Life is best when we are enthusiastically devouring each moment of the day instead of wishing we could be doing something else. While shattering illusions, without getting all “woo woo” on you– on this website I’m sharing practical advice honed from experience and results I’ve witnessed from working with hundreds of people who’ve customized this basic philosophy into their own lives. The endgame is a balanced, healthy, fun, rewarding life…with full acceptance of the fact that we all still have to pay taxes!
Let’s imagine a delicious pie with 8 yummy pieces that are all your own favorite flavors. IF you’re avoiding sugar–imagine 8 colorful buckets!
My pie starts with a slice of work. Work has always been the foundation of my self-esteem. Most of us need to work in some capacity. Many of us really like working. Work rewards us with money, a home, food, basic necessities and some other things we might desire. It is a means with which we can take care of ourselves and others whom we love. It might be a large source of your self-esteem, too. Work is a big responsibility, takes up the majority of our time and is very important on many levels. So, to share my philosophy for a happy, fulfilling life, I’ll call work “Piece #1” of life. But remember, work is only one piece of the pie.
Let me explain. If work is all consuming — health can begin to falter. You might be eating on the run, eating too much or not enough. Forgetting to take time to exercise. Stimulating your nervous system to cope by drinking excessive coffee to keep going or alcohol to relax. You might be processing events of your work day in such a way that your blood pressure is rising. Could be any number of factors that, when combined together, start adversely impacting your health. And here’s the bottom line: If health fails, your ability to work productively is likely to falter as well. So while work is a very important component of a life well-lived, it is just one part. Health is part #2. Both work and health are intimately related.
At this point, please remember: These are my “8 pieces of Life Pie” that I’m sharing and they don’t have to be the same as yours. Your “slices of the pie or buckets” could be entirely different, and you may prioritize differently as well. Regardless, it will not change the interrelated aspects and the fact that I highly recommend to everyone I work with that they consider defining their own personal “com-PART-ments” for healthy, happier living.
Piece #3 would be Family & Friends. Some people may be offended that I list family in third position. In this case — I’ll remind you of a Zen expression: “In the case of a pending airplane crash–put on your own oxygen mask before trying to assist others!” This said, if or when things aren’t going well on the home front–it’s likely to impact all aspects of your life. Personal upheaval is the most challenging part of life to cope with due to the emotional nature of these relationships. Whether your connection with your significant other is strained or if you haven’t found the time to commit to a significant other or if your kids are demanding more and acting out or if you have a family member that requires your care or if you never seem to connect with your friends– both work and health begin to suffer…and quickly. Your family and friends need your attention and energy. The good selfish thing is that these relationships benefit your life, health and work, as well.
Are you starting to notice a theme of connective-balance between the parts of life?
Now lets look at piece of the pie #4: Creativity. Creativity might or might not be a part of your daily work. However, this does not mean that you cannot be creative in some other way. You could be singing, dancing the tango, learning an instrument, drawing, gardening, fixing motorcycles or cars, writing, studying a martial art, testing out your actings skills or trying to become an artist! The choice of outlet(s) for creativity are all yours.
When you have an outlet to express your innately creative human nature (yes, you were born innately creative), your work, health, family and your creativity all thrive!
Next up, at least for me are pie slices 5 & 6 which would be Reading and Writing. Books open a world of wisdom and knowledge generously shared by brilliant and wise people from around the world who have lived throughout history recording their experiences, which detail every and any kind of situation imaginable. A good book stimulates the mind to think differently; more deeply and creatively with every turn of the page. Reading provides a priceless education and it inspires my 6th piece of my life pie…Writing! When I read my mind percolates with new ideas. I absorb what I’ve read, process it, add my own seasoning and that of others and then I feel compelled to write. It doesn’t make any difference if the writing is just notes for myself or publishable. It’s yet another form of creativity and bonding of emotions to the life experience.
My 7th area of life is Meditation. I always tell “busy people who have no time to meditate” that they don’t understand meditation. Meditation is the only thing I know of (besides the moments between when I realized my planes were crashing until they did…) that actually seems to extend time. Yes, I’m serious: Meditation gives us more time–especially when we don’t think we have it! Plus, it will make you healthier, less stressed and deliver a lot of other good stuff–which I discuss on the Meditation page. Also in this slice of meditation, let’s include a good night’s sleep–which is actually an entirely different form of rest (and I recommend 8 hours!) Often meditation is the way I set the stage for a very peaceful night’s sleep.
Finally my 8th area of life is Community. This is when it’s not all about me, myself and I. Whether it’s handing money to someone on the street who I know needs it (before I’m asked); volunteer work; helping a shelter, church or school; donating time or money…whatever and wherever I and you can assist others…Do it! It’s very important to a healthy life. And, of course there’s the good karma which is important to accrue and makes doing for others good for you, too. Helping your immediate community or just one person is the best way to become more grateful for the life you have. As a wise person once told me: “Never forget that your life is someone else’s fairytale.”
So, there you have it! I’ve shared my philosophy on a work-ing life!
It “works” for me and you now know why I’m smiling. I’ll bet it can work for you, too, if you opt to enjoy the full variety of all the pieces of the Pie of Life. On this website, I elaborate more on my life philosophy. Feel free to read…or not!
Remember: It only takes one person to change your life for the better…You.