Yesterday I came across Tim Ferriss' blog. Ferriss is the author of the popular book 4-Day Work Week which I haven't read but have heard quite a lot about over the past year. One of the things that Ferriss challenges his blog readers to do is to experiment with Lifestyle Design. My interpretation of that challenge is to consider how you want to to define your lifestyle as a whole - not just any one aspect (i.e. your job, your home, your hobbies etc.) And I like the idea. Especially given that I find myself at a point in my career where I am remarkably comfortable. I don't necessarily aspire to move onwards and upwards - I like my job, my team, my colleagues. So when it comes time to re-set my goals, I must think beyond my vocation. And when I hear the question, "What are you called to do?" I can no longer respond with one word quips such as teach, write, lead etc.
To begin thinking about lifestyle design, Ferriss lays out five talking points. He asks that you consider the following:
One place you would like to visit
One thing you hope to do before you die
One thing you aim to do daily
One thing you aim to do weekly
One thing you have always wanted to learn
It's like one of Facebook's LivingSocial questionnaires without the pictures that never seem to quite fit your response.
So here's my stab at the list:
I would like to visit Peru.
I would like to publish a book before I die.
I aim to read to my child every day.
I aim to get in a full hour of yoga and meditation at least once a week.
I have always wanted to learn to play the guitar.
I know - not very exciting, but certainly a place to start, and for the most part, they are goals I can accomplish; for which I have control. Well maybe not the book publishing, but I could work on it. The point is - we need to define what's important to us. In a world with so much stimuli: television, crowds, advertisements, billboards it's easy to get bombarded with pressures to buy and consume and accumulate. Sometimes we have to strip down all of that excess stuff to first discover our purpose and then to design a lifestyle that supports it.