LIFESTYLE is a concept that has both a philosophical and practical significance, even if it is only a byproduct of its more famous predecessor, The Case for Living. The original premise of The Case for Living involved an allegory – a story about living a “good life” as opposed to a “bad life”. Adler expanded on this in his later work, introducing the idea of LIFESTYLE to illustrate the idea that people should strive to live “good lives” rather than bad lives, and that bad habits are traits that help make people miserable.
LIFESTYLE differs from The Case for Living in a number of ways. First, Adler focused on a specific type of personality: the dynamic, active, exploratory, and high-risk individual who is prone to living a “bad life style”. In LIFESTYLE, on the other hand, the focus is on a more static type of personality – the passive, self-defeating, and self-sustaining individual who is not inclined to risk his or her life style. It is this change in the focus of attention that first brings about the comparison between the two theories.
Another important difference between the two is that the philosophy of The Case for Living emphasizes the importance of the self and the role that it plays in personal and social life. Whereas LIFESTYLE stresses the importance of working towards a more balanced lifestyle, accepting the fact that the self will always come into play, especially in the arena of work life balance. The idea is that individuals who lead active, vibrant and exploratory lifestyles are less likely to give up their freedom in terms of pursuing their own desires and goals, while those who prefer a sedentary, self-defeating, and conservative lifestyle are more apt to give up their freedoms to conform to the more prevalent lifestyle mold. In addition, LIFESTYLE also stresses the importance of having a balance between work life balance and a quality, meaningful and enjoyable social life. This is most certainly opposed to the notion that the pursuit of a stable and a successful career will provide individuals with a suitable lifestyle to live out their daily dreams and aspirations.
The philosophy of The Case for Living is somewhat unique compared to other similar lifestyle philosophies or the work at home industry. In a way, it is also different from traditional management and career tools such as the Kaizen Principle, or the belief system that states that a business can only be truly and genuinely productive when its members (or team members) have formed a meaningful and social relationship with each other. The Case for Living puts an emphasis on Alfred Adler’s concept of the synergistic outcome, which he states as the following: “Work and leisure are intimately connected; both must reinforce one another”. For Alfred Adler, this is how a successfully conducted business and a healthy and meaningful social life go hand in hand.
The Case for Living Methodology, as embodied by the LIFESTYLE program, encourages individuals to develop a set of personal values, habits, skills and talents. These values, behaviors and talents then become a vehicle through which individuals can pursue excellence. This results in individuals who are able to excel in both their professional and personal lives. However, to become fully and successfully integrated into this lifestyle, an individual has to first accept his or her uniqueness, strengths and weaknesses. It is only by doing so that an individual can then move towards a successful, productive and aloof lifestyle.
As presented above, it is clear that the LIFESTYLE program by max Weber, PhD, does a great job in developing individual personality traits that lead to success. However, it also recognizes that there is room and need for improvement, both individually and collectively. The key components that comprise the lifestyle are healthy and purposeful eating habits, sufficient sleep, daily exercise, regular and appropriate socializing, maintaining a positive outlook, and setting goals and aspirations. These elements are essential to achieving a positive personal identity.