Forget 9-to-5 drudgery, pensions and 2 week holidays. This post is for anyone who believes that it is possible to build a healthy, wealthy lifestyle around what makes YOU happy, and nothing else. Welcome to the world of lifestyle design…

When My Year In Flux began I had no idea what I was doing. I also naively assumed that I was probably the only person stupid enough to chuck almost every stable thing in my life away in a vain attempt to forge a new lifestyle away from the traditional ‘rules’ and conventions. I was wrong, and in this post I want to introduce you to a few of the ‘lifestyle designers’ (phrase coined by Tim Ferriss, see below) I have discovered who embody the belief that ANY lifestyle is possible if you put your mind to it and take a leap of faith.

So, if you thought you couldn’t have it all your own way in life, prepare to have your eyes opened by these inspirational individuals, each of whom – in their own way – specialises in having their cake and eating it too. Famous five, I salute you, and thank you for all the inspiration:

1. Get rich quick with Tim Ferriss, 4-hour work week

If you ever needed inspiration that anything is possible in your life, look no further than lifestyle design guru Tim Ferriss, who has shown millions of people the path to riches, free time and a balanced lifestyle. I know, it sounds too good to be true…

Ferriss not only shares the tools to help you mould your lifestyle and work habits, he also shows you how to do it more quickly and effectively than you ever could have dreamed. If you don’t believe me, have a look at how Tim Ferriss helped me boost my reading speed by an astonishing amount in just 20 minutes. His bestselling books The 4-Hour Work Week and The 4-Hour Body are addictive, quick reads, and afterwards you’ll be desperate to down tools, reboot and embrace his new way of living. You can find Tim’s blog here, and the books are linked above.

2. Have a happy life with Leo Babauta, Zen Habits

Leo is redesigning his life from the mind outwards. He has a huge online following at his Zen Habits blog, and rightly so: his pithy, no-nonsense reflections on how to take a more mindful, positive approach to life’s basic problems are a constant inspiration. I began my meditation journey inspired by Zen Habits. Also Babauta’s ‘Without’ project is a definite yang to My Year In Flux’s yin. Go and read one post at Zen Habits, it will take seconds and you’ll feel 100% more positive about improving your life afterwards.

3. Live anywhere with Erin and Simon, Never Ending Voyage

I detest travel blogs almost as much as I hate backpackers, but Erin and Simon at neverendingvoyage.com are quite a bit different. A few years back they ditched their jobs, home and stuff and took to the road, determined to become ‘digital nomads’ by eking out an existence from wherever in the world they decided to be. Their blog is stuffed full of a combination of travel recommendations, great photography and really practical tips for long-term life on the road. I also use their brilliant Trail Wallet expenses app for budgeting my travels.

Most importantly, though, Erin and Simon are proving that location is no longer an essential component when it comes to career.

4. Don’t let language be a barrier with Benny the Irish Polyglot, Fluent In 3 months

Benny is the top language blogger in the world. He has perfected the art of learning a new language within 3 months, and he shares his tools, techniques and travel insight on his brilliant blog. Forget the advice that says ‘adults can’t learn new languages’ or ‘language learning is expensive’, Benny has found a workaround. My decision to learn Spanish was partly inspired by Benny, and the techniques I am using to get my head around the language are lifted completely from his locker!

For those of you who thought that anywhere outside the english-speaking world is out of bounds for living, working or even holidaying, Benny is living proof that language needn’t be a barrier to your plan.

5. Get productive with David Seah

If you could get 20% get more done every day, you’d really get on in life, right? If you don’t want your lifestyle advice glib and know-it-all, productivity blogger David Seah is for you. He is a shining example of a flawed, creative individual (which is all of us, by the way) who is battling his own barriers to become a more productive person. He is also constantly stepping outside his comfort zone to get on in life, which is, of course, right up my street! Oh, and he shares the neat productivity tools and systems he designs as well.

Despite living a life in flux, I am as obsessed with productivity as I was when I had my own company. Face it, if you want to get anything truly brilliant and memorable done in this hectic, always-on world, sooner or later you’re going to have to face your flaws and work out what makes you tick, as I did during my Fear Audit Weekly Challenge. David Seah won’t be for everyone, his forensic approach to productivity is mind-boggling, but I find his journey a constant inspiration.

So there you have 5 inspirational people (6, actually) who prove that, through immense dedication and focus, we can do whatever we want, wherever we want. Forget the rules, embrace the flux and try making a positive step towards YOUR dream lifestyle today. It’s what I am doing every single day, and if I can do it, so can you.