What is a Lifestyle?
In essence, LIFESTYLE defines a concept of personal ethics or life philosophy. However, many people refer to this concept differently, in several ways. For instance, one could define LIFESTYLE as the guiding principle behind veganism. Others may use this concept to explain why some groups consider animal meats to be sacred, while others do not.
The concepts of LIFESTYLE are widely shared throughout the world. In a popular article, “A Guide to Lifestyles: A Personal Life Theory,” an Australian professor states, “Lifetimes, individual choices and our interactions with our environment shape who we are and how we live…LIFESTYLE combines these concepts with a notion of ESSENTIAL FREEDOM to offer a rich picture of how to develop meaningful and fulfilling lives.” In that same article, the professor goes on to describe LIFESTYLE as a “model for healthy self-development”, adding that it is “the basic model” for self-development. In that article, reference is also made to the concept of SATIC FREEDOM, which refers to the belief that there is a connection between leisure time, as it is often defined, and self-reflection and personal growth.
In this latter reference, it is evident that there are several definitions of LIFESTYLE. Some refer to it as a lifestyle, others as a lifestyle content, and yet, others still use the word lifestyle as a collective word, referencing various groups who believe in the sanctity of leisure time. One book that uses the word Lifestyle, in addition to all other possible definitions, is THE GIFT OF LIVING, written by Alfred Adler. This book is certainly not a Lifestyle book in the strictest sense, but many of its ideas are clearly taken from a Lifestyle standpoint, including those that pertain to self-development.
There are many ways to look at LIFESTYLE, so I want to take a moment to explain what I mean when I use the word Lifestyle. When we speak of Lifestyle, we are talking about a particular way of doing things. There is no single definition for Lifestyle, but there are four important camps of people’s thoughts on what Lifestyle means. These are: Veganism, Minimalist lifestyles, Classical lifestyles, and Alcoholic Detox. Within these camps, you can find the different lifestyles that people believe are important for different reasons.
A few years back, when a person was first asked what their Lifestyle was, they would likely have said that it was a healthy lifestyle, or a vegan lifestyle. The thing about veganism is that there are so many different lifestyles that fit under that label. A vegan can be a health-conscious athlete, a health-conscious baker, a health-conscious homemaker, someone who eats organic meat and vegetables, someone who wants to live a solo lifestyle, etc. So really, it is hard to say whether or not veganism is a true Lifestyle or if it is just a label.
To some people, a true vegan may not want to consider themselves as such, since most vegans do not practice the lifestyle in any form. However, even within those groups, there are so many different types of vegans that it is impossible to describe them all here. There are so many healthy, fun, and exercise options, it is difficult to pinpoint one particular lifestyle choice as a “Lifestyle”. In a nutshell, if you want a healthy, solo lifestyle, a minimalistic lifestyle, a vegetarian lifestyle, a vegan lifestyle, alcohol-free lifestyle, or any combination of these, there are LIFESTYLE choices for you!