The final blending of our philosophy, attitude, activity and results is what creates this final personal quest that Jim Rohn calls LIFESTYLE.
Lifestyle is how we choose to live and how we design our lives. “It is the sophisticated understanding of the difference between life’s trinkets and life’s treasures.”
Rohn believes many have learned to earnwell, but they have not yet learned to livewell. It is as though they have decided to wait until they become wealthy before they start practicing sophistication. “What they fail to understand is that practiced sophistication is as much a causeof wealth as it is a result of wealth.”
Some attribute their poor attitude about life to their low level of income. They maintain that if they ever solved their money problems, they would show the world what happiness is really all about. Obviously, Rohn observes, they have not yet discovered that it was their failure to find happiness in the past that has affected their current income. “If they continue with this error in judgment, their lack of happiness in the present will determine their futureincome as well. Until they have discovered that happiness is part of the causeand that wealth is merely an effect, their circumstances are not likely to change.”
Lifestyle is a reflection of attitude and values. As we have already examined, how we feel and what we deem to be worthwhile is part of the mentalprocess that ultimately determines what we attract into our lives. If we are not happy with our current circumstances, we can begin to change them simply by changing how we think and feel.
Lifestyle is also a function of this same thinking process. Any day we choose we have the ability to alter our lifestyle by changing how we feel and making better decisions about what we deem to be valuable. We do not have to wait untilwe are wealthy or powerful or famous to experience happiness. We do not have to postpone our appreciation of the finer things in life untilwe have reached our career goals. We can live a life that is as joyful and rewarding as we might wish starting right now.
“Given with sincerity, a single, long-stemmed rose can be more meaningful than a dozen orchids.” We do not have to be rich to live richly. All of the happiness and fulfillment we want can be ours right now simply by changing how we feel and what we think about this concept called 1ifestyle.
LIFESTYLE IS NOT AN AMOUNT
Culture is not an amount. Sophistication is not an amount. And neither is lifestyle. They are arts to be practiced by those who wish for more of the good life. To become the masters of these arts, the practice must begin with what we currentlyhave. Each of us, regardless of our circumstances, can begin the art of practiced sophistication any time we choose. Lifestyle is really nothing more than the art of doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. We must learn to spend small sums in a tasteful manner before we can ever hope to master the art of handling major expenditures with sophistication.
Lifestyle is ultimately a reflection of who and what we are. Our lifestyle communicates a clear message about who we are and how we think. Lifestyle is where we go, what we do, and how we feel once we are there. Lifestyle is how we dress, what we drive, and the type of entertainment we choose to enjoy. Lifestyle is a mixture of substance as well as style, refinement as well as intellect, and emotional control in times of challenge as well as emotional releasein times of joy and happiness.
Successful people and those in serious pursuit of success, tend to communicate the level of sophistication and intelligence they have managed to acquire. How they -conduct themselves leaves little doubt about their intensity for personal development and for personal achievement.
Everything about us is sending a message to others about our level of intensity as well. The things we do, the things we say, and even our appearance is suggestiveof an inner attitude about life. If we are spending more money on fast-food than we do on books, that suggests something about the sincerity of our desire for personal progress.
Whether we spend an evening in front of a computer screen or a TV screen, talking with our children or having fun with our “friends from the office,” lifestyle is a function of attitude and personal values. We can all afford to live better. It does not take more money to change how we live. It takes more deliberate thought and a greater -appreciation of the real values in life.
LIFESTYLE IS NOT AN AUTOMATIC REWARD
Lifestyle means designingways to live uniquely. It is a skill to be mastered, not a condition to be pursued. Lifestyle is finding new ways to bring joy, pleasure, excitement, and substance into our lives and into the lives of those we care for while we are workingon our goals, not once we have achieved them. “A more abundant existence does not necessarily mean a more enjoyable lifestyle,” Rohn opines.
Many of us dream of becoming wealthy, of having a beautiful home that is tended by others so that we will be free to enjoy ourselves. We dream of winning lotteries that will enable us to quit our jobs tomorrow and go off in pursuit of the good life. We dream of chauffeurs to drive us -and servants to take care of us so that we can have all the time in the world to do whatever we want to do.
The big question is what wouldwe do? In a very short time most of what we dreamed of one day doing would become as uninspiring as our current lifestyle. There is only so much traveling, so much partying, so much sleeping, and so much “enjoying” that we can experience before this too would become tedious.
If it is not a life of endless fun and laughter that we are after, then what isit that we are in pursuit of? What is this thing we call lifestyle?
We may all have different opinions of what lifestyle is, but hopefully we will all agree on what it is not: It is notsomething we getsimply as a result of having more. Lifestyle is a result of living more, living more fully, living more consciously, living more joyfully, and living more appreciatively. The more fully we live, the more we do and the more we become. “Lifestyle is not a reward for all of our hard effort; it is a way of making our hard effort more rewarding, more meaningful and ultimately more productive.”
LIFESTYLE – STUDIED AND PRACTICED
If we wish to be wealthy, we must study wealth, and if we wish to be happy, we must study happiness. The combination of these two studies creates the aura that Jim Rohn calls lifestyle.
Happiness the unique emotion that we mistakenly believe comes to us only when we have become successful, must precedethe achievement of success. Happiness is as much a cause of success as it is a result of success, and we can begin to experience happiness whenever we wish, regardless of our current circumstances.
Each of us can design our own life happiness. We can designit and we can experience it. We do not have to wait. Waiting will merely prolong the agony of putting up with poor service, short tempers, ruined moments of joy, and a continuation of life as it has always been. “Happiness is the joy of that comes from designing a life that practices the fine art of living well.”
BY CAPTAIN SAM ADDAIH RTD