Ask most people what appeals most to them about either lifestyle design or the “internet lifestyle” and the answer will be “freedom”. Freedom from getting up when you need to in order to get to your job in time. Freedom from worry over paying bills. Freedom of time to do what you want, when you want.
Freedom, for many people, is the major goal.
And I must admit that I too find freedom one of the most heady elements of lifestyle design.
And so it was recently that I got into some deep thought over the concept of freedom. What is it and how do you achieve it? How do you get that feeling you have when you’re off on vacation?
Quite simply I think it boils down to responsibility. The more responsibilities you have, the less freedom you really have.
Let’s look at a few examples.
Taking the example of debt, if you have any at all, then you have responsibilities. You are responsible for ensuring you pay back your creditors; the right amount at the right time. You also need to ensure you have the funds ready which may mean working at a job to ensure you can meet your responsibilities. The debt is taking away your freedom.
A job is a responsibility. You need to turn up when you’re supposed to and probably can’t go home until you’re allowed. You need to provide value while you’re at work. By definition you have responsibilities at work. Even worse, the higher up the ladder you go, the greater the responsibilities. In many work places, you’re paid in direct proportion to the number or size of your responsibilities.
Even running an internet business can bring responsbilities. If you sell an ebook, for example, you need to ensure you are available to answer any questions that customers may have. You need to be available to issue refunds for unhappy customers. You need to be able to communicate with your affiliates who may have queries.
Even a garden means you are responsible for keeping it nice. For trimming the lawn. Watering the flowers. If the neighbours are complaining, you’ve got to go and mow that lawn, whether you feel like it or not.
So today’s thinking point is this: what responsibilities do you have in your life? Try listing them all. In short, how do other people have a say in what you do and when you do it?
A powerful step in lifestyle design is then to figure out ways to either eliminate or delegate as many of these responsibilities as possible. Pay off your debt. Become your own boss. Think carefully before you take on any additional responsibilities either at work or in your private life because every time you do, you may well be unaware that you could be significantly reducing your freedom to boot.
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