There are two paths in life. A majority of folks wait around for cool things to happen to them, watching as other, “lucky people” live the lives they wish they had. Then there are the people who take a proactive role in discovering their dreams and turning them into reality.
Books like The 4 Hour Workweek opened my eyes to the wide range of possibilities life holds for us. There are so many options outside the ‘norm’ if you’re willing to get creative and seek out solutions to build a lifestyle you truly desire.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all lifestyle.
When I realized that I hated working in an office for someone else, I started doing freelance web development on the side, and I quit my full-time job a few months later. I spent a year-and-a-half working from home, figuring out how to hell to be self-employed, and preparing my business to be location-independent so I could live the digital nomad lifestyle. I set out on a journey to live abroad for a year+ and work remotely from anywhere I traveled.
It’s rarely easy and it’s not always fun, but I enjoy the freedom that entrepreneurship and a vagabond lifestyle have given me. And the philosophy that underpins my choices is that I make the rules.
This is your life. You make the rules.
Untemplater is all about breaking the traditional “rules” that we think apply to us. It’s about challenging assumptions. You don’t have to go to college, graduate within four years, take a desk job, stay close to home, get an MBA, climb the corporate ladder, or anything just because it’s what herd mentality tells you you’re supposed to do. The world is a complex and beautiful place with a wide spectrum of possibilities, and full of unpredictable opportunities. Your life is your masterpiece, and you are the painter.
2010 is a chance for you to start fresh and take back control of your life. Our mission is to encourage college students and young professionals to shatter the template lifestyle, find ways to do what you’re passionate about, live where and how you want to live, and be what you want to be in the new year.
Is the idea of an unorthodox career and a remarkable lifestyle exciting to you?
The willingness to risk the comfort of the familiar to find your true happiness is the path to living a remarkable life.
The key to doing what you are passionate about and living the life of your own choosing is to overcome your own fears and many of the socially-reinforced beliefs that our parents, friends, and school teach us. To begin discovering what you really want out of life and what’s truly possible, you must question all of your assumptions. Question the seemingly obvious. For example, ask yourself questions like:
- Who says you can’t talk to strangers when you go out on the weekend?
- Who says you have to hang out with people in similar demographics as yourself?
- Who says you can’t leave a long-term relationship if you’re unhappy with it?
- Who says living overseas is any more dangerous or difficult than living in the town you grew up in?
- Who says you have to follow a conventional career path or lifestyle?
- Who says you have to do what all the cool kids are doing?
Many of us have beliefs like these ingrained in us from infancy and may not even realize it, but we live our lives governed by social conditioning and all these rules that don’t really apply. Ask yourself what evidence there is to actually back up these assumptions. Most of these beliefs and social “rules” are unfounded.
Before you jump on the bandwagon, always ask yourself if you’re you doing this because of social pressure? Or are you avoiding doing what you’re really passionate about out of fear that you’ll fail? Don’t let social rules dictate how you live your life, and don’t let fear keep you from giving life your best shot.
Who the Hell are Jon and Kate Gosselin and Who Gives a S#!t?
If you’re ready to take back control in 2010, then you need to ignore the bullshit, stop reading gossip blogs and Glamour magazine. Forget about American Idol and following all the reality TV shows on a weekly (or daily) basis! Ignore the “trending topics” and “who’s hot” this week. Unless you’re following these pop culture icons because you want to be them and you’re actually gonna learn from them and take actionable steps to model your life after them, forget ’em!
As social media heavyweight and author of Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk, says, you have to “stop watching f***ing Lost and start hustling!” This new economy puts you and me on the same playing field with the big companies. You are responsible for your own reputation, you are your own company: Brand You. There’s nearly nothing stopping you from attaining the success you want or living, working, and playing the way you want to. But nobody’s going to make it happen for you! It’s not going to come without challenges, but you gotta get out there and make it happen.
10 Thoughts for Creating Your Own Untemplater Lifestyle This Year:
- Most people are content to live a comfortable lifestyle, doing something they’re not all that passionate about in order to pay the bills and do what they like on the weekends. But, ask yourself if that’s really what you want. Or do you want more? The Untemplater lifestyle means prioritizing your passion over money, over status, even over creature comforts.
- Realize that nobody else is going to come along and magically fix all your problems and pay all your bills for you. That is a destructive Disney fantasy that isn’t real. In the new economy, “job security” is an oxymoron. You’ve got to establish a personal brand and maintain your reputation online even if you just want to remain employable.
- Remember what Tim Ferriss says in The 4-Hour Workweek: we don’t really want to be millionaires. Instead we want to experience things we think only millions can buy. But money isn’t the only currency, and by bending the rules of your reality, it can frequently be easier, cheaper, or even free to accomplish the things you want.
- Stop playing the game, stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. Embrace minimalism, detach your value from the things you own, and ignore others’ expectations. When you accumulate stuff just for the sake of having possessions, they begin to own you. More likely than not, you can invest more time and money into the experiences you want to have—time with friends and family, philanthropy, travel—and live a much more fulfilled life.
- Just because everyone seems to do things one way doesn’t mean you have to. And just because a majority of people seem to use a certain set of tools to get the job done doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right tools for you. Seek unconventional solutions that will make the life you want possible.
- If you still want to discover what kind of work you’re truly passionate about and excites you when you get out of bed in the morning, take weekend retreat to somewhere nearby where you can get away from your normal routine, consider a media hiatus (don’t read the paper, watch the news on TV, or read your favorite blogs online for at least a few days) and do some self-talk and search in yourself for what you really care about. How can you provide real value to the world in a way that will return to you and provide
- With the increasing availability of free and cheap wifi internet access all around the globe, it’s becoming increasingly possible for anyone to work from home, the coffee shop, or anywhere. Leverage the different purchasing power of currencies around the world, and you can vagabond your way around the globe while you do freelance work from your laptop!
- Social media makes it much easier for anyone with enough motivation to share their ideas with a global audience and build a successful business online these days.
- If you choose to build an Untemplater lifestyle free of dependence on any one location, if you live abroad or go on extended travel, just by immersing yourself in the unfamiliar, you’ll experience an increased rate of learning, creativity and resourcefulness that will serve to reinforce your abilities as a producer, rather than a passive consumer—sharing and adding something to the world, whether that’s in the form of a business or something else.
- Even though everybody seems to do it, there is no law that says you have to play by the rules or follow the crowd. Your time here on this earth is a finite resource, precious short—how will you choose to spend it?
Great Resource: My good friend Sam was able to negotiate a severance package equal to six years of living expenses to live life on his own damn terms! Imagine being able to quit your job with money in your pocket and insurance to cover you for months. Learn how to negotiate a great severance for yourself in Sam’s book How to Engineer Your Layoff! Never quit, always get laid off so you can collect a severance, health care insurance, deferred compensation, unused vacation days, and be eligible for unemployment.