The last column described an effective tool, the Wheel of Life, that one can use to become more successful, professionally and personally. It involves rating several aspects of one’s life, once a year, and gleaning important takeaways from the exercise.
These facets are: Family, health, public life, finances, support system, hobbies, spirituality and entertainment. Once you have completed the rating for all eight facets, join all the X marks with a line. Chances are, you will have an irregularly shaped figure which could be oval, oblong or look like an uneven wheel, somewhat like the illustration shown below.
It is extremely rare, even perhaps impossible, to get a perfect, round wheel simply because no one’s life is perfectly balanced.
Just as a vehicle cannot run smoothly on uneven wheels, our life would also wobble if these various aspects are not balanced. The key reason for this imbalance is because of our disproportionate allocation of time and effort.
Any outcome in life is a function of time and effort being invested. If you examine the aspects that are rated well, it would be because of the fact that you have invested time and effort in that aspect, and vice-versa. The path to balancing one’s wheel of life is actually quite simple. Reallocate your time and effort to the aspects that are not faring well.
This is easier said than done and requires consistent persistence to achieve this. This is ultimately the main, or rather only, reason why most people do not use the wheel of life. However, the benefits of the tool are enormous as it would help you build a well balanced and holistic life from a young age.
The key question is with regard to why this needs to be done and whether balance is such an important thing in our life. My answer to that is an unqualified yes, balance is crucial to a holistic and happy life. A successful family life with not enough finances would ultimately make things stressful as the material demands of the family cannot be met. Similarly, being successful on the career front at the cost of one’s health is a recipe for future problems.
Synchronising various aspects
No individual aspect can complete our life. That is why we all seek to pursue so many things and take on so many roles. To be successful in a comprehensive manner and therefore be happy, all these aspects needs to be balanced. More importantly, they need to be synchronised with each other.
Initially when a person tries doing this exercise and reallocates their time and effort, there will be a key challenge. Aspects which are very satisfactory and being rated very highly would initially take a slight hit because you would be diverting time and effort away from these. However, do not despair and worry. Focus on evening out the wheel, even if it appears to have shrunk. Once you have mastered that to some extent, you can start stretching yourself across all these aspects to increase the size of the wheel.
Lastly a word of caution; don’t expect to balance your wheel of life overnight. It takes months, maybe years to achieve this balance because our life situation keeps changing and so do the demands on our time, effort and money. Be patient and keep working at this. Slowly you will start experiencing the benefits of this balance.