The End of Lifestyle Design – Long Live Lifestyle Design

Grave2 The End of Lifestyle Design   Long Live Lifestyle Design

Lifestyle Design is Dead - Long Live Lifestyle Design!

Corbett Barr of FreePursuits.com asked a brilliant question in a recent post: “Is lifestyle design dead already?” There is still a fantastic discussion brewing there that I highly recommend for anyone interested in the subject. The fact that so many people are discussing the topic indicates that the moniker ‘lifestyle design’ is growing old despite the fact that designing your own lifestyle is getting easier with more opportunities than ever.

There seems to be at couple of immediate assumptions with ‘lifestyle design.’ The first is that all work is some indentured servitude. Employees are all ’slaves’ sacrificing themselves to someone else’s benefit. The second is that self-employment is some sort of utopia where you bring in wheel-barrels of cash while having the freedom to do whatever you want.

If you don’t like your job, just quit

I have been self-employed for most of my life, but I know that I was never a slave to the short-term jobs I had in the past. My employers provided me with a wage I deemed fair in exchange for work. Both sides found value in the proposition. When I no longer received enough value from the jobs I had, I quit. I always had the freedom to choose. No one forced me to work. I doubt anyone is forcing you to work in a job you dislike either. I also happened to enjoy most of the jobs I had. There is something to be gained in any type of work if you are open-minded enough to want to improve yourself.  I would love to find a job in a creative environment working on cool projects. Not for the money, but just to be working closely with talented people on interesting things. The first assumption above doesn’t make any sense to me.

Entrepreneurship is not all fun and games

I have felt like a slave in my own company. When you are the owner, your job doesn’t end just because the clock says you are finished. There are problems and customer needs that have to be addressed. I ended up keeping my last business for several years longer than I would’ve liked out of an obligation to my customers. I wish it was just a job because I would have had the freedom to get out long ago. Self-employment is great, don’t get me wrong. It is just a lot more work and headaches than any job you will have. Many people talking about how great self-employment is probably haven’t had their own company with employees yet.

‘Lifestyle design’ = work as little as possible

I personally have eliminated the term ‘lifestyle design’ from this blog’s tag line because I think it is getting associated with quitting work to travel. Everyone seems to be looking for short cuts to a good life. I personally don’t think making a couple thousand dollars a month from niche sites and drinking buckets on Khao San Road is a particularly meaningful existence. Backpacking is a lot of fun but I wouldn’t want it to be a long-term lifestyle.

Are we all entitled to a good life?

What I find most disappointing is that so many people feel they are entitled to a great, easy lifestyle with little work or sacrifice. The idea of working to provide for your family and improve the lot of mankind is a foreign concept to many. I realize that we are more affluent and comfortable then ever in history, but the laziness is getting to be too much. Who is going to build our houses, make our clothes, take out the garbage, teach children, take care of the elderly and do all the other very real and valuable work in society?

Maybe the lifestyle designers feel that drudgery should be outsourced to cheap overseas workers? They feel above the degradation of work so spend their time searching for easy passive income. Many of these same people find no hypocrisy in outsourcing to low wage countries for subsistence wages. Isn’t there something fundamentally wrong with that notion?

I am still naive enough to actually want to make a difference in the world. I want to excel in various pursuits and create value for others. That can’t be done in four hours a week. Greatness in virtually every field still takes a lot of work. There are no short cuts to being a great athlete, musician or writer. Why do people think their are going to be short-cuts in creating value for others? Sure there are examples of people making disproportionate returns on their effort, Wall Street comes to mind, but I don’t think it is wise to expect those over-sized profits for the rest of your life. Easy come, easy go. Lasting sustainable value takes time to build. I could be wrong though. I keep reading about get rich quick schemes regularly so maybe I am the only stupid one working long hours?

