The Life On Your Terms Project is something I started in 2019, and it’s gone through a few changes already, but it has always been a dream of mine. I want to give back but I want to do so much more than just give money to people that could use it. I want to help people become genuinely happy because they are living life on their own terms.
Living life on my own terms is a really big deal to me and I don’t believe that enough of us even think it’s possible. We all want to, but things like our own beliefs, family, and society as a whole, hold us back. We want to be and do very specific things, but the wants and needs of others get in the way, whether we want them to or not.
As a result, we have reached the point that, as much as we want happiness, our lives are set up for the total opposite. We scream at the top of our lungs that we want to be happy, and feel like no one is listening. And yet, we continually build our lives around the happiness of others, then we wonder why we are sick, stay in terrible relationships, and are generally unhappy as a whole.
Think about it for just a moment, and consider how long it’s been drilled into us that success equals happiness. We believe that success is wholly based on income, the ability to keep it coming in, and what we do with it. Whether we are good at it or enjoy it is irrelevant. You just have to do it because that is just how it works.
How many of us continue to go to jobs we despise every day or stay in relationships we know are unhealthy, simply because we would lose everything, up to and including the support of those around us, if we didn’t? We struggle just to survive, even the most wealthy among us. Homelessness is on the rise. Suicide rates are up substantially, and the median age is getting lower and lower. The scary and sad part is that we do it to ourselves and to each other.
Who said that is how it’s supposed to work? We all did. We say it every single time we get up in the morning, get dressed, and head off to that place we hate to be once again. We say it when we convince ourselves that the bills have to be paid or our lives are over. We say it when we stay in situations that we know are unhealthy and unhappy. We say it every time we allow something outside of our own happiness, to influence a decision we make. I want to change that.
So, I started the Life On Your Terms project. It’s a fundraising project at it’s basest point, but it is so much more than that. The intention is to be the stable support system, both financially and mentally, while teaching people how to change their views and take steps to change their lives and be genuinely happy,
Loss of support from others is the first thing that happens when you work toward being genuinely happy. When you stop focusing and following the wants,needs, and expectations of others, others lose interest in having anything to do with you. It is the reality of life and is extremely painful in the moment. Especially when the others are parents, spouses, and children. I believe this pain to be the leading cause of suicide.
You are either genuinely happy and alone, or you deny your own happiness to be supported by others. This isn’t new information. We see it every day.. Knowing it is what will happen is what keeps us from even trying. That leads to a perpetual cycle of unhappiness with life, and the only way to break the cycle is death. It’s no way to live.
Preventing homelessness and reducing suicide rates is a key factor of the program. Providing support by paying bills temporarily allows for focus on planning and setting up the future without ending up homeless and alone, or dead, in the process. Providing tools and resources that are necessary to reach goals that are happiness based, not employment based, is also a factor.
I believe that is the biggest failure of our assistance programs today. Employment, as opposed to enrichment, is the focus. It doesn’t matter if you like a job or not, if it is hiring, apply for it. If you get it, keep it because once you have it, we are withdrawing our support and we won’t help you again. Something is better than nothing and we hold on to that so tightly because the way the homeless are treated is horrific and the way suicides are viewed is deplorable.
The objective of the project is to create and sell a line of Life On Your Terms products and use 100% of the proceeds combined with donations, fundraisers, and other events and means, to provide support while participants work toward living life on their terms, The end result being a reduction in homelessness and suicide rates, and achieving a state of genuine happiness that changes the lives of people the world over.
I have been fortunate to have the tools and the time I’ve needed to live life on my terms. I’ve had people willing and able to put me up while I work on my writing and publishing career. I’ve had the encouragement and support I’ve needed along the way. Most of the people that I know, are not. They would lose everything if they turned their focus toward their own happiness, and until things really take off with books, if they ever do, I’m powerless to help them on my own.
Most people, with the right tools and/or a set amount of time to figure out and focus on what would make them happy, without worry, would work their asses off, become successful, and everyone around them would benefit from it. That isn’t afforded to anyone willingly. I know I’ll never be able to make a difference for everyone, but I’d give anything to be able to make that difference for as many as I can.
There are two aspects of the program. Financial support and Education. Making a change like this takes time and an effort to act and move in the desired direction, even when everything seems to be stacked against you. Preparations have to be made both mentally and physically if participants are going to succeed. You can’t just throw money at it and hope.
I’m building trainings and workshops that teach skills in coping with loss and transformation, as well as business management skills as a base part of the program. It will expand over time to include things like emotional support groups and coaching services. The long term prospect is that eventually, participants will go on to form programs of their own to carry the concept forward and spread it around the world.
Participants would receive the educational support from the start and on an ongoing basis. Financial support would come as needed as they progress through the program. Supplementing income while they reduce hours at their job to make time to work on building the business of their dreams. It could include covering all of their bills for a set period of time so they can work on their terms full time. It will vary from participant to participant based on their needs through the process and be focused on them becoming a source of resources for themselves and others, on their terms.
Products, Donations, and Sponsorship
It’s my dream that the program be self-sustained. Products are made specifically for the program, and eventually by the program participants as well. The proceeds from sales of the products go into a fund that supports the growth of the project. Trainings, workshops, support groups and the like are provided free of cost or for minimal fees if costs can’t be covered in house. It’s not for turning a profit, but, like anything, it does need funding to run and grow.
Right now, the products are my own creations, but as participants move through the program and begin to create their own products, they can be donated should they choose to. It is the hope that they would, but is not at all an expectation. The only expectation is that they move forward and live life on their terms.
Donations are always welcome, in any amount or form. Financial donations are accepted via PayPal and are forwarded into a physical business bank account set up exclusively for the Life On Your Terms project. Donations can also include anything from sharing links consistently all the way through to becoming a mentor to a participant, hosting support groups, and/or donating tools and supplies. If you have comments, thoughts or suggestions, please email me directly . I’ll connect with you as soon as possible and see what we can work out.
Sponsorships are also welcome and greatly appreciated. The estimated cost to assist 1 participant through the program is equivalent to $5,000 a month between education and support and will last between 3 and 6 months for active participation, and $500/month for on going support up to 1 year.
I can provide an itemized breakdown of how I came up with the amounts upon request , but it’s roughly an estimate of the average single person’s monthly living expenses times 2 months. Extended support is for regular progress check meetings, support group participation, and advanced business training and support.
I’ve set up the hub for the project on Patreon.com. It enables me to lay everything out in depth, request participants, and post updates for contributors to see their assistance at work. If you are interested and want to learn more, check out the page here www.patreon.com/christymannauthor
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