When I first began to dig in to resources focused on happiness, or what I later began to call well-being, I realized many of them talked about the idea that well-being is not just one big thing. Instead, it can (and should) be broken out into multiple aspects. In order to understand what was causing my unhappiness, I needed to look at each aspect separately. Some may be perfectly in tact, and others may need work.
I found several different versions of these aspects, or pillars, but ultimately decided that the following five worked best for me:
- Mental – 2
- Physical – 2
- Career – 4
- Social – 3
- Financial – 5
Some resources talked about prioritizing the pillars, but I ended up deciding against this. I feel like they all equally support my well-being, so if one’s out of whack, it needs work.
After defining my five pillars, I sat down and rated my level of satisfaction with each on a simple scale of 1 to 5 (5 = fantastic, 1 = miserable, 3 = average). In order to keep this front and center, I stuck a note card on my bathroom wall with the ratings (originals listed above).
This was huge first step for me. Although my husband thought I was going crazy, I got a clear reminder each day of where I should focus to improve my happiness: I needed to start focusing on my mental and physical well-being.
Ellie www.newcreationsministries.wordpress.com/ said:
You are right. Most all of my patients knew what to do, they just needed to get to the core reason why they didn’t do it! When they figured that out, they were on theire way to success – a tough but doable road. Great post!
Its a wonderful exercise to define what are the most important pillars in your life. its also the essence of the ‘coaching wheel’ a tool used in life coaching. All of us have different priorities, my first priority isn’t on your list so I’ll mention it, spirit. For me this isn’t a religious dimension but its the foundation of purpose on which the others stand. Love your blog, good luck with it. 🙂
Jerry – thanks so much for your comments! Funny you call spirit out… I struggled with whether or not to call it out separately, but ended up folding it into the mental wellbeing pillar (for myself). Thanks for the reminder that these may (and likely should) look different for everyone. 🙂
I agree with you there. I’m a great fan of the French Tibetan monk Matthieu Ricard who looks on buddhist practise as a wonderful form of mind training. Well in so many words 🙂
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