The Zero Hour Workweek

Of course, pundits will say that if you enjoy something enough then it is no longer considered work. To that I call bullshit. I love to run but it is still a chore to get my shoes on and get out the door. I love the feeling after having finished a good workout but getting started is not much fun. I love to play guitar. However, making serious improvement requires a level of effort and motivation that is difficult to sustain. Practicing scales for an hour or two everyday is not particularly enjoyable. Great musicians do it because the importance of excelling at their craft is worth all the pain and sacrifice. It is still work. I love sharing my ideas and connecting with others on my blogs, but it still takes a lot of work to research, write and edit decent posts. I too want all the rewards without the effort, but that would be foolish to expect something for nothing. Or is it?

It is easy to say that you want to make a living as a musician when you are only practicing an hour or two a week. That amount of playing is always fun. Just like all the lifestyle design dreamers who long for an easy life making huge passive income doing things they love. It sounds really nice when you are getting started but it starts to look a lot like work after you realize the easy money is not so easy after all. The opportunities are there and they always will be for those willing to hustle and adapt. I personally believe their are more opportunities than ever. I also know that every successful person I have encountered is not afraid to put in the hours to continuously learn and really strive to improve. There are no overnight successes unless you are talking about Chris Brogan; 11 years to an overnight success.

Is lifestyle design dead?

I don’t think so. We are fortunate enough to live in affluent societies where we expect more out of work than just a paycheck. Most of us are striving to find meaningful and fulfilling work. That takes conscious lifestyle planning or design. I will continue to use the term because I feel there is a common understanding about the idea that we indeed have the freedom to shape our own lives more than ever. With that said, I can’t wait for the get rich quick, miracle diet, speed learning, quick and easy version of ‘lifestyle design’ to die a quick and painful death. Expecting a lot for a little effort is for dreamers. People who are willing to put in the work to master their dreams and lifestyle goals are infinitely much more than the hype behind the phrase. Designing your lifestyle is for people with vision, courage and work ethic. If you want the miracle ‘lifestyle design’ pill I am sure you won’t have much trouble finding someone to sell it to you for only $97 per month. Hurry it is only a limited time offer!

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My name is John Bardos. My wife and I gave up our business, house and possessions in Japan to search for more meaning and fulfillment in our lives. We've discovered that a satisfying life is about rich experiences, quality relationships and meaningful contribution, NOT consumption.

35 Responses to The End of Lifestyle Design – Long Live Lifestyle Design

  1. Karen says:

    John,

    It’s been so interesting to read this article and Corbett Barr’s article from earlier in the week. I’m really surprised how far the backlash against the terminology has come so far and so fast. I guess it just goes to show you that disenchantment was brewing underneath the lifestyle design community.

    I agree with the statement “Everyone seems to be looking for short cuts to a good life.” There are no shortcuts. You have to work for your lifestyle. I didn’t say hard work, because we all know people who seem to work fewer hours and yet accomplish so much. You do have to work smart though and be focused.

    It’s an interesting discussion, that’s for sure.

    Karen

    • John says:

      Thanks for the comment Karen,

      I do understand the merits of the short cuts. Working smarter is better then just wasting time with busy work. However, in this world of hyper-competition I think the astounding successes will go to people who work smarter and harder.

      A real 4 hour workweek generally only comes from years of concentrated effort.

  2. I suspect this won’t be the last post on this topic around here. I knew your post would be along these lines.

    Lifestyle Design is too broad a term to include all the possibilities, unless narrowed down to the Tim Ferriss definition (the genius who gets us all talking about him and selling more books). The trouble with reality is that reality almost always requires hard work doesn’t. Hard work is not an easy sale. There are so many people selling “___-quick” systems because they sell very well.

    The week Tim works only 4 hours is the week I grow a foot taller.
    .-= James Schipper´s last blog ..Career Outsourcing: Replaced by the Lowest Bidder =-.

