The No B.S. Guide To Designing Your Own Life

Editor’s note: this is a guest post from Derek Johanson of Live Uncomfortably. I’ll be bringing you more guest articles from people with different voices who are designing and living their own ultimate lifestyles. Contact me to write one yourself.


Who’s shaping your life, your reality, your social and financial decisions? Is it your boss? Your friends? Your parents? Why don’t you design a life of your own? Something that fulfills you and not someone else.

The sad truth is that most of us design a life that is not ours – it’s society’s.

For most of my teens and into my early twenties I followed the mold. I went to college, started a career after school, and like many my age began to question the point of it all. I quickly realized I wasn’t living MY life. I was living someone else’s.

So I quit, packed a bag, and traveled. I did what I wanted to do everyday and I still am. Life is for me and life is beautiful.

No matter how old you are it’s not too late to start living your life for you. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.


The first step in designing a lifestyle that you want is to decide.

Decide what is important to you. Don’t think about your job or career, your house, college, anything else.

Think about what you want for yourself right now. Then start putting your time and money towards the things you truly want.

The problem is no one decides what they want to spend their time and money doing. They just blindly get on the spending train that soon leads them to debt and misery because they don’t really care about any of the crap they own.

Decide what’s important and throw as much of your resources as possible towards it.

Get Out Of Debt

Debt is slavery. I consider debt anything you are forced to pay back – like a loan. A mortgage is debt. I don’t care if you say it’s an investment. It’s a debt and it restricts mobility.

If you can afford a house outright buy it. If you want to live in the same house for 30 years then buy it.

The point is to stop. Think about what you really want with your life. That 2-3K a month mortgage will suck the life out of many, especially those in their 20’s.

Spend Less & Save More Money

Make more money or spend less money. One takes your labor while the other gives you time. What are you trying to do?

Don’t Chase The Jones’s

Screw what your friends and family are doing. Are they happy working for Verizon? If they are good for them but that’s not for you and you know it. You want to be a creator. You want to write, you want to paint, you want to run your own businesses.

They want new cars, houses, and clothes. If you’re reading this website I’ll bet you want experiences not things. Stop caring about possessions starting right now.

Only Listen To People Who Are Living Like You Want To Live

Don’t listen to people who are miserable and whose lives you don’t want. These people try to give you advice all the time and tell you things like, “Well it’s good you’re traveling while you’re young. You can’t do that when you’re older. You have to get a ‘real’ job at some point.”

Seek out your heroes and listen to them. Everyone else is a distraction.

Stick With It

It might take years and a lot of heartache to get where you want to be but you’ll be rewarded handsomely in the end. We’ll all look up to you and envy you.

It’s like having a great body.

At first it’s tough as hell. You have to workout consistently and eat right. Your friends will think you’re crazy or call you a robot for not eating pizza and drinking beer with them. Then, when your body is rock hard and dead sexy they’ll be envious and ask for your advice.

You can live whatever life you want as long as you’re not afraid. Afraid of what others think. Afraid of failing. Afraid of working hard and consciously towards something meaningful.

For more about Derek Johanson, check out his blog, Live Uncomfortably, subscribe to his feed or follow him on Twitter.

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photo by Tait Campbell

I'm Corbett Barr, founder of Fizzle and Palapa and co-host of The Fizzle Show. This is where I write about building businesses, living the good life, and doing work that matters. More about me »

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