The Ten Lifestyle Types
The ten lifestyle types are a framework, a tool, for helping you to figure out:
- What type of lifestyle is the truest expression of who you are
- What you get the most pleasure and satisfaction from; and
- What your core values are
Identifying your primary and secondary lifestyle types will help you understand what makes you tick, and to design a life for yourself which targets your most significant sources of satisfaction and meaning.
The Provider gets their satisfaction from making other people happy, especially their own partner and children. Providers make the best stay-at-home parent, because they get satisfaction out of creating a happy home environment. They may have a soft spot for animals, children and people in need. They like to fuss around people and look after them. When providers have jobs, they tend to be jobs that mimic the home-making parent role, such as teaching, catering, health or social care, pastoral roles, or jobs caring for animals. They tend to like job security. Providers are often good cooks, and have good DIY skills. Providers are peacemakers. They like to maintain happy, stable and calm home and office environments, and are quick to mediate any disputes, because they are at their happiest when the people around them are happy and content.
Famous Providers: Princess Diana; Ina Garten; the Dalai Lama
The Adventurer gets their satisfaction from memorable experiences, which usually involve some combination of travel, being in the great outdoors and the natural elements, exploring, learning, experiencing new or foreign things, and physically active pursuits.
Adventurers love to experience anything which gives them an adrenalin rush, a sense of freedom, or heightened sensory stimulation. They are brave and curious, and not afraid to try new things. They are competitive, but not necessarily against others, as they may see themselves as their own competition, having to beat their own high standards and set their own challenges.
Adventurers are also day dreamers. They live in their own imaginary world of the next exciting adventure.
Adventurers hate to get stuck in a routine. They relish change and adapt more easily than other types.
Famous Adventurers: Amelia Earhart; Gertrude Bell; Freya Stark; Ellen MacArthur; Bear Grylls; Sir Rannulph Fiennes
The Corporate gains their satisfaction by being part of a group of likeminded people who share common goals or interests, whether that is their family, their workplace, or a community group. They need to feel that they are part of something important and something bigger than themselves.
Corporates want to be doing something that they couldn’t do alone. Corporates are unhappy if others are not pulling their weight or they bring disharmony and conflict to the group. They are happiest when there is a great camaraderie within the team.
Corporates tend to be easy-going, and appreciate the different values, skills and experiences that each individual brings to the group, and can see a place for people who others may try to exclude for being too different.
Corporates build strong, long-lasting friendships, and usually have a group of close friends rather than one or two best friends. They are the type who are most likely to organise group outings, events or group holidays, because they don’t like to do things alone.
Famous Corporates: Cheryl Sandberg; Richard Branson; Richard Hammond; Sean Astin
The Bohemian wears their heart on their sleeve. They need to immerse themselves fully in the emotion of the moment in a way which is obvious to everyone around them. They hate feeling constrained by rules which inhibit their behaviour, or by people who frown on their lack of inhibition, because they need to physically throw themselves into every experience which is pleasurable to them.
Bohemians find their satisfaction in being free to be spontaneous, and to express themselves. Of all the types, Bohemians are the most likely to be nomadic, not needing to ‘settle down’, which others may interpret as irresponsibility.
Bohemians need to experience and share emotional connections with others, so they prefer group activities, especially ones with a sense of freedom, such as musical festivals, camping, road trips, or the beach, with a group of friends.
Bohemians will be truly unhappy if they are in an environment where people are expected to conform to very disciplined or corporate ways of doing things. They need some boundaries to prevent their inner wild child getting out of control, but they are capable of immense pleasure in the simple things of life, and of lasting and joyful friendships.
Famous Bohemians: Sienna Miller; Kate Moss; Keith Richards
The Creative is someone who gets their satisfaction out of imagining things and then making what they have imagined a reality. For example, they may be an artist who gets images down on paper or canvas, a writer who gets words onto the page, a choreographer who creates a beautiful dance, or an architect who delivers an aesthetically pleasing combination of structure and materials that sits well in the landscape. They are also idea generators and problem solvers, and their creative process may equally apply to less tangible things such as conflict management or turning around failing businesses.
Creatives take great satisfaction from the process of creation, of imagining something and then implementing it in a way which accurately reflects what they saw in their mind. They like the evolution from idea to reality, and greatly appreciate the aesthetic qualities of the finished product. Creatives are their own worst critics when the actual doesn’t match up to the imagined.
Creatives prefer to work solo. They tend to lock themselves away, in their own minds if not literally in a quiet space, and they are at their most satisfied when they get into a creative flow. The creative process is more fulfilling to them than the reaction of others to their work.
Famous Creatives: Beethoven; Virginia Woolf; Banksy; Adele; Zaha Hadid
The Socialite is a people-person who gets their satisfaction from interactions with a wide variety of people. They get excited about meeting new people and finding out new and interesting things about people. Socialites, more than any other lifestyle type, know how to very quickly get past superficial chit-chat, to learn what people really think and feel and believe. Their knowledge of people is deep, insightful and meaningful, and knowing people that well is what gives them a sense of satisfaction.