    • John says:

      Hi James,

      I agree that ‘hard work’ is definitely a difficult sell. I don’t think there are many popular books with titles like,

      “The 60 hour workweek.”
      “Only 20 years to become a world class musician.”
      “Eat healthy food and exercise to lose weight.”
      “Save money by spending less than you earn.”

      Tim Ferriss is master self-promoter. I certainly wish I had his skills for creatively adjusting the truth.

  3. Interesting article, though I perceive the situation a little different. That’s probably due to different peers, but as far as I can see, the majority of people don’t want to work just four hours a week on niche sites and trashy products, but do something they enjoy doing, be it work or not.
    Building a house, teaching your kids, taking care of your grandma all are tasks that are enjoyable for many people – sitting in meetings, producing meaningless paperwork, helping anonymous corporations grow faster and faster, not so much.
    The thing is, as you don’t get paid for the kind of work mentioned, you have to make money in a different place. Making a lot of money in little time, then, will allow you to have time for the other things. Another way to do it is to just reduce consumerism and live more frugally, so you come along with 20 or 30 hours of paid work a week instead of with 40 or 50.
    .-= Fabian | The Friendly Anarchist´s last blog ..Blogging in Tempo Giusto =-.

    • John says:

      Hi Fabian,

      Actually, I think we seem to agree here.

      I agree that everyone wants to spend time on things they enjoy. I also agree that doing boring work in a corporation that doesn’t share your values is not particularly motivating, nor a good way to spend your life. Ultimately we all want to find meaning in our lives, whether that is through paid work or not. We are just moving up higher up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as we get richer. Our focus is self-actualization instead of food, shelter and clothing.

      I also agree that living frugally is a fantastic way to cut your consumption and required work hours down. My wife and I are doing exactly that. We are downsizing our life so that we can semi-retire and focus on projects we are interested in.

      The part of ‘lifestyle design’ that I think many people are tired of is that it is EASY to make lots of money in short amounts of time. Making lots of money with little work is fantastic if you can do it. I just feel that it is not as easy as many of the make money online gurus try to make it.

      I know many people making passive income from little work. They earn income from things like dividends on their investments, stock investments or businesses they have built and sold. That is real and lasting passive income that took risk, sacrifice and hard work. I completely support that type of income. That is just common investment sense.

      The idea that you can quickly and easily make lots of money from a ‘muse’ is probably the reason for the ‘lifestyle design’ backlash. A related point is that many of the bloggers advocating the movement are not really earning much income. They are talking about a dream they have but writing as it has already happened. I personally would like to hear more about the struggles and a little more authenticity.

  4. Earl says:

    Hi John –

    This is why I love the term ‘global citizen’. It encompasses so much more than finding a quick path to no work and easy money as it carries with it no implied goals of an easy life. Of course, there are endless numbers of great people out there using the term lifestyle design, people who clearly want to make a positive difference. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish the two because for every post from someone trying to live a ‘meaningful existence’, there are two dozen posts on where to buy the cheapest bucket.

    I personally tend not to use the term lifestyle design too much these days as people tend to make immediate judgments about me upon hearing that term, the same as when someone learns my nationality or that I like to wear sandals every day. About three weeks ago someone asked me if I was ‘into that whole lifestyle design thing’ and when I told them yes, their response was, ‘so its beach and booze every day for you then!’.

    I tried to explain that I put in 60 hours of work per week on projects that earn me almost no money but that I am able to put all of my heart into and this is the reason why I have chosen this lifestyle. But it didn’t matter, he patted me on the back and said, ‘sure, i know it’s beach and booze every day for you!’

    That’s frustrating to me.
    .-= Earl´s last blog ..Luke Duke and Blogging to the Rescue =-.

    • John says:

      Hi Earl,

      I also prefer ‘global citizen.’ If it was available it would have been the name of my site. How about ‘JetSetCitizen?’ :-)

      Agreed! We all want to and should design our lifestyles, but ‘lifestyle design’ as a term is getting a little ugly. Tim Ferriss may have exaggerated a little too much.

