Is Lifestyle Design Dead Already?

Is Lifestyle Design Dead?
There’s no question that lifestyle design has exploded in popularity over the past year. It seems like a new blog about lifestyle design pops up almost daily these days, and my Google Alert on the topic brings me 20+ new articles about it some days.

At the same time, I’ve been hearing more and more subtle backlash against the topic of lifestyle design recently.


Some negative response to the growth of any new “movement” or concept is understandable or even expected I suppose, but I wanted to find out what you think about lifestyle design as a concept nearly three years after Tim Ferriss defined the term in his now famous book, The 4-Hour Work Week.

Is Lifestyle Design Dead?

You might argue that lifestyle design has always existed and always will.

Fundamentally, everyone designs a life for themselves, consciously or not. Some people follow a typical life template, and some people decide to do something a little less ordinary. Either way, your lifestyle was designed to some degree.

For that reason, the topic of lifestyle design can be so broad as to apply to anyone doing anything with their lives. If that’s the case, it doesn’t seem so useful.

On the other hand, much of the current writing about lifestyle design (and most of Ferriss’ book) tends to focus on travel, entrepreneurship and creating as much free time as possible. That’s much more specific, but in some ways gets away from the idea that each person’s ideal lifestyle will be different. Some people love to travel; others don’t. Some people want to start a small business; others would sooner work in a coal mine.

In addition to lifestyle design, there’s the whole question of conventionalism. Blogs like The Art of Nonconformity or the new Untemplater challenge you to live unconventionally.

As Cath Duncan put it in a recent comment at Wage Slave Rebel, are we really just creating a new “bunch of sheep to flock with” by all subscribing to the same idea of what’s unconventional?

There are valid points on both sides, but what I really want to know is if the term lifestyle design has already outlived its usefulness. Would those of us who have identified with it be better off with something else? Does a term that can be both vague and limiting at the same time really help people get closer to living their own personal ideal lifestyles?

What do you think? Is Lifestyle Design dead, or is it just getting started?

photo by tanakawho

I'm Corbett Barr, co-founder of Fizzle and entrepreneur for a decade. Get my weekly curated email of useful things for independent entrepreneurs »

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