Manifesto: Life Can Be Lived Differently

This manifesto is the summary of ideas, principles and rules which I believe in and do my best to act accordingly.

1. Don’t wait for retirement

The mainstream idea of retirement is that it is a time in life when we are finally able to relax and enjoy life. So people work, and then work some more, with a vision of peaceful retirement in their minds.

Retirement is one of the biggest lies of our days.

The retirement age is constantly rising. Those who do live long enough to retire, won’t have money, but more importantly, won’t have enough energy to do what they’ve always dreamed about doing. “I’ll travel when I retire.” Really? And will you be able to walk around the island getting to know the local people and their culture, or will you just sit at the hotel pool with only your feet in the water? Will you be strong enough to learn how to surf? You’ve desired it all your life, but now, you are only capable of lying on your floating pool mattress.

Waiting for retirement is the biggest mistake too many people make. They waste their best years working overtime and chasing money just to be able to buy a red BMW as grey-haired men in their mid-forties.

No, thanks. I’m enjoying life while I’m young and have enough energy to be doing what I love.

2. Don’t rely on the government or your employer

There was a time when everyone desired a stable job that would last a lifetime. It was common back then, it offered many benefits such as a steady paycheck, but mainly it guaranteed one’s future. One didn’t have anything to be afraid of.

Those times are gone. Companies are being created and being bankrupt in increasing numbers and more than ever. One just can’t be sure that the company he works for won’t kick him out in a year or two.

The only guarantee we all have in common is the need to take care of ourselves.

3. Don’t live your life according to other people

People expect others to live their lives the same way they live theirs.

Why does a smoker offer you a cigarette? Why does a believer in God want you to start believing? Why is it that when you don’t want to drink alcohol, your friends despise you? Because you disturb their way of living. When you say that you don’t drink, they think that you despise them, and that’s why they despise you.

Your parents force you to become a doctor, or at the very least, an engineer. Your neighbors bad-mouth you because you are getting married to a foreign girl, or even a girl from a different race. You go to church, because otherwise everyone in your village would despise you. There are lots of examples.

Don’t get tricked by others to do what they want.

Live your life the way you want to live and according to your own beliefs.

4. Do what you like to do and what fulfills you

Don’t like doing something? Then stop it. Do you have a bad job? Then find a better one. No job seems to be compatible with your vision? Then get self-employed and work under your own terms. Make a living from a job you actually like.

Do you enjoy drawing? Then draw. Are you madly in love with basketball? Then make sure to be at the basketball court daily. Life is too short and we only have so much time. We can’t afford to waste it by doing something we don’t find enjoyable or fulfilling.

5. Conquer your fears

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” ~ Tim Ferriss

Every day is a challenge. Those who surrender to fear will achieve nothing. Those who are afraid of challenges and who live in constant fear of failing, won’t ever move forward and experience the great feeling of overcoming themselves and their fears. Are you scared? So what? Everyone is scared, but only few people overcome their fear and achieve something they have never done before. These people are then called courageous or successful.

6. Constantly self-improve

Just because you know something, doesn’t mean you can’t know more. And just because you’re good at something, doesn’t mean you can’t get better.

Constantly self-improve. Don’t stand still. Always move forward, even in small steps.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Others don’t matter. If today, you’re better than you were yesterday, then you’re a winner.

7. Don’t be bored

Lots of people say that the only thing they want is to be happy. A lot of these people also think that the opposite of happiness is sadness. So, when they won’t be sad, they’ll be happy, right?

Not exactly. Tim Ferriss, who is one of the most recognized and influential individuals in the global movement for lifestyle business and location independence, has a completely different opinion.

The opposite of happiness is not sadness, but boredom.”

I don’t have any other option, but to agree with Tim. One doesn’t have to be a retired millionaire in order to be happy in life. Instead, it’s necessary to spend your free time doing something valuable. Something, that fulfills you as a human being.

Don’t be bored. Spend your time doing something satisfying. Something that will motivate you to improve yourself and to expand your limits.

8. Help, if you can

Why do so many millionaires and celebrities donate to charity? The main reason is that despite the fact that they have so much money, they don’t feel happy, and they don’t necessarily know what to do. However, by helping people in need, they get a feeling of satisfaction, which converts into happiness.

Care about others and help them, if you can. Everybody knows something that can help someone. Every single one of us. Can you? Then go help. You’ll get it back. Karma truly exists.

9. Smile

You are alive. This alone should make you happy. Life is beautiful when you see it from a higher perspective. Don’t take everything personally. Don’t get mad. When something or somebody makes you angry, try to get over it.

When I walk along the streets and see all those sad, angry or old frowned faces, but just as often young faces, I have to smile. I don’t want to end up like this. You can tell from the appearance of an older individual, what kind of life he or she has lived. Have you ever noticed this? When you see an older woman who has a lovely smile on her face. So lovely that you immediately start smiling too, and thinking what a nice elderly woman she is. But most people frown all the time, and when they get older, it’s visible not only on their faces, but also through their moods and health.

Live a happy life and spread positive energy. It’s infectious and you’ll impact not only yourself, but also your close ones, or even people you don’t really know.

10. Don’t stop believing in the kindness of people

Most people are afraid of yet another disappointment, deception or incidence of cheating. That’s why they’re increasingly bitter after every new negative experience. They trust people less, whether such “people” means friends, family, business partners or a new love.

I was deceived many times. I trusted somebody and they turned their back on me. I lost money, and even a girlfriend. I was disappointed. Sooner or later, it’ll happen to everybody. But I won’t ever stop believing in the kindness of people. Not everyone is bad, and not everyone steals or cheats. And just because I have met one or two people with such negative traits, I won’t judge and suspect that everybody is the same. It’s not worth it. Maybe somebody will cheat or abuse me. But I don’t care. I’m not willing to become an unbelieving, negative and bitter individual just to make sure that nobody will deceive or disappoint me ever again.

Don’t stop believing in the kindness of people. The good people will feel it and you’ll attract more and more of them in your life.

Lubo Jurík, 27. april 2013, Last edit: 3. march 2014