    • I’m getting pretty tired of seeing everyone mud-slinging over the terms, but I take a lot of heat same as Earl here. People think I just sit around and do nothing all day—when really I have to work full-time just to manage the amount of things others expect me to do for free. I work 50–80 hours a week on my writing, my own projects, my client projects, building communities like Untemplater, helping others with their projects, and occasionally volunteering. Most of this earns me absolutely zero income, so if I didn’t design my lifestyle the way I have, I’d have been bankrupt years ago. The trade off is that every couple of months, thank goodness, I get to take a short break and go to the beach or go traveling. And yes, I get to spend a decent portion of my time with friends, and even occasionally take advantage of the cheap buckets of whiskey. Nobody ever said you’re not allowed to take a break and have some fun now and then. But I am by no means lazy, so I’m burnt out on hearing that from people who haven’t got their own sh** figured out yet.

      I think the real magic happens if you can build a “4-hour workweek” or 10-hour workweek or whatever, and then work 40+ hours a week. I think I might have heard that from John months back.

      But can we all stop name-calling and bitching about the terminology and just keep working on what we do best already?
      .-= Cody McKibben´s last blog ..30 Global Perspectives on SUCCESS =-.

      • John says:

        Thanks for the comment Cody.

        I agree that the terminology is getting pretty ugly. We all want to define the ideas shaping the future so that we can get that traffic coming to our blogs. However, most of the new URLs and terms are vague and meaningless.

        Just look at how many new phrases try to define ‘work’ by place, or lack there of. Work is work where ever you do it. Why do we need new terms?

        I also heed the call to get back to work on what we do best. Maybe it is time to final sever all my connections to the ‘lifestyle design’ community.

  5. brian says:

    I’ve read 4HWW and Ferriss clearly states his goal is not one of laying up doing nothing, but to be able to pursue what you want to do, when you want to do it. The most valuable thing is, more important than money, is time. If I was able to make enough to eat and keep myself clothed but could travel or pursue interests that excite me, I would. I think that is the real definition of lifestyle design. Especially when so many people go to their 9-5 or 8-7 everyday with the enthusiasm of a daily root canal.
    .-= brian´s last blog ..Are You Broke, Married, Have Kids or Older? Consider a Round the World Trip =-.

    • John says:

      Hi Brian,

      I agree that Tim Ferriss never advocates doing nothing. He is a consummate work-a-holic. However, the exaggerated claims about his successes, income and the title of the book all promise something much more.

      It is like those late night exercise commercials with impossibly fit people promoting a body-builder’s body in just 5 minutes a day. They are over-selling a dream that is not likely for the majority of people. I think Tim Ferris is guilty of the same exaggerations.

      In the book he claims to be making more money in a month then he did in a year in his old job. Yet, he still focuses on traveling cheap. Somehow I don’t think someone making $40,000 dollars in income a month, as he clearly implies would be worried about spending money in hotels or restaurants. He brilliantly sold a dream that many people are now discovering might not be that easy.

      • Darryl says:

        At the time Ferriss stated he was making $40k a month, he also stated he was working 12hr days, 7 days a week.

        He also mentions that people can pick and choose whichever techniques work for them to create the lifestyle they desire. Do you have to quit your job? No. Do you have to be a backpacker? No. Do you have to be a single guy? No.

        His tactics are only a guide. Remember the book 4HWW is geared toward overworked employees and entrepreneurs, not the get rich quick crowd.

  6. Gordie says:

    Great! And my blog’s title is “Lifestyle Design For You.” Lol!

    I think in the past Lifestyle Design was too narrow, but as time goes by it’s growing. I don’t think lifestyle design is about just quitting your job and doing what you want and traveling. In fact I don’t think Tim Ferriss ever said that’s just what it’s about. It’s about gaining more control of your life and destiny. It’s about giving yourself more options. It’s also about focusing on what gives you the most benefit. For some people starting a business and busting their gut is the way they choose to do design their life.

