Beyond Lifestyle Design

We are living in a world of buzz words. To get some fame and make a bunch of money, your “lifestyle” should be “cool”, and by “designing” it, you’re aiming to be part of a “clique” that wouldn’t mind working more than four hours a week.

See the words in quotes? Maybe it would be helpful to just forget about them and to take an approach to lifestyle design that goes beyond the gadgetry and marketing buzz that much of traditional and social media like to advocate.

In reality, lifestyle design isn’t so much about adventurous traveling and beautiful girls and ceaseless twittering and expensive phones. While all this may be part of your personal way of life, lifestyle design could be so much more, if we had higher ambitions: It could help to convert everybody’s lives into something bigger, building upon the best that both history and science fiction have to offer. It could connect art and everyday life, protest and support, happiness and anger, activism and idling, creativity and freedom. Most importantly: Lifestyle design could reach more and more people. New people. People that never knew about lifestyles and coolness and design and cliques. And about the options they have.

The goal of lifestyle design should be breaking boundaries, not cashing checks.

The Idle Musings are short posts of 300 words maximum. They are published on The Friendly Anarchist every other Tuesday. Grab the RSS feed to get them right into your reader.


  1. To tell you that truth I have no idea what lifestyle design is. In my five months of blogging I have never thought of this kind of strategy. All I do is to express my uniqueness which is reflected on my compositions. :-)

  2. I definitely agree with this and Walter’s comment above. I mean, what the hell is lifestyle design? When we try to put a definition on it, we really lose its essence. It’s not about traveling. It’s not about ‘breaking free’ of the 9-5. It’s about tuning out the noise and listening to yourself. It’s about finding our wholly unique and special gift that only we can offer to the world and expressing it.

  3. Hi Fabian. Really cool short post. At first I thought people interested in lifestyle design “was” about traveling and things like that, but come to think of it after reading this, it really is about breaking boundaries more than “being” at the boundary itself (traveling, cashing checks, expensive phones, etc.). Thanks for sharing this. :)

    1. Hulbert, thanks for your comment and glad the post proved insightful! I really think the essence of Lifestyle Design is what each and every person makes of it!

  4. Definitely an interesting perspective you provided there. While it’s easy to get caught up in wanting to live an “adventurous” life, life should be made from what we truly want, not what we think is “coolest.”

  5. It could help to convert everybody’s lives into something bigger, building upon the best that both history and science fiction have to offer.

    Water desalination. I think that’s where it’s at.

    1. Hmm… the French Foreign Legion would pay a nice lump of money for that, that’s for sure…

  6. Some of the most exciting, cherished experiences of my life so far have occurred “by surprise.” Had I attempted to design a lifestyle based on what I knew, I’d surely would have been severely limited.

    I enjoyed this post, Fabian. You get beyond the words and into the substance.


    1. Jean, it’s surely a good approach to embrace the surprising things that happen in life. For me, it’s very similar as you write… I surely wouldn’t live this beautiful life, if it wasn’t thanks to being open to some positive surprises I had…

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