Socialites may be extroverts, mingling in big crowds like a kid in a candy store, or introverts, investing in lots of deep friendships on a 1:1 basis.
Socialites will go stir crazy if they are stuck in a job which doesn’t involve people contact, or more specifically where they can’t have meaningful conversations with people. Socialites tend to give generously of their time where it is an investment in getting to know and understand people and fosters connections.
Famous Socialites: David Frost; Mark Zuckerberg; Oprah Winfrey;
The Activist is someone who must have a cause to believe in and fight for. They need to feel that they are making a difference in the world, and that they are leaving a legacy, leaving the world a better place than they found it.
The Activist is someone who has a very deep emotional response to injustice, inequality, need or wrongdoing. They also believe strongly in the ability of people to make a difference by banding together to take collective action.
Activists often don’t understand why other people don’t feel as strongly as they do about their cause, and they can become very frustrated if they can’t find a core group of likeminded people who share their passion.
When Activists work with other people who complement their skills to help them make a powerful case that wins people over to their cause, and collectively gets things done, they can have a big impact and be very inspirational. Importantly, it is not the scale of the practical or material difference they make in the world that matters so much as the satisfaction of finding people who understand and respond to their passion, either as colleagues or as grateful beneficiaries. It is the shared sense of achievement which gives the Activist most sense of fulfilment and meaning.
Famous Activists: Martin Luther King Jnr; Linda McCartney; Anita Roddick
The Academic has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and learning. They get their satisfaction from language-based activity (reading; writing; and the sharing of ideas), or from abstract, mathematical or scientific concepts and theories. Academics communicate best in writing, because they need to see things in words, numbers, equations or symbols on the page to really absorb, understand and develop ideas.
Academics are avid readers, mostly of non-fiction because of the pleasure of learning something. They are usually very emotionally invested in their typically large book collection. The Academic is usually an introvert, who lives vicariously through their own imagination. They may not be comfortable in large social gatherings, stereotypically preferring to be at home with a good book.
When Academics do socialise, they prefer forums which foster the sharing of ideas, knowledge and understanding, such as classes or conferences. It is eminently satisfying to an Academic to be able to write, edit and re-craft their work until it most accurately captures and communicates their ideas. The process of crafting the written work is usually what is most satisfying. Academics will be frustrated at being asked to come up with ideas or answers on the spot, and will lie awake at night perfecting the wording of what they should have said, long after the opportunity has gone.
Famous Academics: J K Rowling; Alain de Botton; Maya Angelou; Albert Einstein; Steven Hawking
The Technician is the person who loves to be busy, work methodically, and has good attention to detail. They like to get everything into some kind of systematic order, whether it is physical things, or numbers on a spreadsheet. They are very task-focused.
The Technician can spend many hours at a time focused on detailed, technical processes that would drive many others a bit doolally. Unlike the Creative, they don’t enjoy the process of creation or design from scratch. They do, however, get their satisfaction from creating order out of chaos, especially where there is a large volume of details to be sorted, or observing and recording complexity to find underlying patterns. They are perfectionists, and real sticklers for following procedures, taking their time, and getting the details right, which can frustrate others. Technicians are frustrated by others cutting corners and not doing the job properly.
Technicians tend to make good accountants, statisticians or anything involving lots of data, spreadsheets or forms. They are the ones who are great at using formulas in Excel spreadsheets. But they may also like hands-on tasks such as construction, craft, manufacturing, or laboratory work, or organising filing or their household stuff.
Technicians tend to be introverts, who enjoy their own company as long as they have something constructive to focus on. They work methodically and consistently, and don’t tend to make mistakes.
Famous Technicians: Marie Curie; Jane Goodall; Steve Wozniak; Margaret Thatcher
The Nature-Lover is someone who finds their satisfaction in appreciating and feeling connected to the beauty of the natural world. They love to be outdoors in the fresh air, soaking up the wonders of nature. They appreciate the aesthetic qualities of nature – the textures, the colours, the scents and sights, and this is often reflected in their clothing, their homes, and their diet. They are fascinated by the patterns and intricate details of plants, animals, insects, trees, clouds, and rocks. They love to collect natural artefacts such as shells, stones, fossils, insects.
The Nature-Lover feels most at home in natural, earthy clothing such as wool, suede, cotton and linen. Of all the types, the Nature-Lover is most likely to be described by the people who know them as a ‘hippie’, a ‘tree-hugger’, or for women, an ‘earth mother’. Nature-Lovers are usually animal lovers, and the type most likely to have pets.
Nature-Lovers are also more inclined than the other types to appreciate natural, organic food, and to be vegetarian, vegan or organic. Nature-Lovers are often fiercely principled about protecting what is natural and rejecting what is unnatural, and don’t always understand why others don’t share their concerns. They are the most likely to live ‘alternative’ lifestyles, rejecting a lot of the trappings of modern society such as technology, chemicals, processed foods and synthetic materials.
Famous Nature-Lovers: Orla Kiely; Ray Mears; David Bellamy; India Hicks