    A year ago there were a lot of articles going around saying that blogging is dead. They were so wrong as I think the idea the lifestyle design is dead is wrong too.

    I think we need to remember that even though the term lifestyle design was invented by Tim Ferriss, he doesn’t own it, just like England doesn’t own the English language.
    .-= Gordie´s last blog ..You’re A Bad Parent If … =-.

    • John says:

      Hi Gordie,
      Yes, I agree that the term ‘lifestyle design’ will evolve. The problem now is that its usage and meaning has been pretty universally established as do little work and have a lot of fun.

      Tim Ferriss chose the title to sell books. I agree that in the book he defines ‘lifestyle design’ in a broad enough way that it is difficult for anyone to disagree with. The problem is the title of the book and the exaggerated claims.

      He doesn’t talk about volunteering, contribution or building a lasting legacy. It is about becoming the ‘new rich’ driving fancy sports cars, racing motorcycles, drinking champagne at fancy clubs, etc. The title of the book promises this can happen in 4 hours a week.

      It is a new version of the get rich quick, miracle diet pill, make millions from real estate type of promises.
      I have read the book three times and I do feel it has had a huge impact on shaping our global consciousness that the ‘good life’ is indeed possible. I just think that now we have far too many people feeling they are entitled to that life without providing much to the world in return.

      We have more options to design our lifestyles than ever. You are a perfect example of that. However I also think that all of your hard work on your blog proves that it is not a 4 hour workweek effort.

      • Gordie says:

        In that case, if anyone doesn’t like the Tim Ferriss Lifestyle Design version, they can follow the Gordie Rogers Lifestyle Design version which is to bust one gut trying to build a business and being in control of my career ultimately working for myself. That is fun, too.
        .-= Gordie´s last blog ..You’re A Bad Parent If … =-.

  7. Makus @loimp says:

    It seems the term lifestyle design is not unlike a celebrity – people build it up and love it, then turn on it and destroy it once it gets too mainstream.

    I think “working hard” is entirely optional. Yet it’s such an agreed-upon line of thinking that most people accept it as their reality. I say question everything – including that very notion. Then test it in your life, see if you can break that mold. That’s at the core of “lifestyle design” – create a lifestyle that works for you, based on principles that are core to your personality.

    • John says:

      Hi Markus,

      Thanks for your contribution.

      I don’t feel the problem with ‘lifestyle design’ is its popularity. Exercise is popular but that doesn’t make me think any less of going for a workout.

      I also feel that no one is against designing your own lifestyle. People have been doing it for centuries. Every individual chooses their own path in life.

      The problem is that the phrase ‘lifestyle design’ has become another instant solution to life, just like those miracle diets and get rich quick schemes. That is the crux of my post anyway.

      I agree that ‘working hard’ is optional. That is a choice that each individual needs to make themselves. However, redefining ‘work’ so that you can say you are only working 4 hours a week is a little dubious. I believe the common understanding of work is ‘effort required to accomplish a goal’. That could be training for the olympics, learning a musical instrument, starting a business, dancing the tango, learning a foreign language or working in a job. There are not many short cuts to real success in life. All goals; financial, spiritual or personal take work. The bigger the goal, the more ‘work’ is required.

      Saying you are no longer working because you enjoy something is misleading particularly when you are selling a product promising to reduce work hours. That is like saying that ‘exercise’ is so fun that it is no longer called exercise, then selling the ‘zero exercise diet.’

      A person may have thousands of ‘friends’ on Facebook, but those are not friends in the traditional sense. Real relationships take time and ‘work’ to build and maintain. Redefining the word ‘friend’ doesn’t change the real meaning of the idea.

  8. Definitely a good question John.

    Lifestyle design has become very popular recently after this economic downturn. We probably know why, and that is because so many people have been displaced in the work environment, that LD is the way to go!

