In a nutshell, for example “Living life on my own terms” means: “in so doing, I assert complete control of what I do, how I do it, and why I do it that way.”
We hear this phrase fairly often associated with achieving success online (and in business in general.) It is most often associated with developing the ability to derive one’s income and direction in life outside of the established, socially-acceptable means of living one’s life.
Let’s Get Into Details…
Perhaps the best way of answering this is to ask, “What Does the Phrase, “Their Own Terms” Mean? In this way you will be able to appreciate what the former means and why you should strive for it in your own life.
To begin, the phrase usually refers to life and how it is lived. You are either living your life for someone else or you are living it for you. Living life on someone else’s terms (or living it on THEIR terms means that you are being an accessory to the goals and purposes of someone else’s life. This is very commonly applied to employment and slavery. It can cover other aspects of how you spend your time, energy and money.
Both you and your employer derive benefits from your employment. On your end, you receive a paycheck and sometimes benefits. If you are passionate about your job, as about 29% of those working in the United States are, you also derive a fulfillment and satisfaction from your job. When this is the case, you would be deriving employment on your own terms. This is not true for many people who work in jobs they disdain.
In the case of the latter, you are not only living life on someone else’s terms with regard to having to live your personal life around the job, but hating it as well.
By its very nature, most employment is rigid and comes with a great deal of restraint. You have little control over your time and energy. Depending on the work you do, you may come home every evening totally wiped out both physically and psychologically.
You are also bound to someone else’s terms with regard to finances. In employment, you are making a fixed wage. You must actively work and be present on the job (even when it is work done at home for the employer) in order to derive pay from it. The pay ceiling is usually very low and it is reached very quickly.
A second way that you get paid on your employer’s terms is the deductions that get taken out every pay period, for taxes, Social Security amongst other things, such as uniforms, etc. Employees do not have control over how they submit these payments. They are automatically taken out before he/she ever sees the pay check.
Celebrities (and Other People)
Another lesser-know way you could be living other someone else’s terms is patronizing sports figures, movie stars, singers and actors. The list doesn’t end here, but these are the most common. Most people will not recognize this, but it can really take hold on some lives.
It is possible to live one’s life for such figures and it is done all the time by many. It can, and does distract from living one’s life on his/her own terms when excessive time is spent patronizing sports and celebrity figures.
I’m certainly not saying this is wrong, but for many folks, this almost becomes an obsession, and for a few, definitely does. There is nothing narcissist about putting more emphasis on yourself. You can be sure the celebrities you may be patronizing know how to place that kind of emphasis on themselves. They brand themselves and this is a common thing in marketing. I’m not saying to be selfish, on the contrary, the most successful folks you see out there have balance things out properly where they brand themselves, but they also serve others. This is lucrative.
What’s NOT lucrative (but also serves a need if it’s not overdone) is the benefits that comes from entertainment. It’s needed in everybody’s lives, but it should also be balanced.
Employment and Figures
When you have both of these in your life, as many, many people do, you give very little to yourself in the way of becoming truly independent. In order to live life on YOUR terms would be to replace your employment with your own business and instead of focusing on the lives of other people, you focus on the development and empowerment of your own.
This is NOT being selfish or self-centered. It is the way of entrepreneurship.
Being employed and spending your time with others who live lives for others, makes way for that kind of influence in your own life through peer pressure. Chances are, especially if you are working within the construction and other blue-collar industries, sports and celebrities are the popular topics of discussion. When you are not in with this, you MAY be out of the loop with your co-workers. It is the next thing to being a social convention amongst some workplaces. It isn’t always the case, but it can be.
How Do I Live Live On My Own Terms?
In one word:
Simply by living life on MY own terms! It’s as simple as that. Hate your job? Want to provide more for yourself and your family? In order to do this you either have to cut back on expenses or increase your income. Successful entrepreneurs suggest the latter and not to cut back, at least permanently.
Beginning to live on your own terms requires a change in thinking and re-educating yourself. Very likely, you’ve been a great student in school with high grades and having been told that you will not be successful in life if you don’t do well in school.
