Lifestyle First, Career Second?

How could one possibly think in such a way? Putting lifestyle before career flies in the face of what most of us grew up being taught.

As fast as he runs, he will still be in the same place.

We were taught that you need to build your career first and then you can have the lifestyle you want.

However, from continual personal observation, as well as personal experience, I have found this thinking to be from the same pool of distorted thinking that told us to “invest in a corporation and the corporation will invest in you”. How many people have been burned by this?

Work like a worker drone all of your life and maybe…just maybe you can one day live where you want to live and have a lifestyle you are proud of and want to have.

I have found the opposite–putting lifestyle first–to be a far more effective way of developing a lifestyle of interest. But what about career? Well, if you are a smart and resourceful person, which I am sure you are, you build your career around the lifestyle and environment of your choosing.

Is community important to you?

How about family?

What city, if you could live anywhere, would you want to live?

Do you crave greater balance in your life? We know that for most, balance leads to feelings of happiness and personal fulfillment. Is there anything we seek that is greater than that?

I invite you to get off of the treadmill, that machine which keeps you in place, no matter how fast you run.

If you want to live a life of your own design, start designing your life.

Get away from preconceptions, get off of a path, if you are on one (as that is someone else’s path) and look to your sources of inspiration for example.

Remember…if something has been done before, it can be done again.

Most importantly, you will need to cultivate and manifest the courage necessary to step out of line, to “march to the beat of your own drum”, to build the life and lifestyle you wish to have.

Be what you wish to seem and create what you wish to have.

Generation Y understands this impulse. They have watched their worker bee parents work themselves to sickness. They are notorious for asking the question, “What’s in it for me” and “What free time does this endeavor enable”? Those are questions each of us should be asking. It does not come from a perspective of privilege and of being spoiled. Rather, it stems from a desire to not repeat the mistakes of the past, to have greater balance in one’s life, to have the time to have a family and dedicate energy necessary to contribute towards a healthy, meaningful life and lifestyle.

I do not advocate abandoning hard work, but shifting focus as to where that work is applied…and how.

Remember…Don’t blindly follow that herd of sheep. Tigers don’t follow sheep, except to eat them.

Jim Hart is the founder of  The International Theatre Academy Norway.

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