Let’s be honest now, there can be many reasons why you came across this post. Whether a friend shared it with you or you’re looking for ways to improve your life, one thing is for sure, you know that you can do more with your life and you’re reading this to get some insight on how to make the most out of life. I would like to say that if you feel unhappy or unsatisfied then let me tell you that this is not necessarily a bad thing. It is your lack of satisfaction that led you here to try to achieve more. It is a persons feeling that they lack knowledge that leads them to seeking it. These feelings become bad when they are not followed by action so make sure you always use these feelings as your drive to work harder rather than sitting down sobbing all day and waiting for a miracle to make things better.
In this post I will outline the main areas of life that you need to take care of to achieve a balanced and happy life. I will not focus on little details or habits you could build as the list is endless. We could delve into some of these topics later on in other posts.
The Different Aspects of Life
Experts on the topic have divided life in different ways. Some have divided it by the different needs such as the need to love and be loved, the need to leave a legacy and various other needs. The division we would like to go with, and probably the most popular, is spiritual, r/emotional, Mental, physical and quite recently career has been added to the group.
Whatever way you choose to look at it, one thing is for sure and that’s the fact that for an individual to have a fulfilling life they must look after all these aspects of life consistently and simultaneously. One common misconception is that these needs or areas of life can be served sequentially. An example of this would be a common phrase that we hear and that is “work hard now so you can enjoy life later”. Although this phrase may be correct regarding progression in career many people take it to mean focusing on making money and neglecting the need for fruitful relationships or physical activity. They believe that you can fulfill one part then focus on the next and then the one after. However, this is not the case. Although we should plan for the future we must also live the moment and take care of all aspects simultaneously. They should all flow together in harmony, one aspect aiding you to fulfill the other. This idea of fulfilling one part at a time is called sequential strategy. You can read more about that in the book ‘Just Enough‘.
Another common problem also outlined in ‘Just Enough‘ is the fact that people try to measure their success and fulfillment using one yardstick. This yardstick may be their career and although they may be very successful they keep thinking they need to achieve more in their career to feel fulfilled. However, often times not feeling fulfilled turns out to be due to their neglecting of the other aspects of their life.
Although I have my own personal beliefs regarding this topic I will keep it generic so it is relatable. The spiritual part is relating to the soul or call it what you may. One thing for sure is we are not just physical beings and whether you like to believe in the presence of a soul or something psyche or “subconscious mind” we can definitely agree that we need to care for more than just our physical selves.
Humans naturally have a need and drive to connect with their creator (or call it universe). Religious people feed that drive by prayer and connecting with their creator while non-religious people can do things such as meditation to connect with their surroundings and with nature. In fact the vast majority of successful businessmen make sure to take out some time either to pray, meditate or even just clear their mind and breath.
The mind encompasses our thought processes. It is the part of our body that deals with reason, perception and logic. The mind is the source of everything that you are and everything starts there. No action is done without first going through the mind whether conscious or subconscious. So in order to master your life and be more, you must master your thought process and guide it in the direction that you want to go.
Feeding and developing the mind constantly is essential to fulfillment and making the most out of life. However work you brain to hard and you will burn out and give it too little mind food and you will become bored and lose interest. If you can think back to your time at school or the most recent class you’ve had, you’ll realise that the most captivating speakers or teachers were the ones that challenged your mind enough to keep it working but not too much so you don’t lose track.
Humans are social beings. Ever since the start of man and ever since we were hunter-gatherers we sought and desired companionship. Living in communities and working together is not a product of modern civilization rather it is in our nature. Hence, healthy relationships are essential for life fulfillment. I read once that one of the most common reasons for employees leaving work was due to disliking their bosses.
Many people tend to struggle with this aspect because it depends largely on other individuals as well as themselves. This make this aspect less predictable than the other aspects of life. In order to master this part of your life you should be in with a long term mentality. Although we sometimes connect quickly with some people, the most rewarding relationships are those that are nourished over a long time with patience. You can’t rush the growth of a beautiful tree.
The body or the physical aspect of your life is affected by how you eat, how you sleep and your physical activity. All these factors can affect your happiness and how well you do in other parts of your life.
