Lifestyle Design

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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.

2 Responses to Lifestyle Design

  1. Neil says:

    Mmm…I think a lot of what we do can’t even be described as lifestyle choices, but rather ‘non-choices’. Like you said, it’s easy to become numbed by the life we lead, which is often inextricably linked to the work we do. After-all, most people spend the greater part of their waking hours at their job. That numbness translates into a lack of motivation and a reluctance to make choices, for fear of making the wrong ones and thus making our lot in life even worse. Of course, the current economic crisis only exacerbates the situation.

    The problem is that few people really know how to help themselves. They certainly don’t get that help from education systems that have barely changed in any meaningful way for a hundred years or more. Even re-training programs seem geared to throwing people back into a job that they are likely to hate as much as their previous one.

    Everyone can benefit from making a few simple lifestyle choices – eating more healthily, exercising, doing something more worthwhile than watching TV. And of course, people will feel happier for doing that. But beyond that, most people need some guidance. What do they do with all that time they’ve freed-up from watching TV and shopping? Not everyone has a dream or an awareness of some latent talent, and this is often the reason why they don’t follow all the steps you proscribe…

    • John says:

      Hi Neil,

      Thanks for the comments.
      You are correct in that many people, maybe most people, do not have any real dreams or goals. I have talked to many people who are not particularly happy with their life, but they haven’t bothered to search for anything else to do. They have basically resigned themselves to their current fate.

      In all honesty, I don’t know what to say to these people. I presume they will eventually encounter some regrets about the choices they have made in life. For their own sake, I hope they start having these regrets while there is still time to do something about it. Personally, I think life is about experiences not consumption. Whenever I try new things, I always get a million new ideas and interests. My problem may be the opposite of what you describe. I have too many opportunities competing for my attention so narrowing them down to a limited few is the hard part. I hope I never have any shortage of dreams.

      I really appreciate your comments! Please disagree more.

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