    Who doesn’t want to be free and travel and have a great time. I know I would! Just have to caution the younger folk for heading off to Thailand, and after 5 years, then what?

    Sam
    .-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..The Katana: A Week Long Celebration of Love =-.

  9. John says:

    Thanks for the comment Sam.

    I think we have more opportunity and freedom then ever before to truly design our lives anyway we want. If people want to travel to Thailand and live cheaply, great. I did it when I was younger.

    However, like you say, “then what?” It is possible to live abroad and have a good life. Many are doing it and it is not particularly difficult. However, a few years living like a backpacker when you are young doesn’t equate to a lifelong lifestyle choice.

    A quality life spent doing quality things takes work and effort. I completely support designing your own lifestyle, my qualm is with all the people trying to say how easy it is. Accomplishing great things in life takes great effort. The dreamers who think they are going to do it working 4 hours a week are setting themselves up for disappointment.

  10. Dave and Deb says:

    Shows what I know. I hadn’t even heard of lifestyle design. We are so behind the times:) I think that having a purpose in life is the most important. We have never had conventional jobs, but always a purpose. To me that is what life is about and I think that your site has an excellent purpose!

  11. Walter says:

    Many have misconceptions about lifestyle design. From what I understand, lifestyle design are ways to improve one’s life, and not some kind of quick fix schemes. The concept of lifestyle design exist before it was terms as such. In the end, it is on our own hands what we make of our future. :-)

    • John says:

      Hi Walter,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Again, I think we all support designing our own lifestyles. That is what life is about. The reason that ‘lifestyle design’ is getting an ugly name, because it is now being used to sell ‘get rich quick and easy’ programs.

      Starting your own business, traveling, learning a foreign language, getting in shape, etc. are all ways to design your life. Anything an individual wants to do is fantastic.

      Rightly or wrongly, the term ‘lifestyle design’ itself has become more about selling make money online products promising large returns for low hour work weeks.

      The other problem is that many of the the people blogging about how great ‘lifestyle design’ is are not living that lifestyle.

  12. John says:

    @Darryl,

    Thanks for the comment.
    On the back book jacket of the 4HWW it says, “How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per MONTH and 4 hours per week.”

    The implication is that it is definitely net income, which is highly unlikely considering that he spends so much of his time traveling cheaply.

    If you were making $40,000 per month, would you be worried about keeping your costs low?

    Tim Ferriss wrote a great book that I have read three times. He is definitely instrumental in making the world aware of a lifestyle that a small minority was living for centuries. I personally don’t mind his exaggerations so much. Perhaps the “ends justify the means.” If you can’t get rich and famous with a few lies, why not lie?

    • Darryl says:

      Hi John,

      Thanks for the reply and the personal email.

      I am not sure how you come to the conclusion that he made $40k/month net from just from that the quote. That really isn’t your main point in your post. Did he say he arrived at the latter situation by only working 4hrs a week. Nope. After he invested considerable time and effort into his business, he started automating and reduced his involvement. Is there only one true method of LD? Nope. It’s just call to conscious living, remembering to keep the big picture in mind.

  13. John says:

    Greetings Darryl,

    Thanks for continuing the dialogue! I appreciate your comments.

    I agree that the work and effort he put in advance may have allowed him to cut down to four hour weeks. I also agree that there is no single method to designing your life. We all have infinite options to shape our lives in any way we want.

    Tim says he went from $40,000 per year, which is income from a job, to $40,000 per month. I feel that implies that it is income. It probably is gross revenues, which in case would be highly misleading. Which is exactly my claim.

  14. John R. Sedivy says:

    Hi John – This is my first time visiting your blog as I discovered it through Young Successful Entrepreneur. My initial impression was that this was going to be one of those “quit you job and live the good life” type of blogs – which funny enough that misconception is something you alluded to in this article. However, what I found contained much more depth and insight. Many of the things you have written about I have discovered as an entrepreneur, to include long, long hours.

