A Lifestyle Design Choice
Changing your lifestyle and job is not an easy option. A lifestyle change may be challenging since it is often preceded by a traumatic incident that compels us to make a big shift in our lives. Maybe you’ve been generating a lot of money, but a stress-related heart attack at 38 forces you to reconsider what’s essential in your life and consider how you’d construct an ideal lifestyle. Perhaps a company’s downsizing in this difficult economy has left you unemployed and competing for jobs with hundreds of thousands of other skilled professionals. Maybe your work isn’t giving you the fulfillment you were hoping for, and you feel that your life and employment have devolved into a series of repetitive, automatic, mechanical actions that you execute without even thinking about, similar to how you drive someplace and forget how you got there.
On the other hand, the same difficulty or self-analysis that causes you to recognize that you are dissatisfied with your current life and that there must be a better way to live your life may be the fuel you need to begin taking proactive efforts toward constructing your ideal lifestyle. The amount of fuel these objects produce determines how simple your travel will be. People who decide to take proactive steps to customize their lifestyle are those who have had enough of the monotony and procrastination of their daily lives. Before you can begin to construct your perfect lifestyle, you must first define what is essential in your life. And you may answer that question by asking yourself the following: What would you do if you had all the money you needed and never had to work another day in your life? Life passes people by, and the young adults we now become elderly adults full of regret for all the things they did not accomplish in life.
The decision to design your lifestyle should be a conscious exercise of self-reflection, goal setting, and the implementation of defined strategies to achieve your lifestyle transformation, all of which are things that most people never take the time to do because of the daily grind and routine, as well as a lack of time, are the primary reasons why this is not done. People get entrenched in their habits and comfort zone (however unpleasant) and are unwilling or afraid to shift. According to Anthony Robbins, two basic incentives drive individuals to make decisions: to avoid pain and to acquire pleasure. Most individuals continue to live their current lives because they equate more pain (work) with the process of change than with the pleasure they would enjoy from having accomplished the lifestyle change.
On his 40th birthday, my brother remarked something, if not correct, at least thought stimulating. He said that midlife was truly in your twenties. Your first 21 years of existence pass quite slowly. As a child, summer vacations seemed to last a year. It feels like an eternity to get to your 16th birthday so you can receive your driver’s license. Finally, being able to drink legally is a great accomplishment that took a lot of patience on your behalf. And then, suddenly, you’re 30 and 40, and you’re running at the speed of an Olympic Nigerian marathon runner. Soon, you’ll be saying things like, “has it been 15 years since my high school graduation?” or, my personal favorite, “she’s a freshman and was born in WHAT year?” When it comes to changing careers and building your perfect lifestyle, movies might be one of the finest sources of inspiration. Fight Club is one of these films. If you haven’t watched the movie in a long, or if you haven’t seen it yet, here are a couple of quotations that I believe are quite apt on the topic of lifestyle design:
“You awaken in Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. You awaken in O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, or Baltimore-Washington International. Mountain, Pacific, and Central Gain an hour by losing an hour. This is your life, and it is coming to an end one minute at a time. You open your eyes at Air Harbor International. Could you wake up at a different time, in a different location, as a different person?”
“We can only be revived after a calamity.” “What do you wish you’d done before you died, guys?” “You must have an answer to this question! How would you feel about your life if you died right now?” “Your possessions own you.” I’m now deciding whether to enroll in a Villanova University Six Sigma or Project Management certification program. Because of the different businesses and projects I am engaged in, I am going with project management, but from what I understand of Six Sigma, it is about removing the fat and waste from a company’s operations to make it more lucrative and healthy. So, where can you cut the fat and waste in your life? As corny as it may seem, today marks the beginning of the rest of your life (isn’t that from AA?). There is no better time than now to begin proactive efforts toward career optimization and lifestyle design. STOP putting things off and get started now.