The question that I’ve been pondering lately is this: what exactly is lifestyle design?

It was only a few weeks ago that I first heard the term lifestyle design. I had no idea what exactly that meant, but in very basic terms I knew that a lifestyle was how someone lives, and design is creation. But, to create your own lifestyle? I didn’t quite understand the idea.

Lifestyle design is such a new term that it’s not even on Wikipedia yet, but successful Internet business gurus are using it like we use air to breathe. So, I decided to do some research.

I learned that lifestyle design, actually creating your own lifestyle and living how you want to live, is something that is very real. People like Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, has done things in his life to live exactly how he wants to live. He’s a national Chinese Kickboxing Champion, a break dancer in Taiwan, actor and a multi-millionaire. He’s able to do these things because he has created businesses and utilizes outsourcing to allow him to only have to work four hours a week, which opens up more time in his life for doing things that he wants.

I want that.

You probably think that his life is the way it is because of the decisions and actions he has made. Although that’s true, the way we describe him with respect to lifestyle design is the other way around:

“He took specific actions and made specific decisions based on the kind of life he wants to live.”

I think that most people, myself included, never really think about the exact lifestyle that we want to live. Yes, we do have goals and work really hard for them (retirement, millions of dollars, owning a company), but we hardly ever think about the lifestyle we want, and how we want our daily lives to be.

We make decisions and work hard for our goals, but do we do the same for our ideal lifestyle?

If someone has earned $500,000 in a year, they may have reached or surpassed their goal. But if it took them 90 hours a week to get there, they may not be living their ideal lifestyle.

See the difference?

It’s a fact that everybody will have different ideas of what their ideal lifestyle should be. You have to really think about it, deep down inside about how exactly you want your life to be. That being said, if you earn a passive income, you have the ability to more easily design your own lifestyle. That extra paycheck in your bank account not only gives you more money, it can also give you more time and freedom to do whatever it is you want to do.

For example, I actually enjoy working in an office. At the same time, I don’t want to work 8 hours a day because I’d rather spend more time with my family. Earning a passive income allows me to do this because I just work part-time while earning the same amount of money (maybe even more) as if I was working 8 hours a day with earning no passive income.

Also, my fiancee and I love to travel. Say we want to take a one month vacation in an exotic place each year. Why do I have to use the money from the income I already make? I can just create a new passive income stream (a new product, website, what have you) and use that money for traveling. That way, I don’t risk an impact on the other parts of my life. I’m designing my own lifestyle.

It’s not about working X hours for X dollars. It’s about working hard now, so you can reap the benefits and live how you want to, later. Earning passive income creates freedom.

It’s definitely easier said than done, obviously – but with some hard work and determination, we’ll be able to design the lifestyle we want using the benefits of earning a passive income, which we are working for today.

Pat Flynn is an entrepreneur, business owner and blogger who writes and teaches about his successful online passive income experiences. He owns several businesses that require just a few hours of work per week, and in his free time he helps others achieve their dreams of creating multiple passive income streams as well.

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