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VIEWPOINT: Sustainable Lifestyles

So much has changed since the start of the Industrial Revolution. If you were to compare what the media, advertising and the world have been selling you for a so-called happier life, it is almost contradictory. What has the opportunity costs been for these lies? Today you know that true fulfilment comes from within.

Happiness is the new rich, with inner peace being the new success and health the ultimate wealth.

You have no control as disruption innovation is changing the way you live and work. In an age of radical transparency, you have more information readily available to make better decisions. What about creating your own sustainable lifestyle?

Sustainability is the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld and confirmed.Further definitions state sustainable lifestyles as attempts to reduce your use of natural and personal resources in equilibrium. Avid followers will tell you the key is holistic natural balance. This aligns with where true fulfilment comes from.

The Grand Canyon is a good example to illustrate balance. Life isn’t perfect and you will always have some canyon. The narrower the canyon, the closer to your balance you are. The wider the further. To get from one side to the other might mean a small jump or maybe building a bridge. For self-sustainability you want to need less resources and depend on yourself – and the narrow canyon should therefore be your aim!

The most important decision you can make is to find your balance, guard it with everything you have, and live it daily. And a good start is the five foundations defining you:

  • Spirit: Your compass, purpose and source of strength. What do you need to do to have your spirit aligned to create a sustainable lifestyle that honours you?
  • Body: Your engine room that gets fuel through the food you feed it. Health can’t be bought. When your body isn’t working optimally, everything else will be affected. How much thought is going into the fuel you put in your body based on your exact needs?
  • Self: Your unique blueprint. Apart from your own loss of enjoyment in living your true self, what will the world lose out on if you don’t honour your gifts, talents, interests and experiences?
  • Relationships: Your main source of happiness. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. What do you need to do sustainably to be the highest average that honours you?
  • Career: The vehicle that makes the other four possible. Estimates show that by 2020, 53% of the world will be self-employed again because of the need to self-express and enjoy life. What are you doing to create the career that honours you?

To sustainable lifestyles in 2018!

Your sustainable plan

Sometimes when you have too many goals, you never even start as the challenge seems to big. Maybe this time have one goal for the next six months under each of the five foundations discussed here. Make sure it is tangible and measurable in order to know when you have achieved it. And If you feel your goal needs a strategy and actions, get that sorted.

Now hit hard at creating your sustainable lifestyles.

Remember, life is not about the destinations only but about that journey getting there. Enjoy and learn from your journey.

Author: Stanford Payne CA(SA) is an ICF-accredited executive and business coach