of the world holding honorary, LIFETIME membership. Most people are not good at being productive. People seem to think that I have some capability to achieve goals, so it makes me realise that others are having similar, or worse problems than me.
Every time someone asks me my ‘secret to achieving’, I tend to fob it off and say something like, ‘well, I’m not that good, I just bimble along really’. But I always add a little something at the end, “I am consistent“. Consistency is a commodity that I do have, not in all areas of my life, but certainly when it comes to my online projects, niche websites and this blog. I do work on a regular basis. I waste a stack of time browsing the web, looking on forums, checking my income 47 times a day etc, but I do my level best to get in 3-4 hours of consistent work every day. I usually get 3-4 articles written each day, or perhaps 1 really good one, 1500 words or more, well researched and adding value to my readers. I consider this to be a good investment of my time.
To outsiders, i appear quite productive. I’ve certainly built up a reasonable full time income in a relatively short time, when 99% of other internet marketers seem to fall by the wayside. Using your time efficiently is an issue for most of us. Don’t get too hung up on it, there are things you can do to improve your efficiency. The most productive people do these things, things that the rest of us don’t.
- Create a goal, and work towards it in small, easy to manage steps.
- Work consistently towards their goals. Consistency is a habit. Do it enough and it becomes ingrained.
- Know what they are aiming for, have a vision and direction.
- Have the ability to work through problems, and not be overcome when things don’t go their way.
With those points in find, I would advocate a little soul searching, get a single goal in place to start with. Don’t set too tight a deadline, BUT don’t make the realisation of that goal so far in the future that you can just forget about it for now. If you’ve read The 4 Hour Work Week but Tim Ferriss, you’ll have seen the chapter that goes into detail on how the most productive, and best work is done on a tight timeline, pressure focuses the find and helps you cut out all the crap.
If you set a deadline of say, 1 month, for a modest first project, do something every day, and you’ll be amazed at how productive you become. Work towards that goal, see the steps you are taking come to fruition and continue. Success breeds success. Failure breeds failure. Each day, try never to fail, always try to come out thinking you’ve achieved a positive result, however small.
Even if you do have some slack days, sending an email, making a phone call, writing a list, can all be seen as productive steps towards your goal. Don’t be hard on yourself for not getting enough done, but do something, however small.
I can sit here writing until I’m blue in the face, but it needs YOU to decide to follow these pointers. Do you want to succeed or fail? Failing is not fun, and it plays a major role in depression and anxiety in millions. And please……..don’t think I’m talking about comparing yourself against others. Success should not be a competition, and if it is, you should be the only competitor! Personal success is what breeds personal happiness. And that happiness will radiate, and permeate everyone you come into contact with.
Good luck, take action and ENJOY LIFE!
I’ll be BRIEF, the word count is shrinking as I type. Here Goes…
Take ACTION – Don’t Put Off What You Can DO Today
Believe In Yourself – You CAN Achieve Anything
BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE….. HEALTH, FAMILY, CHILDREN?
Do Something For YOURSELF NOW – Don’t Feel Guilty About It
Admit When You Have Messed Up – Don’t Harbour Guilt Or Resentment – It’s OVER, MOVE ON!!
Pledge HERE To Take Action – Leave Your Pledge As A Comment, Come Back When You Have Succeeded
Tweet This To Everyone You Know – Your Part In Changing The World
The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule states that there is a built in imbalance between results and causes, in pretty much everything we do. So, to break this down, the majority of things we do have very little impact on the outcomes we achieve. At the other end, a small minority of actions have the biggest impact on our lives.
If we take this to be true, and I ask that you believe, just for now, then, to be effective, we need to work out what those small portion of things are, and expand them where possible. This typically unbalanced view of the world is sometimes difficult to comprehend, and we are all conditioned to think that ‘working hard’ is the way to make it in life. In fact, working SMART is what counts. It is important to remember that 80/20 is not an exact figure, the ratio for your scenario might be 25/75, or 10/90, but we still need to remember that this 80/20 figure is more symbolic of the imbalances that occur when we look at cause and effect.
Dan Brock, a well known LAZY internet marketer has just done a great post on lazy marketing. He wrote a great post on ‘How much time do you spend thinking vs doing‘ where Dan discusses how he spends a lot of his time thinking about his business and ways to reduce his workload through being effective and delegating work. I’ve been outsourcing some of my linkbuilding strategies for a while, and it certainly takes the pressure off. It’s hard to release some of the reins when you are new to internet marketing. You feel like you are handing your business over into the hands of others, and indeed you are. But with a few trials you will find a good team that can help you build your business.
In my next post, tomorrow I suspect, I’ll take a bit more of a look at the 80/20 rule and how it can work in your life and business.