How Do You Define “The Good Life”?
When you hear the term “The Good Life”, what comes to your mind? Sitting on a beach? Working for a non-profit? Spending time with your family? This is an important question, because how you define the good life will likely dictate your goals and vision for your life. Let’s break it down further.
I would assume that your good life would involve some level of fulfillment or achievement. This could come from a variety of sources such as a job, a business, volunteering, seeing your kids accomplishments, etc. Where do you typically get your fulfillment? The good life will look differently for those who get fulfillment from business transactions versus people who get fulfillment from serving others.
Fewer things in life are more important than the relationships in your life. There are multiple levels of relationships such as that with a spouse, with friends, with extended family, with co-workers, with mild acquaintances. Each level of relationship can contribute to your overall quality of life. Where do you see the various relationships in your life fitting into your vision of the good life?
Many people would define the good life as a time of leisure or spending time doing things that you enjoy. For example, golf, running, hiking, traveling, snorkeling, etc. Leisure to some extent will likely be a part of your definition of the good life; however, what type of leisure is important to identify as that can severely impact your cost of living during this good life.
Lastly, material possessions are definitely a common part of the good life. It might mean you just like stuff like iPads and flat screen TVs or it might mean you like living in a large, expensive home on the water. Obviously these decisions will require various amounts of funding.
My Good Life
My vision of the good life has an emphasis on relationships, fulfillment and leisure. While I by no means live like a poor person, I don’t need upgrades in my home or cars to have the good life. Rather, I aim for freedom from regular employment so that I can spend time with my family, see my kids develop, and have fun experiences with these people. For example, maybe taking a year off from regular life to RV around the country. What an experience that would be! Additionally, I could see myself either working in some volunteer capacity or do something different like teach high school students. I think the fulfillment from such a role would be substantial.
Why Identify Your Good Life?
So what is the purpose of this exercise. Well having a clear picture of your end goal will help you set intermediate goals and have a firm grasp of what needs to occur in order to get there. For my picture, I have a good idea of what my good life would cost me on a monthly basis. The goal then is to find income to replace my main job so that I can have the freedom to pursue the things I desire.
I have a clear goal with hard numbers. For example, if that goal is $4,000 a month in living expenses, I need to find $4,000 in monthly income from alternative sources. If I’m generating $1,000 a month from my website (which I’m close), then I know I’m 25% to my goal. Couple that with possible investment income and it might be slightly higher. That is where I stand currently in relation to my “Good Life”.
What’s yours look like and where do you stand?