From my observations, I've determined that there are four quadrants that define an individual's life: Material, Physical, Mental, and Spiritual.
1. Material: This is often the most emphasized area in many people's lives. The pursuit of wealth, the acquisition of goods and services, and the planning for a comfortable retirement dominate this sphere. Our modern world often measures success by material accomplishments, leading many to prioritize this aspect above all.
2. Mental: Progressing beyond material pursuits, some individuals delve into the realm of mental development. They sharpen their focus, embrace the hustle, and seek every competitive advantage. This mental agility not only aids in achieving material success but also enriches one's understanding of life and what is necessary to navigate it successfully through their actions. It should be noted, the use of our mental capacity is required in taking the appropriate actions and planning to bring about that material success mentioned above.
3. Physical: While many recognize the importance of physical well-being, it's alarming how few truly prioritize it. Fitness and dietary habits play crucial roles here. For instance, many Americans, despite understanding the benefits of exercise, neglect proper nutrition. This imbalance often results in widespread health issues, such as obesity. Oftentimes, our health takes a backseat due to "burning the candle" at both ends to accomplish those material goals in life.
4. Spiritual: Often, spirituality is the last frontier explored. For many, it takes a profound life event – be it health challenges, financial hardships, or strained relationships like divorce or betrayal, or even death of a loved one to turn us towards a higher power. In this context, many seek solace and guidance from God.
In essence, while material pursuits often take precedence, a balanced/integrated life requires attention to the mental, physical, and spiritual realms. Only by addressing each of these quadrants can one truly achieve an integrated life.
Now, let’s put this into a real-life application, in this case, physical – mine.
I recently shared via social media about my participating in a meeting and shared about the importance of being disciplined and consistent.
In December I weighed 220 pounds and went from pre-diabetic to diabetic.
I told my Doctor I would do what was necessary to no longer be diabetic and to drop the weight to where it should be.
Candidly, I was confident that if I was disciplined in my efforts and consistent in doing so, I would produce results that accomplished that goal. My doctor, while skeptical, was open to my suggestion.
I developed a plan. I used My Fitness Pal to assist me. The application was very helpful in providing me a process and systematic way of tracking my food, calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein. While some would think that $20.00 monthly for using an application like My Fitness Pal is pricy, I believed it was one of the best "investments" in my life. For less than 67 cents a day, I was able to use this application and accomplish the task that I set for myself.
Fast forward, six months later, I lost 25 pounds. I went from diabetic, to pre-diabetic and now have move to being normal, where I should be. My doctor’s skepticism was replaced with being impressed. All my blood work showed vast improvement. Basically saying, whatever you are doing, keep doing it. It works.
What caused this change?
Sticking to a system, a process and being disciplined and consistent.
That means going to the gym three days a week. That means eating what I should eat to maintain my weight, my health, and not allowing myself to be undisciplined and inconsistent.
Not only is this applicable to my health, but to my family, my business, my spiritual growth and overall mindset.
Are there days I don't "feel" like doing "X"? Yes, but that is where the discipline and consistency kicks in. It's my saying to myself, do the necessary work.
I personally make it a point to focus on those four quadrants above. Every day, my goal is to live a balanced/integrated life. I no longer desire to focus on only one area, or perhaps two or even three and put, in my example, my physical "health" to the sidelines until I can deal with it later. Procrastination has never worked for me, and I am confident it hasn’t for you either.
I share this in hopes it may encourage someone who facing a challenge they want to overcome but don't think they can. I would encourage them to create or find a system, a process using discipline and consistency. Whatever quadrant of your life is lacking, there is a path to optimum living within it.
Recent photo of my wife and I visiting the Woodinville Lavender Farm.
Cooler weather, which was nice. We had an incredible time.