So, how can you do it? How can you take care of your life in such a manner, that you and everyone around you will enjoy the ride?
Life seeks harmony. Balancing main areas of your life by making decisions based on both, your current situation and a long-term overview of your life, is the key to satisfaction and happiness. The balance will shift many times during your life; this is natural. At different times, some areas are more important than others. But never comes a time, when some areas have no importance at all.
Focusing on one particular goal may cause blindness to the big picture. Forsaking one area of life to pursue a goal or excellence in another area is recipe for disaster, heartbreak and sorrow. I am not saying, that you shouldn’t have and pursue goals. Far from it. Goals are important, they propel us forward. But they should be the fruit growing on your tree. Roots, tree trunk and branches are the main areas of the tree; without them, there would be no leaves and no fruits. If you want to thrive, focus on main areas of your life.
Four main areas of life
There is an epidemic of self-care. It’s good, isn’t it? Taking care of the person responsible for how your life turns out seems to be a pretty good idea.
Sidenote: Yes. It’s you. No one else is responsible for your life. Not your brother, not your sister, not the government, not any other people. It’s you. Deal with it.
Yes, taking care of yourself is important. If you neglect what you need, you will not be able to function. But taking care of yourself doesn’t mean, that you should act on every single whim of yours. And it also doesn’t give you a licence to be selfish. Relationships are quite important, you know?
So what is the right way to take care of yourself? I call it self-awareness. It reflects the importance of understanding who you are, what makes you tick and what makes you freeze or withdraw.
King Solomon, often regarded as the wisest man who ever lived, said, “Above all else, guard your heart, for your life flows from it.” This is because at heart every single person is capable of both, unimaginable evil and extraordinary good. Some call it yin and yang. Some virtue and vice. Some sin and righteousness. Whatever the name, it describes truthfully human nature; each member of mankind is capable of good and evil alike. There are no good people. Nor bad ones. Just people.
Knowing who you are at heart will not help you to change it. It just is. You are your own best friend and at the same time your worst enemy. So am I to myself. A wolf cannot become a lion and an owl is not an eagle. You are who you are. Pretending to be someone else doesn’t help, on the contrary. It just makes you more stressed and anxious, because deep inside you know, that you are lying to yourself.
But knowing yourself, accepting who you are and learning what it means enables you to find and use the right tools at the right moment to achieve exactly what you want to accomplish. Get to know yourself, from both sides; be self-aware.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Work is important. It is said, that, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”. Therefore, if you are capable of working, you should. It’s a source of your livelihood. And it boosts your sense of self-worth when you can support yourself and your family. Be your best at what you do and make as much as you can.
But, being successful at work is not going to cut it, if you suck at everything else. As someone said: “There is more to life than to work, pay taxes and die.” So make sure, that you divide your time and effort. When you are at work, work. When you clock out, leave the work until you’ll come back. Don’t take your job with you. Harold Kushner said “No one ever said on their deathbed, ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office.’ ” Your job is only one area of your life, keep it that way.
You & others
Relationships are much more important. The Harvard Grant & Glueck Study 80 years long study of life - happiness, success, etc. Main findings: • Strong relationships have the highest impact on our lives. • Success is long-term, not snap in time. Prioritise what will matter in the long haul. • Ability to let go and adapt to changes after setbacks. Website: Grant & Glueck Study https://www.adultdevelopmentstudy.org/... More showed “a strong correlation between men’s flourishing lives and their relationships with family, friends, and community.” Relationships have had the main impact on happiness, health, longevity, financial success, etc. I guess God was onto something when he said, “It’s not good for a man to be alone.”.
Contribution is another and often overlooked part of life. We are caretakers at heart. After all, we were charged to “love your neighbour” and to “cultivate and take care” of the place we inhabitate. The desire to improve the world, to change situations or conditions we perceive as inadequate or wrong, is natural. The way we go about it gives us either satisfaction (when we contribute), or bitterness (when we just criticise). to be completed More said, “At the end of my life I want to be able to say I contributed more than I criticized.” In my book, that is sound advice.
How to focus on areas?
Knowing about life areas is good start, but without doing something it’s worthless. How can you put this information to use? You have two powerful tools at your disposal. Using them creates conditions where your life can grow and thrive exactly the way you envision it. I have to warn you, it is a lot of work. It will take many hours of thinking, evaluating, and planning. And after all that mental work, you will have to act on your findings. But the result will be your own thriving Tree of Life.
For long time it would look like nothing is happening. Your task will be to endure, to continue. And then, one day, things will start to move. From the seed small sapling will sprout out. That sapling will grow stronger. There will be first leaves. And finally, after years of caring, first fruit will emerge.
Growth nurturing environment
Growth is natural when all required nutrition and care is provided. We don’t have to ‘do’ growth. Growth happens on its own, in its own time, when we provide all the right conditions.
Growth starts with nutrition. It’s about the type of things you feed yourself or let yourself be fed. It’s the what, when, how often and how much you digest. These are the things you tell yourself about yourself and the things others tell you about you. The things you are told to believe. For example, when someone says that you will never be able to do this or that, they’re feeding you, your soul, with something which will have a huge impact. Your responsibility is to examine that statement and decide: Is it truth? Is it a fact? Or is that statement just an opinion based on outdated or incomplete information?
You also have to examine your past. What things are affecting your current life? Understand that past shaped your current life but your future is shaped by actions you take today.
Your future is not set. Everything can be totally different than it was in your past. You cannot change the place you are in today, but by changing direction you can entirely change the destination where you will arrive 5, 10 years from now.
Growth environment is about changing the premises and conditions you live in now to enable your life to thrive. You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses and accept them. Then you have to design how your life should look like in each area. After examine everything you think of yourself. Is it truth or jis it ust opinion? Where it came from? Avoid delusions. There is such thing as toxic positivity as well as toxic negativity. Don’t let yourself be swayed by unrealistic expectations. If you are 5’8″, playing basketball professionally is unrealistic dream. But saying that you are not good with numbers is just projection of past. Anyone can improve in anything (bar the natural inhibitors), if they allocate their life resources to it.
It’s also about ‘setting the stage’. Preparing situation for the things you desire. If you want to land specific job, find out what you have to learn. What experience can help you to get the job. Is there any qualification you need? What career path leads to it? And start taking steps to have al these things. Enroll in a course. Find entry level position. Follow industry information. Do small steps to arrive at the place, where it will be natural for employers to hire you.
Distribution of life resources
Time, spiritual power, mental acuity, physical energy, money and the goodwill of other people. They are finite, and each of them has to be produced, allocated, managed, and controlled. Otherwise, they will be wasted. To create more of one type of asset, we have to use one or more of the other assets.
What you will use your resources for will grow. You have to determine how much is which life area worth to you and allocate your resources accordingly. When you spend your time, your focus, your spiritual force, your mental strength and physical energy on specific area, that area will thrive.
What else you can do?
Learn to adapt
Adaptability, the ability to let go and to positively react to setbacks and changes we experience during our lives.