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Lifestyle Design is a Fallacy

Trevor O'Hara
2 min read
Lifestyle Design is a Fallacy
Photo by Charles Deluvio / Unsplash

Lifestyle design is an alluring concept in the pursuit of success, health, and purpose.

But the concept presupposes that we have the ability to shape our destiny way out into the future through long-term goals all the way down our daily routines.

Lifestyle design is undoubtedly a seductive concept. We'll not hesitate to spend thousands of dollars on the best lifestyle design program if it can assure us of an optimum life.

But it is, in fact, a fallacy.

First, we ignore that our lives have already been designed for us. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, society has created a well-trodden path of education, career, and retirement for us. If we think about it, it's tough to shake off this blueprint and forge our own nonlinear path in life.

Lifestyle design also implies that we can control all of life's variables. But it fails to account for the abundant uncertainties and complexities that make up the fabric of life. Life's full of unexpected events - curveballs, moments of good fortune, good and bad decisions, and personal circumstances within and outside our control. None of these are things we can plan for or control.

Lifestyle design fails to account for personalization. What exactly is "the optimum lifestyle?" What works for you doesn't work for me. We're all shaped by different habits and experiences, and we interpret life and the events around us. The best form of lifestyle optimization is one that fits your unique circumstances in the here and now. Tomorrow, things will be different. Tomorrow, YOU will be different.

I've written earlier that life isn't a compounding game. But lifestyle design presupposes the ADDITION of new possessions, routines, and habits. But often, the best way to "optimize" our lives and enhance our well-being and productivity is not through accumulation or having a "second brain" but by removing things and letting go.

How can we design a life when we're not even sure what will happen tomorrow?

I vote for a different approach, which involves rearranging my life as the situation evolves. I remove things from my life that no longer serve me and change direction as the need arises.

The art of spontaneous rearrangement allows us to shape our lifestyle in line with our needs and take life's uncertainties and changes in their stride.