|I am allergic to cats but this picture always makes me smile!|
Last week (see previous post here), I talked about the importance of maintaining good mental and physical health, as well as the need to make time in our busy lives to focus on ourselves. I have always been quite a reflective person, becoming more so as I get older. However I have tended to focus more on aspects of work/career and family/relationships, and so lately I decided that there were other important elements of my life that I needed to work on to improve myself.
Now this blog post is titled 'In pursuit of happiness'. But what is happiness exactly? We all want to be happy but what exactly does this mean? Am I happy?............. Are you happy? Also my idea of happiness may be very different from DH's, or yours for that matter. I tend to think in a logical manner (except when shopping, then all rationale goes out the window) so I found it interesting to initially search for some definitions of happy. The list I found is as follows:
1. feeling, showing or expressing joy; pleased
happy and smiling person
2. causing joy, pleasure or gladness
my childhood was happy
3. satisfied: feeling satisfied that something is right/ has been done correctly
I am happy with my performance in that exam
4. willing to do something
Of course I would be happy to help
5. fortunate, resulting in an unexpected joy
It was a happy coincidence to bump into Beyonce at the mall (yeah right!)
Useful maybe but it doesnt really tell you much does it? Like me, you may want some kind of structure to help identify how you're doing in the different but important aspects of your life right now. This where a tool called the Life Wheel (Wheel of Life) comes in. Some of you may be familiar with this. However for others, including myself, it may be really helpful.
So here is a picture of a Life Wheel (there are many versions), which is used by many people who do professional coaching. I cannot afford a professional coach, so I will have to make do with a DIY version. Many of these tools are freely available on the internet so I will provide some links at the end of this post.
|The Life Wheel|
The Life Wheel is great as it gives you a bird's eye visual of where you are in your life right now. It is an easy and quick way of identifying what areas you are doing well in and others that need a bit more work to bring things back into balance. These segments aren't fixed in stone so you can mix and mend as you choose. Certain areas such as work/career, health, family and friends, finance should definitely be there but you can be flexible with the others. For example you may want to add spiritual growth, although this could easily be included in a personal growth section as well.
How to use the Life Wheel
Step 1 Assess your life in each of the segments and give yourself a score from 1-10 (1= minimum score, 10= maximum score).
Step 2 Connect the marks with each other to form a continuous line (should look like a spider's web)
Step 3 Reflect on the shape of your life wheel. Celestine Chua in her personal excellence blog (see here) describes 4 general shapes.
(i) A constricted web with mainly low scores showing that you are facing a lot of limitations (which she decribes as self limitations, i.e. you are probably holding yourself back)
(ii) A lopsided web i.e. with some high scores and low scores (showing that you have some good areas but other areas that need focus)
(iii) A broad web with high scores in general (which means you are doing well but of course there is always room for improvement!)
(iv) A complete circle with all maximum scores (which means everything is just perfect). This is something that we should aspire to, however it is an ideal situation and in reality you can always identify how you can do something even better!
So will you do your life wheel? Are there any tools that you have implemented in your life? Please share if you have done so. My wheel is in between lopsided and broad, depending on how harsh I am being on myself :-) But I found it really really helpful!
If I have sparked your interest and you want to read more check out these posts
- Mind Tools- Essential skills for an excellent career see (here)
- Celestine Chua- The Personal Excellence Blog. How are you faring in your life now? (see here).
Also I do plan to share at some point in the future how I have been using 2 of my trusty filofaxes for inspiration and achieving personal excellence.
Have a happy day........