The Life You Want To Live

2010-02-19 14:25

IT BEGINS at birth. The lessons come at you without pause. Each day

brings new lessons. Each day is an experience that shapes you.

You go to crèche, primary school and then high school. You learn.

You may go on to tertiary level; you may not. You find a job. You start working

and build a career. Perhaps you get married; perhaps you don’t. You create a

home. You live, kind of. Each day ­becomes the same, a routine.

Once, you wanted to do something ‘cool’ but, due to external

pressure, you became an accountant, doctor, or lawyer. Now you submerge yourself

in regret, building a life of ­‘what-ifs’; you could have been a great actor,

dancer or musician.

In a recent conversation, a friend was lamenting that they were not

living their passion and purpose but I am. How they determined this was that I

attempt to write for a living but they are ‘stuck’ in an ordinary day-to-day

job.

I believe that there is no greater joy than being able to live your

passion, but the immediate question I have is: “Why do we often seem to equate

our purpose with what we do for a living?”

It feels like there is a memo that was sent out that stipulates how

life is meant to be lived. There are rules for everything and those who exist

outside what the majority would consider “normal” are deemed strange. I like

strange.

A book that has served as a guide for me is Timothy Ferris’ The

Four-Hour Work Week which changed my perspective on the part that work plays.

For most of my life, money and work were the only goals. I was here to work hard

and become a millionaire.

Everything else would have to wait. I hadn’t figured

out what I wanted the money for but I was ­going to get it. That was destination

enough.

This driving ambition started to change as I became clearer on what

it was I wanted out of life, including comfort, love, happiness and family. I

want to be able to enjoy my life with those I love. Society has said we must

work hard and when we reach our 60s, retire and enjoy life.

The Four-Hour Work Week ­introduced me to a different ­approach.

Instead of working to ­retire, work to have mini-retirements. Money is merely a

vehicle to help us live the life we want to live. You can choose what life you

want to live.

The book speaks to the concept of Lifestyle Design. We spend so

much time focused on work and forget why we are working. If my primary purpose

is to spend time with my family, then I can design my life to ensure that I can

fulfil that purpose.

It is about living consciously, constantly evaluating all aspects

of our lives and taking control of this. Too often we cede responsibility,

living lives that others dictate because we are afraid or unwilling to take a

chance.

You can live the life you want to live. I’m a firm believer in

that.


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