After the first Episode, some of you followed up on Social Media asking me some tips and tricks on HOW exactly they can start a self-development journey! “Now I know I can be a Leader, but how do I actually start?”
And therefore, for the second Episode, I planned an exercise that really changed my life and I promise it will change yours too. This exercise was taught to me years ago by one of my Coaches, I use it more in-depth with my clients and it has had a huge impact on their lives. Today we talk about the Power of the Wheel.
Now, if you are at home, take a piece of paper and draw a wheel composed of ten sections.
Our life is composed of a series of areas, and to live a beautiful life we must find some sort of balance between the different sections.
On your piece of paper, or in your mind, draw a circle and divide it into 8 sections. The sections are:
1. Career - Corporate or Entrepreneurship
Career can be in a Corporate context, as an employee, or you might be an Entrepreneur, self-employed.
2. Personal Finances – Money
Money plays a very important role for many people and we want to make sure we have resources, both liquid and assets, we can rely on when tough times come.
Love relationships are key to live a beautiful life. Everything starts with loving ourselves, and then loving a meaningful other.
They gave birth to us, they nurtured us, they educated us; family is important.
5. Health - Self-care - Physique
When it comes to Health, I would suggest to look it at a high-level perspective, i.e. how healthy am I, how much energy do I have, but you can also think about your physique, how do I look like.
In recent years, Spirituality has gained importance. I am a huge believer that being a spiritual being and trying to reconnect with soul and nature through meditation, breathing, mindfulness, has a positive impact on our life.
With character, I mean asking yourself “Am I a great human being?”. Do you feel empathy, love, compassion? I was talking to my father the other day and he told me that he has a simple rule to screen potential business partners: they must be honest to the bones. Working on your character will ensure you develop a healthy reputation.
8. Adventure and Experiences
COVID has of course limited what we can do, but within the realm of current possibilities, do you push yourself to try out new stuff, or is your today the same as yesterday?
Now, observe the Wheel of Life. With honesty, without criticism. And rank each one of those areas from 1 to 10. From here, your new life begins.
It is very unlikely that you score 10 in every area. Actually, even one single 10 is almost impossible; let’s be honest, you might have an amazing life but does this mean you cannot improve at all? This concept has a name, it is called the excellence loop; it’s when you score 9 and you aim at scoring an impossible 10 which you cannot score because there is always some margin of improvement.
Now sum all of the scores and divide the total by 8. What’s your average score?
Imagine this is a score you got for a university assignment. Would you be happy with it?
When I did this exercise years ago I scored 7.6. 7.6! I could not believe it; I had been in the top 5% of my schools from elementary school to college, and now I was scoring a C, a GPA of 2.0, in my life.
But let’s go deeper through a metaphor. If you are drawing the Wheel of Life on a piece of paper, colour the portion from 0, the centre of the Wheel to 5-6-7 whatever your score is. You will see a very strangely-shaped wheel.
Can you see if your tire is well-inflated or is flat?
Now here is an eye-opening question for you: Imagine you are driving a car. What happens if you drive for a long time with a flat tire? You will break the wheel rim!
And this, my friends, is what we generally call “Breakdown”. “Oh Jenna had a breakdown!”. No shit! She is a single mother with two children who is trying to make a living and has no time for her personal mental health! Of course she had a breakdown, and this is the beauty of understanding these concepts; if you understand the wheel of life not only are not surprised to hear that, but also you can prevent that! As a Manager, or a friend, you can speak to Jenna and ensure she has adequate support to not burnout.
And here is another useful insight: every section of the Wheel of Life is in symbiosis with the other sections.
Has it ever happened to you that you had a terrible day at work, you get home, and “surprisingly”, quote on quote surprisingly, you start fighting with your loved one.
This happens because if you are deeply frustrated about one area of your life, this affects everything. This is why we need a balanced tire.
As you start working to improve one area of your life, understand that scoring 8 in all the areas is way, way better than scoring 10 in one and 6 in another one. Again, think about the metaphor of the wheel: a car functions better with an equally-balanced tire rather than a tire that is more inflated on one end, and flat on the other end!
Now, identify the 3 top areas and ask yourself:
Why are these areas better than the other ones? What has made them better than the other ones? What fears did I overcome? What did I do, in particular, to make this area better than the other ones?
