The Life pillars
Why is Balance so Hard to Achieve?
Life is tough. There are so many moving parts – always – and seemingly no relief from the onslaught of tasks/work/events/challenges/what-have-you that all demand your time.
It’s impossible to achieve genuine balance amongst the chaos, and yet we all so deeply crave contentment and ease.
Even the people who seem to be nailing it are probably not doing it as well as it seems. I think deep down we all kinda know that already… how could those Instagrammers possibly do ALL of that and look so fit and amazing and have all those friends and afford all that stuff and just be so freakishly happy all the time?! Yep, it’s because they’re not, but that’s an issue for another post…
As clichéd as it is, there’s no quick fix, and no magic formula to structure your life in a way that everything is going to get done to perfection (...although there’s plenty of crazies out there that’ll try and sell that solution to you!).
We do, however, have a concept to share with you that will help you achieve enough balance so that you can live the best life you humanly can (not Instagram human, actual human), and it’s legit super simple.
Introducing The Life Pillars
Every desire, demand, task or challenge that life presents you can be allocated into one of five categories:
Attitude; Self-Awareness; Motivation; Emotions
Health; Body; Nutrition; Self-Acceptance
Universal Connection; Creativity; Nature; Faith
Passion; Work; Money; Fulfilment
Communication; Giving; Social Self; Connection to Others
We need to continually work on each pillar to feel happiness and fulfilment.
Sounds basic, but seriously – think about any desire, demand, task or challenge that's in your life right now, and we guarantee you’ll be able to fit it under one of these headings.
Once we can grasp that there’s only five categories on the spectrum of life, organising ourselves – our time, interests, health, friends, work, passions – becomes a heck of a lot simpler.
The Life Pillars approach gives you a chance to slow the f- down, and actually look at all the elements in your life. It allows you to give them the attention and time they each deserve in order to actually be productive.
Here’s where it gets really cool…
Most people get one or two pillars right - they give them all their focus, and they often have great success - but they completely ignore or neglect the rest.
When we’re stressed, sick, tired or just feeling out of balance, you can be pretty darn sure that one of these pillars in your life is lacking, and needs your attention.
Say we have a kick-ass mindset and approach to life and happy, fulfilling relationships, but we don’t look after our bodies and our physical health is strained. We’re going to feel out of balance, and we’re never going to be living at our optimum.
If we go to great lengths to keep a healthy body and our work is hugely passion focused and purpose-driven, but all the time we spend on our work has left us isolated from others and impacts our relationships, then we don’t have that all-important balance either.
Understanding the balancing act of the Life Pillars gives you the opportunity to allocate adequate time to the vital areas of your life, so that they're working in harmony, and you can be your best self (yes, I know, we're into clichés!).
How do I use the Life Pillars?
How you allocate your time to each category on the spectrum is a deeply personal thing, but one thing's for sure - you can't be totally winning at all five categories straight off the bat.
You may find putting an hour for each into every day works for you, or you may find it easiest to delve into each one, one week at a time. Either way, it's about putting your focus in to one element at a time, rather than trying to them all perfect straight away.
Our favourite approach is to dedicate one day of the working week to each pillar, simply because they seem to match up so perfectly to what we typically feel on those days. Coincidence?! …well yeah, probably a coincidence… but still, pretty cool!
Monday – Mindset
Mondays are the perfect opportunity to harness that motivation for change and action! Manifest that attitude - you’re a bull at the gate, so use that energy. Practice self-awareness and observe your emotions. What's driving your behaviour and decisions? Start the day with a meditation or mantra ritual, ground yourself in positivity and gratitude, and get your butt out there!
Tuesday – Body
You’re settling in to the week and got your routine on, so make the extra effort to exercise. Move, move, move, however works for you. Nourish your body with amazing, healthy nutrition. Practice self-acceptance. Skip the sugars, caffeine and alcohol – it’s only for a day! Remember how awesome you feel after that first day of a health kick? Why not make that day every Tuesday? (You can incorporate your new healthy habits into the other days as you find better balance).
Wednesday – Soul
Get through that hump day by feeding your soul in your favourite ways. If you don’t know what they are yet, then Wednesdays are for figuring that out! Immerse yourself in nature with a bush or beach walk, and give yourself the opportunity to express your creativity. Write, paint, read, cook, rest. Spend time connecting to your faith within, whatever it may be. Live and breathe self-care and gratitude.
Thursday – Purpose
You're approaching the end of the week and you may be thinking about your work, and what fulfils you. Give yourself action steps to complete today that will contribute towards your larger purpose or goals. It could be as simple as reaching out to someone in your network for advice, or reading an industry blog post. Learn something new, read a book or listen to a podcast on a topic you’re passionate about.
Friday – Connections
Friday is social day! Spend today connecting and with others – friends, family, spouses, colleagues – anyone who you want to build relationships with. Give to others. Communicate. Build your awareness as to which people in your life are worth your precious time, and which are not.
We’re not saying that you only exercise on Tuesdays, or that you don’t socialise on any day other than Friday (phew!) - as with most things, flexibility is key. We’re saying that by dedicating your time and focus in one direction on each day, you’re giving yourself a decent shot at achieving balance and contentment in your life.
As you form new habits, you'll find it becomes second nature to incorporate a bit of everything into every day.
Needless to say, improving one pillar doesn’t produce a benefit in isolation to the categories, either.
If we improve our health, our mood lifts and our mindset will also improve alongside it. If we spend time doing activities that nourish our soul, we can improve the way we relate to others, and build or enhance beautiful relationships.
There is everything to gain.
Perfection is Not the Goal
The most important thing to remember here is that we don’t have to achieve a perfect balance of all five pillars in order to be happy.
This is not a means to an end. It’s a continuous stream of ebb and flow within which we are able to live our happiest, most content, optimum, beautiful life.
Pressure, obligation, stress and fear of failure will work against you, not with you. You’ll have a day or a week where you completely abandon one item on the spectrum, or you plan to devote your attention to something but you’re just not feeling it. If a best laid plan doesn’t get executed one week, just do it the next.
Learn how to keep yourself accountable without building negativity or strain in to this.
If you only do one thing on each day towards that pillar, that's amazing. Train your focus, and the following week, you might do two things!
There’s no need to start on a Monday, and there’s not a set amount of time to do this for. Just give it a try, in your own time and at your own pace.
Well, put it this way – this is a passion project of ours, and unlike that OTT motivational speaker you follow who seems to post every 30 seconds with buzzwords and the answers to all your problems (after you pay them your hard-earned dosh, of course), there’s nothing else in it for us.
It’s a free idea with beautiful, balanced living as the goal.
You might as well give it a go, right?
Give it a Go!
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You'll also get short-and sweet tips emailed regularly to guide you through and keep you on track. Sounds spammy, but we promise it's not - keeping this focus right in front of your face is paramount. These little boosts will take just two minutes tops out of your day (cross our hearts)! Read, process, smile, delete!