Have you ever heard the phrase, “it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle”? This isn’t a post about healthy living or diets, but rather the concept of a “lifestyle” and how we use this idea in many aspects of blogging and our lives.
I got to thinking one day in the shower (things always come to you in the shower, don’t they?) that we attribute the word “lifestyle” to so many things. For many of us bloggers, we call ourselves “lifestyle” bloggers – where we blog about anything from food to healthy living, inspiration, creativity, travel, everyday life, etc. I sometimes refer to my blog as a creative lifestyle blog, for example, because I view by blog as a community where creatives can come together to share life, ideas and inspiration in many different forms.
Other examples include living a college lifestyle, a vegan lifestyle, a minimalist lifestyle, green lifestyle, Christian lifestyle, post-grad lifestyle, etc. You could be a business owner, a project manager, an artist, a creative, a traveler, a runner, an athlete or extreme adventurer.
Personally, over the past couple years, I’ve experimented with a minimalist lifestyle, a vegan lifestyle (which I LOVE and wholeheartedly believe in), and different creative lifestyles (sometimes focused on journaling or blogging or other things like design or art).
All of these lifestyles can attach to our identities.
But can too many “lifestyles” harm us and our direction in life?
I question this as I realize the term “lifestyle” is growing so popular.
Does there become a point where we are living too many lifestyles? Can we attach too many things to our identity that don’t really matter? That don’t really define who we are?
In today’s age, marketing and communications (even under the purest intentions) can create “lifestyles” out of nearly anything. In fact, that seems to be a goal of marketing a product – connecting it to something beyond the tangible item itself. For example, marketing an exotic passionfruit juice as a vital ingredient to living a nomadic, super adventurous travel writer’s life connects items to a lifestyle certain people may want to live. This creates stories, values, and feelings that people can go out and “buy.”
It’s almost as if we have a closet full of “lifestyles” we can choose from everyday. We can choose to be anything we want to be.
In many cases, that can be a good thing. I’m all about leaving options open! But what exactly is a lifestyle and how exactly are we choosing to live?
What Does a “Lifestyle” Mean?
A lifestyle is expressed in both the work, behavior, leisure and social patterns we do – it’s a combination of what we repeatedly do. It affects how we see ourselves and our identity.
Lifestyles combine motives, needs, wants, feelings. Our lifestyle relates to our sense of happiness and peace.
Overall, a lifestyle is about the big picture, the accumulation of small details of our daily lives.Overall, your lifestyle is about the big picture, not the small details. Click To Tweet
We only have one life, right? So let’s look at it from a wide perspective.
So if we dedicated ten different concepts as our “lifestyles,” we really limit the big picture for each of them.
When One Lifestyle Gets in the Way of Another
Ultimately, what we claim our lifestyle is and how we live our life can be totally different. It all comes down to priorities.
For the past seven months, I have focused a lot of my attention on veganism and my eating habits. I have learned a lot and I have changed my life, to put it simply. I have spent hours watching Youtube videos, documentaries, finding vegan recipes, looking at ingredients on packages and cooking yummy foods. All amazing things!
My reasons for going vegan have expanded from health reasons to moral and environmental reasons and I’ve uncovered the greater picture on how our lifestyle choices impact our world and the lives of others.
I think I have put a lot of my belief and faith energy in the vegan lifestyle, which could have been used pouring into my Christian faith or in other ways to help others. I have no regrets about living a vegan lifestyle – but ultimately, I would like it to come out of my faith as a Christian and rooted in my journey with Christ.
That’s how I see a true lifestyle evolving – from one pure focus in what you believe in. That’s how we live productive, faithful and inspiring lives.
A minimalist lifestyle is all about simplifying and focusing on what truly matters in life to you. I think this is so important. But I challenge this mindset further – wouldn’t what truly matters to you be your lifestyle already? Wouldn’t minimalism be a by-product of your focus?
Let’s challenge ourselves to truly define our lifestyle. What is the style of our lives? Are we living for what truly is important to us? Are we letting other “lifestyles” get in the way? What is our true focus as individuals on this planet?
Let’s think about the ways we spend our time and the things we do this week. Let’s reflect on what we feel and the impact we make on others.
Take a couple moments to breathe in deep, and really think about your passion in life and where your center is. Think about love. About moving forward. About peace.
It’s in these moments where we live most vibrantly. Let’s find our style. Let’s shine our lights.What lifestyle are you living? How do you find your true focus? Click To Tweet