Tim Ferriss may be known as one of the first to write about lifestyle design but I think Ralph Waldo Emerson already had the corner on that market.

As the story is told, Emerson was determined to build a life around the things he loved: creativity, community, nature, and friendship.

He built his home with a guest wing and a garden to be a place to host friends. He served his community by joining the volunteer fire department and chairing the school committee.

He spent his evenings reading, writing in journals, and in grand discussions about literature, theology, self-reliance, and freedom. This built the foundation of his career in writing and speaking.

Mr. Emerson determined his passions first and then built his lifestyle around them.

Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

If the premise of lifestyle design is to build your life around your passions and values, we need to know what lights our fire.

For my family, this looks like plenty of time to play in the outdoors and travel. We value quality education and lifelong learning for our children and ourselves. We also want to engage in our local community through our neighbors, friends, and church.  How we spend our time and our money is generally built around these pursuits.

We’re a work in progress but we’ve come a long way since we pursued this path three years ago.  If you have a family, might I suggest starting to design your own lifestyle with a family purpose (mission) statement? Tsh created a workshop on how to create your Rule of Life, and that's a great place to start.

Remember that your lifestyle should be built around your own dreams. Not the American dream or the Jones’ dream. Not the dream your parents have for you or even the one you’ve been educated for. It’s the one that you dream of for yourself.

There is nothing more inspiring than to see others living a life of their own dreams. How are you taking a step toward that today?