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What Is Lifestyle Design? – Designing Your Life For True Freedom

CEO Tinh Phung
When scrolling through our social media feeds, we often find ourselves wishing we could trade places with people living our ideal lifestyle. Whether it's the cars, status, big houses, luxury, or travel, we yearn to...

When scrolling through our social media feeds, we often find ourselves wishing we could trade places with people living our ideal lifestyle . Whether it's the cars, status, big houses, luxury, or travel, we yearn to build that lifestyle for ourselves. But here's the catch - purely striving for extrinsic rewards over intrinsic ones can leave us constantly chasing happiness without ever truly attaining it. No matter how much wealth, fame, power, or status we achieve, there will always be someone who has more. This constant comparison leads to a decrease in self-confidence and satisfaction, and an increase in jealousy and envy. So how do we know if we're chasing the right things? The answer lies in lifestyle design - a pathway to true freedom and authentic happiness.

Lifestyle Design Definition

Lifestyle design is the process of intentionally crafting a life that aligns with our nature, strengths, values, dreams, passions, and purpose. It's about designing our lives the way we want, breaking free from societal conditioning, and pursuing a lifestyle that brings true fulfillment. Although the concept of lifestyle design isn't new, it gained popularity after Tim Ferriss wrote the book "The 4-Hour Workweek." Today, lifestyle designers question and rethink everything - education, work, retirement, relationships, location, travel, dreams, beliefs, values, passion, purpose, and even day-to-day lifestyle. It's a combination of hard work and smart work, with the understanding that we must work diligently to achieve the freedom that lifestyle design offers.

Is Lifestyle Design For Everyone?

While anyone has the potential to become a lifestyle designer, it may not be for everyone. Building a lifestyle from scratch requires courage and discipline, which not everyone possesses. However, in today's world, it's more possible than ever before to create the life of our dreams. It starts with a defining moment - a realization that the life we're living isn't the life we truly desire. Gathering audacious courage and discipline is the first step towards designing our ideal life.

The Cycle of Lifestyle Design

Stage 0: The Defining Moment

The defining moment is when we decide to change our lives. It's when the pain of continuing on our current path becomes unbearable, and the only option left is to make a massive shift. This moment can be different for each person, whether it's an epiphany, a traumatic event, or a frustrating experience. It all starts with realizing the difference between what we "must" do and what we "should" do - the life we want versus the life we have. Embracing this defining moment is crucial to kickstart the lifestyle design process.

Stage 1: Define

Before designing our lives, we must define what we want and what we don't want. By gaining clarity on how we want to live, we can set a clear direction for ourselves. If we're unsure about what we want, starting with what we don't want can be a helpful first step. As we move away from what doesn't bring us happiness, we can explore and discover what truly fulfills us. Remember that the perfect definition of our dream life doesn't need to be set in stone. Lifestyle design is about getting started and iterating along the way.

Stage 2: Explore

Once we have defined the direction we want to take, it's time to explore the different pathways that align with our nature, strengths, values, dreams, passions, and purpose. This exploration can involve seeking advice from others who have walked a similar path or gaining direct experience. It's essential to be cautious about the advice we receive and make our own decisions. Empowering ourselves as lifestyle designers means taking ownership of our choices.

Stage 3: Decide, Act, Pivot

At this stage, we already have a good idea of what we're pursuing and the path we will take. Now it's time to take decisive action and make progress towards our specific goals. This stage involves a continuous cycle of deciding, acting, and pivoting as we face obstacles, failures, successes, challenges, and more. Dwelling on setbacks or obsessing over perfection isn't conducive to the lifestyle design process. Instead, we continuously learn, adapt, and move forward.

Stage 4: Reflect

After reaching our desired outcome, it's crucial to reflect on our journey. Were we chasing the right things? What lessons did we learn? Have we become the person we aspired to be? Reflecting on our achievements and experiences provides valuable insight and wisdom for our future endeavors. This reflection leads us back to the first step of defining our new journey and inner transformation.

The 3 Types Of Freedom

While lifestyle design can offer freedom, it's important to acknowledge that it alone won't solve all our problems or make our lives perfect. There are three types of freedom that come with lifestyle design:

Freedom From (Negative Liberty)

Freedom from refers to breaking free from societal conditioning, whether it's mental or physical. From a young age, we're taught certain rules that society believes will lead to success. However, these rules may not align with our true nature and strengths. Embracing lifestyle design means questioning and breaking free from these constraints, pursuing a life that is more authentic and fulfilling.

Freedom To (Positive Liberty)

Freedom to involves the freedom to do or achieve something. It's about creating a vision for our lives, setting goals, taking action, and moving closer to our dreams. With a strong driving force, obstacles become insignificant, and failure doesn't deter us. However, it's essential to recognize that this freedom can easily become a cycle of continuously desiring more, without ever finding true fulfillment.

Freedom To Be

The ultimate form of freedom is the freedom to be. This type of freedom transcends external circumstances and grants us the emotional and spiritual freedom to express our true selves. It allows us to let go of regrets and fears, understanding that our possessions and achievements do not define us. This freedom lies within our control and requires continuous mental training to attain. Choosing our attitude in any given circumstance is the essence of this freedom.


Lifestyle design is a pathway to true freedom and authentic happiness. By following its cycle of defining, exploring, deciding, acting, pivoting, and reflecting, we can design a life that aligns with our true nature, values, and purpose. However, it's important to recognize that lifestyle design alone won't bring us the ultimate freedom. True freedom comes when we embrace all three types of freedom - freedom from societal conditioning, freedom to pursue our dreams, and the freedom to be our most authentic selves. So, are you ready to embark on the journey of designing your own lifestyle?