I’ve been having a lot of conversations with people around the concept of lifestyle design. It seems like everyone is trying to make the most of life, and in an effort to do so, they are merging the ideas that you should live as if there will be no tomorrow, while simultaneously living your best life.
Basically, people are doing anything and everything in an attempt to experience all life has to offer.
Without a doubt, I agree that we should be experiencing all that we can. But the issue a lot of people are getting into (some realizing only when it’s too late) is that if you are living as if there is no tomorrow, it isn’t the best way to build wealth. In fact, it often puts people in a pretty precarious situation.
LIFESTYLE DESIGN BY TIM FERRISS
In Tim Ferriss’ book “The Four-Hour Work Week” he made famous the term “lifestyle design”, and outlined how anyone can make it a reality. For anyone under 40, it has basically become a mandatory part of the lexicon.
The concept is that if you have a dream of the type of lifestyle you want to live, you can make it a reality by implementing specific strategies to help build streams of income, wealth, and automate a large portion of this process.
Ferriss discusses people defined by the term the “new rich” that live lives well within their means and find ways to do all of the things they want, but for a fraction of the cost.
He goes into what are known as “mini retirements”, which is the concept of taking long-term vacations earlier in life to enjoy your desired experiences while you are still young and full of vitality.
You don’t have to wait for your “golden years” to begin traveling and enjoying life.
The point of the book is to open people’s eyes to what is possible with some strategic planning, and intelligent work.
HOW PEOPLE ARE MISSING TIM FERRISS’ POINT
Where people seem to be deviating from Ferriss’ advice is that they don’t follow the first part of his strategy – build up streams of income that can fund their desired lifestyle.
People rely heavily on the income from their 9-5 job, and do nothing outside of that in order to build assets, wealth, and a residual income.
By doing it this way, you aren’t fully adopting the mindset of lifestyle design, and you’re also leaving yourself open to several risks.
Here are a few thoughts:
1 – Loss of Job
You could lose your job, and thus your source of income. If this happens you have no more ways of funding any type of lifestyle, let alone the lifestyle you want to design. Game over.
2 – Only Designing Part Of Your Life
When working a 9-5 job, you don’t have the freedom truly live the life you want.
Part of the lifestyle design movement is being able to control your lifestyle and how you live. If you have to report to work at 9am every Monday, and aren’t free to leave town until 5pm on Friday, it definitely puts a damper on your ability to go and experience the world.
It makes it nearly impossible to take a “mini retirement” and travel for 3 months.
3 – You’re Not Living YOUR Desired Life
Many people are just haphazardly picking things that their friends have done, and following in their footsteps.
You see posts on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and a bunch of other social media sites, and immediately think you have to match what your friends are doing in order to keep up with them.
But few have ever taken time to think long and hard about what their desired lifestyle is.
Ferriss’ book isn’t about finding ways to do everything your friends are doing, it’s about finding what you are passionate about, and figuring out ways to do more of that.
THE RISK OF WANTING EVERYTHING NOW
A lot of these mistakes are simply a result of impatience.
Let’s face it, it isn’t exciting to say “I’m going to save 50% of my income so I can grow wealth and be in a great situation in 10 years.” Nor is it exciting to say you are going to say “no” to going out with your friends in order to build up a side-business that will fund your desired lifestyle.
But when you are constantly spending all of your money in an attempt to “live your life”, you are only living a part of your life.
You are living the part of your life defined by nights and weekends, stuck having to return to the same job you are trying to escape, every Monday morning.
Of course, I’m assuming you aren’t desperately in love with your job. But for the vast majority of people, that’s the unfortunate circumstance.
If you are able to divert some of your spending into saving and investing, you are delaying some of the immediate gratification you get from spending your money on an item or experience.
The difference is, once you’ve built up wealth and additional streams of income, those additional streams can fund your lifestyle – just as Mr. Ferriss would want it.
So, the next time you are about to pull out that credit card and “live your life”, just know that you are only living a portion of the life you want. And every time you forgo building wealth, you are delaying the moment you get to gain full control over your lifestyle.