Guest post by James, Leverage Program moderator
Sitting in the airport in Buenos Aires, after a weekend of food poisoning and partying, I was feeling pretty miserable waiting for my flight that Sunday evening. I was writing and avoiding my travel friends, just going through my normal weekly routine and trying to prepare for the week to come.
Phillip, a guy I met that weekend came over and asked me what I was writing about. I really looked up to Phillip but I hadn’t been able to create the relationship I wanted with him. He was a deep thinker, entrepreneur, in great shape, and charming. I saw his question as an opportunity to grow our relationship, even though my first thought was he would think what I was writing about was stupid.
My weekly routine is to write about my goals for the week based on what I now call the pillars of life. I determine my focus for my social (friends, family, and dating), professional, fitness (workouts and diet), financial, and ’self’ lives. (Self is how I treat myself and in this category I write about meditation and gratitude). I must take care of these aspects of life to be the complete man I want to be.
Phillip told me he thinks of life in the same way as me and rethinks his goals in his pillars every six months. He compared it to a table, and if one leg of that table is out of balance, then the table will not be sturdy and could potentially fall over. If a part of a person’s life is out of balance, then the person could fall over and break. A strong table is supported by its base just as a person is supported by their pillars and actions.
Just as a table needs its supports, my pillars of life support me. If my social life is out of balance and I am avoiding friends and dating, I struggle. If my diet and workout routine is off, I struggle. If I am working too much or unable to pay my bills, I struggle. If I am not being proactive at work or not developing meaningful relationships, I struggle. If I avoid taking care of myself, I struggle.
I still focus on these aspects on a weekly basis. If one pillar starts to get out of balance, it is ok. I refocus and get back to strengthening that pillar, while making sure the others remain sturdy. If I miss a workout because of a client one week, I make sure to prioritise it the following week. I don’t beat myself up about small or large slips. I make sure I get back to my focus of my goals and what I truly want and desire.
How strong are your pillars?