I was talking to an old friend of mine the other day who I’ve known since we were kids. In the last couple of years he has gone from being a full-time primary school teacher, to teaching three days a week plus a bit of sports coaching. His stress levels have plummeted, his energy has sky rocketed and he’s living a lifestyle with his family that nourishes them all.
It’s another great example of what I think of as nourishing lifestyle design. It’s awesome to see dear friends make those choices and create life the way they want it.
I have a friend in the States, Billy, who works 7-8 months of the year as a landscaper, then packs his life into a bag every December and travels the world for three months doing art in far flung places with locals and children to promote environmental awareness. He’s visited 60+ countries and place most of us will never get to. Lots of people look at him and wonder how he manages it. “Lucky guy”, they say.
I have an endless string of clients who now work 3- or 4-day weeks (often earning the same money as before) and people look at them too with envy. One of these clients, based in the UK and working in a very traditional industry, initially didn’t believe it was possible, even though she really wanted it. In the end, she never looked back.
No, this kind of change doesn’t just happen.
Every one of these people worked out their own special formula for styling their week and making it work practically and financially. It took some time and tinkering, but it came together.
And it takes lots of brave moments – starting with even deciding to live a bit (or a lot) outside the norm or convention.
Or what your parents think you should be doing. Or your friends who aren’t as brave as you. Or your boss/brother/girlfriend who is secretly terrified of change (even other people’s).
It takes lots of brave moments – starting with even deciding to live a bit (or a lot) outside the norm or convention.
Brave moments are when you hand in your notice – typed and ready to go – or inform your boss you’d like to go to a 4-day week. Or the moment you decide to pull out of your MBA. Or start your PhD.
It’s about taking the plunge. Asking her out or even just sending that first message. Asking for a price on that property you’ve hankered after for ten years. Sending that bunch of flowers. Telling him he’s the one.
You can’t know what’s going to happen once you decide something, ask for something or take any kind of action. You can only take that step and see where it takes you next.
Bravely stepping each time, and in turn, making your life great.
May your life be great.