We have a number of presidents who lead the United States, who did poorly in school or never finished. There are vast numbers of folks out there who has provided us with things we now take for granted, great artists, inventors and entrepreneurs with little or no formal education. So, if you are one of those who believe that doing top notch in school is the only way, remember folks like George Washington, Steve Jobs, Ringo Starr, Bill Gates & Paul Allen (both founders of Microsoft, neither of which did very well in school), Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Christopher Columbus, the founders of McDonald’s, Hostess, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and thousands of others!
They lived their lives for themselves, and those who are still alive continue to do so. If I were to live life on my own terms, it would be to engage in the type of things I enjoy, learning them, putting them into practice and building businesses with them. This is not selfish behavior. It’s doing what one has passion for. Is it easy for to do? No! Why? But most people, if they put their minds to it, can do it.
It takes tenacity. It takes believing in one’s self. It takes courage and not being afraid to be counted in life as one who blazed his/her own trail. It takes putting up with naysayers and flack from others who try to pull you back down into the can where they are. It takes persistence and the mind of a winner.
All of these things are doable. Instead of watching that sports game or poring through player’s statistics, use the time to educate yourself! Take at least a regular part of your free time every day! It is the only way you will begin to live life on your own terms. Hate your job? Yes, you need it now, but do something about it! Use the one bit of commodity you have – your free time – to change the reality you live in.
If you like to write and have a passion to do this, one of the things you can learn is publishing. Like anything else, there’s a learning curve, but given the right education through a resource that will set you up for entrepreneurship, not teaching you how to work for some firm, this is where education can be very lucrative.
College courses do teach the materials needed for publication (or anything else you choose) but it usually focuses in on your end result being in a high-paying job working for some firm. If this is what you want, then perhaps this is your calling, but for many, many people, it means a career that persists for a time and then, either they get tired of it and need to re-educate themselves into something else, or their company throws the switch on them. Today this trend, as anyone can tell you, has grown tremendously.
In the United States, more and more middle-class folks are working more and more unskilled or semi-skilled jobs. The working poor and getting pushed out of the job markets. This is also true for hundreds of thousands of college graduates. In spite of advertised outcomes from education offered by colleges, universities and trade schools, many students wind up in positions other than their chosen fields of study, or don’t stay in them very long if they do get in. Only very few actually succeed with their college educations today. It doesn’t take a college degree to succeed. There are thousands of examples as mentioned above.
Why I mentioned publishing is because this once-exclusive industry is now virtually accessible by anyone today via the Internet. It is known by several names,
- Internet marketing
- Online marketing
- Internet/Online business
- Online publishing a.k.a. self-publishing
This is not to be confused with the many scams and pseudo-opportunities out there. You can learn them by their fruits. This way you are protected and know what NOT to get into. It is very true that you CAN wind up in the wrong outfit and get stung. It happens to thousands.
This is not online business. …at least not as I see it.
You CAN gain your independence from employment and other constraints in life if you learn how to take control of your situation. It takes education – the right kind. It does mean finding and joining with people of like mind, who are all in it for the same reason – learn how to market on the Internet (and all types of communication for that matter,) know how people (including yourself) are wired, and be adept at recognizing problems that folks have and how YOU can help them.
There ARE training programs that offer such education. This one is one of the best, and probably THE authority on online business training. This isn’t to say there are others out there, but it’s something to check out if you would like to learn self-publishing, which entails how to build online campaigns and build websites around them.
You could use this knowledge to build your own sites with things that interest you, build sites for local businesses in the city where you live, and the list is almost endless.
I’m a proud, long-standing member of Wealthy Affiliate. I’ve seen it grow over the years and I will attest that one of the major factors that made this particular training site blossom like it did is the owner’s attitudes about “paying it forward.” If you’ve been around other training programs, you’ve not seen it all yet until you check Wealthy Affiliate out. You can, first of all, by visiting my review right here on this site.