A very distinguished lady was on a plane arriving from Switzerland. She found herself seated next to a nice priest whom she asked: “Excuse me Father, could I ask a favor?”;
“Of course my child, What can I do for you?”
“Here is the problem, I bought myself a new sophisticated hair remover gadget for which I paid an enormous sum of money. I have really gone over the declaration limits and I am worried that they will confiscate it at customs. Do you think you could hide it under your cassock?”
“Of course I could, my child, but you must realize that I can not lie.”;
“You have such an honest face Father, I am sure they will not ask you any questions”, and she gave him the ‘hair remover’.
The aircraft arrived at its destination. When the priest presented himself to customs he was asked, “Father, do you have anything to declare?”
“From the top of my head to my sash, I have nothing to declare, my son”, he replied. Finding this reply strange, the customs officer asked, “And from the sash down, what do you have?”
The priest replied, “I have there a marvelous little instrument designed for use by women, but which has never been used.”
Breaking out in laughter, the customs officer said, “Go ahead Father. Next!”
If you are wondering how this joke from Unijokes can introduce such a topic as “Is Your Lifestyle Unlimited“?
I will invite you to stick around and figure it out yourself.
There is a lot of way to reach or obtain whatever you want. Each of the way you will choose depends on your goal, your expectations. Indeed, if I want a Lamborghini, I will not have access to it having the same mindset of someone willing to buy a Fiat.
If HOW you get what you want is important, it’s not the topic of this article.
You and your choice and how you make that choice is the heart of this article.
As much as we use the word Lifestyle, they are only few of us who really can really define it.
We mostly grasp the concept behind the word without necessarily understand it.
With that said let’s have a look at the definition of the word Lifestyle:
Cambridge define Lifestyle as someone’s way of living; the things that a person or particular group of people usually do.
Business Dictionary define Lifestyle as A way of living of individuals, families (households), and societies, which they manifest in coping with their physical, psychological, social, and economic environments on a day-to-day basis.
Lifestyle is expressed in both work and leisure behavior patterns and (on an individual basis) in activities, attitudes, interests, opinions, values, and allocation of income. It also reflects people’s self-image or self concept; the way they see themselves and believe they are seen by the others. Lifestyle is a composite of motivations, needs, and wants and is influenced by factors such as culture, family, reference groups, and social class.
Lifestyle according to Oxford Dictionary is The way in which a person lives.
Let’s consider one last definition, this time from dictionary.com. According to Dictionary.com, Lifestyle is the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group.
From all these definitions, I have spotted one common and I guess the most important thing which is ATTITUDE.
I will therefore define Lifestyle as a person or a group of person response, behavior or attitude to the choices he has in a given society before .
The study of such behavior has given birth to the so-called Lifestyle Brand which is according to Wikipédia a brand that attempts to embody the values, aspirations, interests, attitudes, or opinions of a group or a culture for marketing purposes.
I have to admit that it’s may be tricky to grasp the whole Lifestyle thing, so let use the help of the story behind the word to understand it once for all.
The Story Behind – Apparition & Evolution
The term Lifestyle or LIFE + STYLE, has appeared for the first time in 1929. It was used by the Australian psychologist Alfred Adler to designate “a person’s basic character as established early in childhood”.
You will easily agree with me that this is not the definition or rather the conception we have nowadays when we hear the word Lifestyle. Even if the root is still the same, the environment has evolved essentially through three(3) mains phases.
Lifestyle As Social Rank Measure
This perspective was introduced by Thorstein Veblen with his “emulation” concept. According to him, people consumption’s choices are dictated by the desire to distinguish themselves socially from the others;
For Max Weber not only Lifestyle helps distinguish but also affirm one’s membership to a certain social class as it’s the most visible manifestation of one’s privileges.
Georg Simmel share the same point of view but at a more individual level, same for Pierre Bourdieu but in a more complex model.
Lifestyle As Thinking Style
Milton Rokeach‘s work, Arnold Michell VALS research and Lynn Kahle‘s LOV research have concluded on the possibility to identify different lifestyle based on the scales of value of an individual. With Daniel Yankelovich and William Wells, Lifestyle is a matter of Attitude, Interest and Opinion.
Lifestyle As Styles Of Action
So for Joffre Dumazedier and Anthony Giddens the behavior of consumer in front of products acquired to express how he sees himself is not the point here.
