There is so much to say here that I may very well go on 1,349 tangents and hide my actual point in a metaphor or 3. If you don’t want your brain to do backflips maybe read twice before decoding what I’ve actually written.
Life is like a box of chocolates … kidding, that’s not my metaphor. ;) (Run Forest!)
Also, I’m not going to use any metaphors. Let’s make this simple. :)
Recently Norcross wrote an article called Designing The Hate Lifestyle about his issues with this whole lifestyle design / minimalist thing. A lot of people are entering this niche and talking down to others who aren’t living their lives in a very specific way.
I have many of the same issues as Norcross. I’ve always refused to call myself a lifestyle designer and I don’t think I’ve ever used it in writing here. (P.S. I also dislike location independent; don’t believe I’ve used that one either.)
My specific issues with those phrases are exactly what Norcross pointed out: they’re just buzzwords. Essentially meaningless. Location independent? WTF does that really mean? I’m fully dependent on my location (wherever that happens to be). Otherwise I guess I’d be a ghost. As for “lifestyle design”? Don’t we all design our lives? Unless you’re a robot or a slave you already design your life. Maybe it’s not your ideal life, but you still design it.
Can this whole thing still be a positive, world-changing movement? Can we still have Freedom Fighters? Can we still seek our ideal lives?
Yes. Consciously improving your life will never be a bad thing.
Are all the people who use the buzzwords bad people doing bad things?
No way. I’m friends with quite a few of them and they rock.
And that’s the issue I brought up in the comments to Norcross’s article:
From my own experience and from the experiences of a lot of people I know, many of us *were not* satisfied with life. That’s not to say that *you* can’t be satisfied just because you own more than X number of things and don’t constantly travel. If you are happy, that is awesome, but the vocal majority (different than the statistical majority) doesn’t seem to be very happy. And when we write we speak to those who are seeking their ideal lives not those who already have it.
I hate the exploitation and the “I’m not making any money, but I’m going to show people how to make money and be location independent anyway” type of thing that’s happening as much as anybody. It’s really sad when that happens because people aren’t being true to themselves and lots of people are being led astray.
If you are currently caught up in something that isn’t you and isn’t true to your values there is no reason you can’t stop and change directions right now. The cool thing about humans is that we’re, in general, very forgiving beings when we’re dealing with an honest person exposing their dishonesty.
But my favorite point that Norcross made doesn’t have anything to do with “lifestyle design” and it’s one I haven’t always done an exceptional job of embracing myself. That is “connect outside your bubble.” Some people call this “incestuous blogging.”
It’s like a Phil Anselmo lyric: “live in a hole, stay close to my kind.” And that’s an utterly foolish way to live or run a business.
You could even say it’s “safe” in the most unsafe way. You surely have varied interests and you’ll learn a lot from other perspectives.
Am I going to stop enjoying Hilah Cooking just because I’m not going to eat a lot of the meals? Nope. I’ll just infiltrate the show and make vegan chili! ;) Am I going to stop hanging out with friends in bars just because I go through 6 month phases of not drinking? Nope. I can enjoy a water just as much as a beer and still party as hard as the rest of ’em.
I’m glad I got through this without any metaphors or tangents. I did have to throw away ~1,500 words, but we’re all the better for it.
What do you think? How do you feel about the location independent lifestyle design niche? Does it make you run and hide or do you embrace the good points and the good people and shut out the rest?