However, we live in times when the norm has become less activity and more junk food. We’re too busy to cook proper meals and when we buy, for many people, it’s too expensive to always eat nutritious healthy meals. Our work naturally has much less activity as opposed to hunter-gatherer times or even more recently in the industrial age when work was more physical. Of course work is much more humane now as opposed to the industrial age but I’m merely pointing out a flaw of modern work.
The key for all these problems is to look more for quality and continuity rather than quantity. For example with food rather than eating large quantities of junk food one can eat smaller quantities of nutritious food and I don’t mean being a health freak. The point here is most of us eat more than our bodies actually need. With sleep, I would advise a similar approach. Sleep is not simply about the amount of hours you sleep, the quality of the sleep is also important. One thing that can be done to improve quality is to sleep early. When it comes to physical activity it may be difficult to balance work and family life and stay active. Many people would be tempted to squeeze in some activity on the weekends. However, smaller more consistent amounts of exercise can be much better in the long run. The regular activity that you take part in can be playing chase with your kids on a daily basis or putting in 30 minutes of cardio on a daily basis.
The career a person chooses was not always considered such a big part of their lives. For example if you look at history you will find that people didn’t really choose certain professions. They would just do whatever their family business was or perhaps the village would be a village of traders or farmers and that’s what you knew and that’s what you did. However, things have changed and in reality work has become more than just a thing we do for a living it is rather a massive part of our lives. We choose where to live, when to go on holiday alongside many other things based on our careers. In fact for many people their careers may restrict them from doing certain things in public outside their work hours. Thus, caeers have become quite central to our lives and our happiness. If you spend over 8 hours a day unhappy, you will must likely feel unhappy with your life.
Having read the above many will think “well what should I do if I don’t like my job? I can’t just stop working, I have bills to pay”. I’m merely giving you a yardstick to measure but whether you are in the right career or not should be your judgement. It is important to consider how your career is contributing to the 4 previously mentioned parts of your life (spirituality, body, relationships and mind). If work is not mentally challenging you and forcing you to grow, perhaps all you need is a different role in the same career or new responsibilities. Speak to your manager and if you feel there’s no room to grow in your current company then maybe it’s time to start looking for companies that will allow you to grow. When a plant gets too big you take it out of a pot and put it in a bigger pot or outside in the ground.
One should also consider the type of relationships he has in his workplace. If all your relationships are toxic, that will affect you negatively. I remember I once left a job because everyone around me would smoke anytime anywhere and the majority lacked ambition and non shared my values. I’m not saying this to act as if I’m better than anyone but the point is I felt out of place and I was either going to become more like them or I would eventually leave and I chose the latter of these two options. This is a perfect example of how the job was affecting me on an emotional (relationships) and spiritual level and I did what had to be done. I think the point is clear, It’s really up to you to decide but just consider these 4 parts of your life and don’t completely compromise on one part for another if you’d like to live a happy and fulfilling life.
The key points I’d really like you to take out of this are two. The first point is that to feel fulfilled and to feel that you’re making the most out of life, you’ll need to live a balanced life. Basically you need to constantly keep these 5 parts of life under check and try to constantly grow in all 5 of them. If you neglect one, although you may top the world financially, you will still feel unfulfilled and like you’re not making the most out of life. One bit of advice would be to never expect to “get there” because the truth is you never do. It’s an ongoing battle. Think of a man walking on a rope does he ever attain balance and not have to worry about his balance anymore? Not as long as he’s on the rope and life is that rope.
The second point is that each one of these parts of your life affects every other part. In fact most things in life are connected and one thing affects the other. A person with a job that they hate may go home in a bad mood which will in turn affect his relationship with his family and friends. Bad moods and depression usually make people eat to feel better and they may also feel lazy which will affect their bodies negatively. All this together will definitely also impact their spirituality. I think you get the idea!
If I have missed out on any piece of information that you feel should have been included, please leave a comment explaining this point. Also, if you would like to add any insight or if you would like us to write about a specific topic, please let us know. Also, if you want to learn more, check out the books we have below!!