In my case, I scored high on Entrepreneurship, Finances, Character and Spirituality, because I made a decision to quit a Corporate job that was comfortable, but where I was not growing anymore. I identified my Passion and my Purpose and launched a company that will impact people. I made a commitment to dedicate 90% of my time to educate myself on Finances, Spirituality and Mindset.
In a nutshell, what made those areas successful were Courage, Vision, determination, studying and time commitment.
And now, a more difficult question. Identify the top areas where you will focus on.
Ask yourself: what are my Habits in those areas? What actions did I took that lead to the failure in those areas?
Years ago, as far as I am concerned, I identified Adventure, Family, Health and Relationships as my development areas.
Due to COVID, I found myself binging Netflix instead of hitting the gym. I was not able to see my family as much as I wanted to. I indulged in laziness and poor time management, and I realized I was still affected by a difficult relationship I went through years before.
In a nutshell: Lack of determination, resilience and focus; hesitation in closing doors that needed to be closed a long time ago, and fear to embrace the uncertainty of the future, fear of failure, were the things that lead to failure in the other areas of my life.
Now, the most important part. It is not enough to understand the areas of your life that need improvement. We must make a decision to change them! Remember, your life comes down to few decisions!
What can you learn from the successful areas that you can use to turn around the areas of development?
For instance, maybe you have limiting beliefs when it comes to money. Maybe you do not see Abundance in this World or you do not think you deserve more money.
Maybe you do not think you deserve to be loved.
I will give you a Pearl of Wisdom I gave to one of my Coachees: most of the times, the difference between success and failure is given by a mental and spiritual block, rather than a practical block.
In my case, I dedicated courage and time to certain things, but I suffered from laziness and I was afraid to face the reality, the hard work, and make some changes.
There are three important reflections on the Wheel of Life:
First of all, your happiness with the score you have is directly correlated with your Standards. What is your Standard? The reason why 76% was an outrageous grade for me is because my Standard is 100%. Not 99%, 100%. If your standard is 60%, meaning passing the exam, well 76% is a great score.
The second reflection I want to share with you has to do with setting clear expectations.
Let’s say, for instance, that you scored 9 in Family, Health and Relationships.
However, you scored 2 in Money and Spirituality.
It is obvious that you must work on your Financial Goals and on finding internal peace.
How do you do that? You could disappear for a month and fly to Kerala, one of the most known Indian’s spiritual places. But how would your partner and family feel about you leaving without notice?
They would probably be pretty upset, wouldn’t they? If I were your partner I would instantly break up with you!
The key is being capable of having an open conversation and setting clear expectations. This may sound something like “Hey in the next month I will be less present because I want to take some time to focus on my financial and spiritual goals. I wanted to give you a heads-up because I value every minute spent with you and I did not want you to think I love you less than I normally do”.
If you have a good reason and your partner loves you, you will be able to find a great compromise!
Same reasoning applies to other areas of your life, for instance if you scored 8 in Adventure and 6 in Career, it is time to tell your friends that you love them but you want to set a higher standard for your Career and you cannot go on Adventures with them every weekend because you want to prepare interviews.
The third reflection has to do with delayed gratification. We will have a full episode on this because it is crucial to understand the importance of investing. However, for the sake of this podcast episode, here is a quick question:
If I give you a corn cob. What do you do with it?
- You could opt for instant gratification, and eat the corn.
- Or, you could take some time, heat the corn and make popcorn that you can sell!
- Or, you could take the seeds, plant them and you will have a lot of corn cobs to sell next year!
What does delayed gratification have to do with the Wheel of Life? Well, as you can imagine, sometimes you need to sacrifice an area of your life if you want to bring another area to the next level.
For instance, if you want to launch your Start-up, you will probably need to give up some Health because you will face some stress, especially at the beginning when you are trying to get your first client!
However, day by day, month by month, your company will start yielding some results, and you will be able to take more time for physical exercise. And when you have more balance in your life, you can focus on getting other areas from 7 to 8, from 8 to 9, and so on and so forth, until you look at yourself in the mirror and you are like “wow man, we have come so far, I am proud of you”.
If you liked this Blog, feel free to share it! The only way we grow and impact more people is if you guys share it so I greatly greatly appreciate all of you who will do it.
Live with Passion, I appreciate you and I hope you have an amazing day.