We live in a world with limitless options of potential lifestyles. We could be a digital nomad, a solopreneur influencer, people my age are even questioning age-old assumptions of ‘what you do in life’ such as marriage and kids.
I’ve come to realise I was overcomplicating things. My vision of an ideal life involved a lot of things that probably wouldn’t have contributed much to increased life satisfaction.
This weekend I went through an exercise of deeply thinking about what a good life would mean to me. I was fairly surprised at how mundane it all sounds. From spending more time reading, to probably aiming at quite a traditional family setup.
One problem with the modern version of what a good life looks like is there is a strong bias towards novel, exotic experiences. Instagramable holidays, fancy restaurants, extreme sports. I don’t think enough people stop to question what they actually enjoy doing right now. I know I didn’t. When thinking about your ideal life it’s easy to imagine your daily routine as one that’s fundamentally different to your current one.
The thing is, there’s a reason I do a lot of the stuff I’m doing now, it’s because I enjoy it. When thinking about a future life, perhaps it’s helpful to just think about doing less of the stuff you don’t enjoy, and more of the stuff you do enjoy, rather than feeling the need to add any crazy hobbies or pursuits.
I love reading. I love writing (badly). I love working out, and I love having conversations with friends. I love riding my motorbike and cooking (as long as I’m not in a rush). These are all simple things. Simple things are often cheap. One of the benefits of going through this exercise of visualising what a good life would look like to you, is that you start to understand that it’s probably not massively different from the life you are living. This lowers your financial expectations and more importantly, helps you appreciate the time you spend on activities you do now, that would be part of your idealised life.