Are you ready for another question? (And that was not it).
How would you rate the quality of your current LIFESTYLE on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 sucks and 10 is awesome!)
Is it spot on?
Or is there a gap between what you would love your lifestyle to be, and what it currently is?
How big is the gap?
If the truth be known, I am not the guy that you come and see if you want to make a bazillion dollars. I am not really an expert in that, plus I am not really interested in that as a meaningful and evolutionary life goal. What I am more interested in is how can we close the gap between now, and what our ideal (meaningful and fulfilling) lifestyle might look like.
Before we go any further; you also don’t need to have a bazillion dollars to create the ideal lifestyle.
And one other point … according to the legendary psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who wrote the ground-breaking book ‘Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience‘, we actually don’t have more flow experiences sitting on our butts doing nothing. People actually tend to have more ‘flow’ experiences (feeling like they are in the ‘zone’), when they are working or facing some form of challenge.
I am just warning you that aiming for a lifestyle where you spend the majority of your time sitting on your butt, is VERY unlikely to lead to a happy, fulfilling, meaningful and joyful life. Plus there is broad agreement that ‘growth’ is essential for fulfillment in life. As you can imagine, the sitting on butts thing, and indulging in all the things you like the taste of, is likely to make some parts of you grow, but not the stuff that leads to vitality and happiness.
What might a great lifestyle look like?
This subject is definitely worth some navel gazing and serious pondering.
But here is the thing.
We need to unplug our self from a few things first, such as: other peoples ideas, societal or cultural templates, your television set, the internet, and the insane bombardment of advertising messages that imply that someone else, who is not of your body, mind or spirit, knows exactly what you need. Bollocks!
I actually think most of us at a pretty deep conscious or subconscious level think one of the principle aims of life is to accumulate wealth. We might buy into ideas that if our wealth is not increasing, then we are off course. We might unconsciously think, if we don’t have “MORE” now, than when we were younger, we are failing. And then there is the whole ‘social comparison’ thingy, which is pretty unhealthy the majority of time.
Park those ideas, beliefs, stories and narratives for now, and let’s commit to the following activity.
Get a blank sheet of paper (and start with a metaphorically blank mind) and then ponder these questions, with no attachment about the “how” at this stage:
- What would be the ideal day for me?
- What activities would I like to undertake in a day, week, month and year?
- How many hours would I like to work a day?
- How many days or hours would I like to work a week?
- How would I like to spend my leisure time?
- How many and what type of time-off, vacation, or holidays would I like a year?
- Do I want to work for someone else or would I prefer to work by myself?
- Do I want to work in a big team or small team?
- Would I like to work in an office full-time or have a office and home-based mix?
- What health pursuits would I like to engage in?
- How often would I like to spend in the company of others?
- Where would I like to live (which might include multiple locations over differing time periods)?
n our last conversation we talked about meaningful life goals, but in this conversation we are looking at how you want to structure your life as you move towards those meaningful life goals.
Some of these things don’t even require you to have huge incomes, savings or resources. In many cases they are just a choice as to where you put your attention and priority.
A personal lifestyle ah-hah moment
A few years ago I went to a 3-day coaching event near Venice Beach in Los Angeles, which had about 300-400 participants. On the first night we were split up into groups of about 10-12 people and the allocated team leader asked who had a successful coaching business.
My first thought was that I might not make as much money as some of the others in the group, so I was hesitant to put up my hand and acknowledge I had a ‘successful’ business.
But then I had a ah-hah moment, which put a big smile on my face. I was fairly sure I had one of the best qualities of ‘lifestyle’ in that group. I realised that for me it did not matter so much about how much money I have or how much I make, it is more about how I personally rate the quality of my lifestyle, in general, as it relates to my work.
Aligning your lifestyle
One of my highest values is my personal health and vitality.
Therefore, a big part of choosing the ideal lifestyle for me, is to ensure that my lifestyle is in alignment with my values. I want a lifestyle with a high priority on supporting my health and vitality.
That might make my lifestyle very different to someone else.
Maybe someone else does not like having two massages a week, organic food delivered to the door, access to lots of healthy cafe’s, 4-day work weeks, and easy access to beaches, rice fields and mountains. Each to their own.
Get clear what your personal values are, and make sure your lifestyle is in alignment with that, and care less about it being in alignment with your online ‘friends’ (or people you follow), who are posting pictures of how wonderful their lives are.
Choose to live, and CREATE a lifestyle, which is in alignment with your highest values.
Once we get clear about the types of things we would like to be regular features of our lifestyle, then it is time to put on your creative genius hat, and wear your curiosity lenses of perception.
It is often our level of creativity which either holds us back, or takes us on a magic carpet ride into the land of infinite possibilities.
After 14-years of coaching, I can definitively say that in a ridiculous number of cases, the only thing holding someone back was the atrophy of their creative muscles. Once we started building up their creative muscles they realised things like:
- I do have the time.
- I do have the resources.
- I can do that.
- I can say no to that.
- I can pivot that to create a new outcome.
- I can do less and it will not bring the world down on top of me.
- I can do that if I shift some things around and reorganise my priorities, or change the timeline.
Being CREATIVE is ESSENTIAL when it comes to building your optimum lifestyle.
Give yourself time
Once you get more clarity about the type of lifestyle you would like to create, be kind to yourself, and give yourself time to bring it into physical form. It starts as an idea (energy) and just needs some time to be coalesced and brought into form (matter).
Figure out your priorities (what I call ‘essentials’) and address them first and then take one step at a time.
Don’t rush like a bull at a gate.
What lifestyle adjustment could you create today or this week that would take you closer to your personal ‘IDEAL’?
If your lifestyle is not in alignment, or is not fulfilling, then put it under the spot light.
What could you add or take out, that you believe would have the greatest impact?
Then repeat for the rest of the year.
And don’t try or get caught up in copying someone else’s ideas on what the ideal lifestyle is for you.
Be more you.
Have a super fabulous day and all the very best.
PS: For a deeper conversations, check out my weekly Podcasts here.