Thanks for tolerating my absence over the past couple of weeks. The Christmas holiday is time where I do two things. First, I try to spend as much time with my family as I can. My daughter lives two states away and my brother is from the other side of the country, so I treasure the time I get to spend with them and the rest of my family. Second, it’s a time of reflection, where I look back to examine where I’ve achieved and where I fell short. Then I look forward to set goals and objectives for myself, both personally and professionally. I plan on sharing some of those with you in the near future. This is all part of the Life Navigation, which is a central theme to what I share and teach.
As we kick off 2012, I’d like to start off with another central theme which I continually use: Life Balance. This is one of the biggest problems men (and women) have in their pursuits to becoming a better person. Balancing life is the most common issue I have observed which keeps people from achieving their potential. In fact, let me go so far as to say, that the unbalanced life is what sends more people into the ditch of life than anything else.
Our lives are composed of several support elements, which we must maintain to keep our lives in balance. Think of them as spokes on a wheel.
To keep it simple, it’s my firm belief that the primary support structures in any person’s life fall into six categories:
Each component is vital to maintaining the structural integrity of whole. Should you neglect one of the spokes, it jeopardizes the entire body.
Here’s a basic example. Let’s say we have your garden variety meat-head. The fitness buff is often stereotyped as not maintaining the Mental side of life. (Why is he stereotyped that way? Because, too often, it’s true.) Studies aren’t important in school. Self-improvement isn’t important at work. The only thing that matters to our Greek-god wannabe is the desire to be a stud muffin and pick up the hot chicks.
Years later, after working in a mindless, low-paying job with no promotions, our meat-head is living a life less fulfilling. By age twenty five, the six-pack is gone and by age thirty it’s been replaced with a keg.
Now, before you smart boys start laughing too loud, let’s change the example to the ultra-nerd. You know the type; extremely intelligent with no social skills. Without those social skills, our little brainiac will never achieve the potential his big cranium should offer. Why? Because to get just about anything done, you have to have the social adeptness to put it to use. How many brilliant software programs are out there which have been developed, but never made it to the market because a socially inept genius couldn’t explain it to anyone?
Or, the little guy neglects his body in pursuit of more dignified causes. Later in life, he is fighting so many health issues, the rest of his life is consumed by infirmities.
In every area, it’s important to maintain the structural support to keep our lives in balance. This can be caused by neglect due to a personal distaste. Or it can be due to too much emphasis on one area. (I have a lot of personal experience in this arena. Although I try very hard to conceal this fact from the average observer, I can be a bit obsessive. It’s true. I get focused on something and latch on like a pit-bull. I won’t let go until I have a bloody stump in my jaws.) By concentrating all our energies in one area, we neglect another.
The last area I want to discuss is the Spiritual facet of our lives. You may be wondering why that is even on the list. Without spending time on the Spiritual, our lives will never be truly smooth. Without connecting to the spiritual, our lives have no meaning. The Spiritual component of life is we get our purpose. Deny it if you choose, but it is what it is.
There are other areas, but I’ve found those are the six key areas that we must nurture and maintain. By tending to each, we support the whole person and keep our lives in balance.
Is there an area of your life that you have neglected?
Or is there an area where you concentrate too much of your attention?
These are some good questions to ask yourself as you begin the New Year.