But rather how he is living his life daily through choices and decisions and not only in a particular moment such as purchasing or acquiring moment.
For Richard Jenkins and A. J. Veal only the actions adopted as particularly meaningful for the actors count.
Nowadays, Lifestyle tend to be more Commercial than Social.
In an advanced Capitalist society where profit is the key element, the study of Lifestyle by the Media Culture has give birth to new “Life-styles” as we can read it in **Wikipedia** to drive the consumption of new commodities.
Different Type Of Lifestyle
It’s almost impossible to determine how many Lifestyles exist. The reality is that there can be as many lifestyles as human being on earth if we consider the Lifestyle phenomena at individual level.
Given like this, it sounds impossible to have a pattern to identify different type of Lifestyle.
It’s only partially true. People themselves tend to regroup based on different criteria such as Age, Sex, gender, Social Rank, Origin, Interest, Hobbies etc… and those same criteria are the one that can be used when trying to identify different type of Lifestyle.
Let’s consider few of them:
- Age Based Lifestyle: In the category, people under-age 14 in general, are the reflection of their parents lifestyle. Age is probably one the most controversial but also the wildest criteria for lifestyle. Indeed, two people having the same hobby, sharing the same job and social status may adopt different lifestyle according to their age. Remember aging rhymes with responsibility of all kind. Fact is a 50 years old man for the sake of his age will avoid some places and activities, but not only, his age will pretty much show in the way he dresses.
- Wealth & Social Rank Based Lifestyle: Here we can distinguish three categories, the rich, the middle class and the poor. Each of those categories can be divided in two types of lifestyle: The luxury type and the moderate one.
Before you choose to live a life based on Wealth ONLY, underestimating the benefit of good relation with yourself at first and then your surrounding, take a few minutes to watch this amazing video:
- Sex & Gender Based Lifestyle: This is I believe the most obvious in all its aspect. It’s important not to mix a sex based lifestyle with a gender based Lifestyle. A woman feeling like a man is still a woman as during her period she will have to organized herself differently than a man.
- Faith & Religion Based Lifestyle: The distinction between Lifestyle when it comes to religion in my opinion is one of the strongest, from the mentality to the dressing code, to the food habit, religion is one very straight forward and strong criteria of distinction. However, remember not to judge by the appearance.
- Hobby And Interest Based Lifestyle: If like me you are an open-minded person who has been to many concerts, each of different type of music, then you probably know that the lifestyles of Rockers are different from the lifestyle of rappers and so on. As well as a footballer lifestyle is different from a bodybuilder lifestyle.
- Origin and Geographic Based Lifestyle: Here the Lifestyle is influence by the culture, the education and the nature constituting the environment in which a person is living. And so, an individual living in the desert will have a different lifestyle compare to a person living in mountains or by the seaside.
- Health Based Lifestyle: I could easily put the Health based Lifestyle with the Wealth based Lifestyle. Even though things have changed and the fit fashion has take over the market, the cost of the healthy Lifestyle is still not bearable for every body. However, any person interested in living or having a healthy Lifestyle nowadays, have definitely more tool at disposal than ever.
Find Your Lifestyle
When it comes to know one self’s Lifestyle, the road may be long and the result uncertain.
It’s therefore not surprising that some invest in the so called life coach to help them find or build they desired lifestyle.
Don’t forget that your lifestyle is the reflection of your current mind statement, means it should change together with you and not according to an external factor.
I was taught by my professor of sociology three questions that can help anyone determine if they own their lifestyle.
– Are you fine and ready to take full responsibility of the way you think even if it means to be rejected by your surrounding?
– Are you proud of the person you see when looking at yourself in the mirror?
If you cannot reply YES to those three question, you are not yet Owner of your Lifestyle and your Lifestyle is limited not by things you cannot control but by things others control: their perception of how you should be.
Gratefulness takes a big place in my Lifestyle, Therefore I cannot leave without thanking you for taking your time to read this article. I hope you the word LIFESTYLE has no more secret for you.
But more importantly, I hope this article put you on the right way to find your LIFESTYLE, to find a way to live according to your value and personality. The worst Lie you’ll ever tell in your life, is the one you tell to yourself.
Own Your Lifestyle, it’s UNLIMITED.