    The aspect which resonated most with me was being chained to the business. As a business owner I feel a strong loyalty and obligation to not only my clients but to my employees and service providers. When the going gets really tough quitting is not an option. In terms of complexity and life complication being an employee would be easier, but despite the hard work I wouldn’t trade the entrepreneurial life for anything.

    Great article and I look forward to reading more and becoming a regular visitor!

  15. John says:

    Greetings John,

    Thanks for the kind comment! It is great to get feedback from readers.

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Entrepreneurship is hard work but I too, wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    I believe most of the people writing about ‘lifestyle design’ approach it as a dream they hope to aspire to one day. I haven’t encountered anyone really living the low hour workweek and ‘new rich’ lifestyle despite the dozens of interviews and hundreds of sites I have researched. There is a huge difference between the reality and the dream in my opinion.

  16. Quotable quote: “There are no short cuts to being a great athlete, musician or writer. Why do people think their are going to be short-cuts in creating value for others? ‘
    Bahahahaa! Nice article, I enjoyed it.
    .-= Lis Carpenter´s last blog ..Scott Stratten Speaks on The Rules of Engagement =-.

  17. Audrey says:

    Thanks for honestly writing about this issue and starting a new conversation. After talking a lot about Lifestyle Design recently and meeting several people dabbling in it, we came to the conclusion that we prefer the concept of deliberate living to lifestyle design (esp., in the way it is being used recently). One style of living is not inherently better than another, but it’s more that the person is choosing his lifestyle deliberately instead of following society’s expectations or what is considered the newest thing. Living the life of a digital nomad is not right for everyone; neither is working 9-5 in a big company. Just as there are many people not living deliberately, there are many people in both camps who choose those lifestyles based on their priorities and they are happy with that choice (even if it’s not the right match for you). It’s important to respect different lifestyles and recognize that what works well for you may not work for the next person.
    .-= Audrey´s last blog ..How to Travel the World Together Without Killing Each Other =-.

    • John says:

      Deliberate living sounds like a better phrase to me.

      I also agree that “what works well for you may not work for the next person.” There is no single, best lifestyle, however, there seem to be a lot of people talking as if there is.

      Most of the people promoting low hour workweeks, travel lifestyles and retiring young are not even living that lifestyle themselves. I am amazed at how many travel bloggers there are who are not even traveling anymore. They did it once and now it is their entire identity.

  18. carmen says:

    You know – it’s a conundrum we have perpetuated by our own actions. I’m currently nomadic and have been writing about nomadic lifestyles for years – since before 4HWW. Tim Ferriss had the genius and good luck to find a spin that hit it big and create several coined phrases in the process – one being “lifestyle design”. People have jumped on that word like there is no tomorrow. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the term either but when I use it in blogs (just as you have here) the blog gets good traffic. If I use other terms the blog often flops. It kind of pisses me off because I’d like to get away from it and yet that’s what people come to read. You say you want to get away from it. What will you use instead?
    .-= carmen´s last blog ..Watch U.S. Olympics, Netflix, Hulu, and Your Favorites from Outside the U.S. =-.

    • John says:

      I have stopped using it in the description of the blog because I don’t want people to think this is a “quit your job and live the easy life” type of blog. However, I will use the phrase just because it is the only one universally understood.

      I am just going to shift away from ‘lifestyle design’ topics because that is not the audience I want to attract. People like you don’t need a term to realize that we all have the power and responsibility to design our own lifestyles. My parents, grandparents and great grandparents all chose non-traditional paths in life. It is only recent generations that have gotten too comfortable off the hard work of our ancestors that need a phrase to justify their lack of work ethic.

      The phrase ‘lifestyle design’ is now more about the schemes and short cuts. It is popular for people who are hoping for an easy way out. When they don’t find it, they will be back to their old lives.

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