Reading Length: 6 minutes
1. Focus on Six Spokes Theory.
Imagine that your life has six spokes divided into: body, mind, love, work, money and play. But you need to make sure that you are not neglecting each area of your life by balancing each of the six spokes. However, the key is to balance your energy, not your time. From Darius Foroux, entrepreneur, author, and podcaster:
Sometimes we may prioritize one area over another. The most common problem is prioritizing work over everything else. To prevent myself from this, I do a weekly review and give a rating out of 10 to each of these six spokes. My next few points below will address how to take care of these six spokes.
2. Stop waiting for happiness.
In a study from University of Sydney of 14,000 people, it showed that the greatest boosts for overall wellbeing were marriage, childbirth and financial gain. However, we mistakenly believe that happiness occurs in a single positive event. What truly makes life satisfying is enjoying and appreciating the little positive things as they come in life. Cultivate more gratitude in your life and try to see the positive side of everything. As Eric Jorgenson, author of “The Almanack of Naval Ravikant” states:
I used to think true happiness will come when I find “the one” and get a high paying job. But I’ve come to realize I needed to be intentional by designing a life that brought fulfillment everyday. So I engaged in only meaningful activities to me such as taking walks outside, spending time with loved ones, playing the guitar, and dancing. I found myself with more contentment and inner peace everyday.
3. Define what happiness means to you.
Define happiness on your own terms rather than what society says. If you don’t define happiness yourself, then society will define it for you. And before you know it, you may be trapped living the life that you never wanted. You can start by first defining your own core values to live by each day. As Russ Harris, author of “The Happiness Trap” states:
I live by this quote everyday. My values are: self improvement, compassion and creativity. The activities that align with my values are taking care of my health, volunteering and blogging. If I had took action by engaging in activities that relate to my core values, then I would call it a pretty successful day which promotes more contentment within me.
4. Talk to the right people.
Try to have a conversation with someone smarter than you once a week. Depending on what area of your life you are working on, you should chat with someone who can offer some great advice about those areas. The benefits are that you get to learn more about things you weren’t aware of before. Unfortunately, not many people do this. As Scott Young, author, entrepreneur and programmer says:
5. Have a “Do Nothing” day.
This is when you remove all your social obligations in order to be present and master the art of true rest. The problem is that we are so accustomed to seeing our calendars full of work. We feel guilty and uncomfortable when we see a white space in our calendar and then try to fill in the space. We numb ourselves with activities such as checking social media, watching TV or other things. We are afraid of doing nothing. We are afraid of silence. Here are tips from Hilary Barnett, founder of The New Mystique,
- Set it aside, make it known. Plan what day it will be. Decide what your ideal day will look like.
- Don’t stress about it.
- Pay attention. Notice when you have the urge to fall back to your old busy habits.
- Listen to your heart. If something pops up like another social obligation, stop and wait.
- Spend some time in silence.
I could not be in silence at all to save my life. I started incorporating silence by taking walks outside without my phone. At first, I struggled tremendously and found my mind having random chaotic thoughts. But after a few weeks of consistent walking, I found myself becoming more present with nature. I noticed the smells and sights of my neighborhood which I hadn’t noticed before. Before I knew it, this habit became an essential part of my day for clarity and inner peace.
6. Stop the mania pursuit of More, More, More.
We’re in a society that has become drawn to quantity over quality. This deprives us of seeking for things that are truly meaningful to us. The pursuit of more can blind us to true quality. It can deprive our energy and time on meaningless pursuits.
I become a victim to this when it comes to my purchases. I can impulsively keep buying items that don’t even bring any value or meaning to my life. In the end, my house becomes full of useless purchases which only gave me short-term gratification. I end up feeling guilty, dissatisfied and discontent with the clutter in my home. The key is to constantly do self reflection in order to prevent this mania. Nir Bashan, the author of “The Manic Pursuit of More, More, More suggests you to ask:
- Why am I doing this? Reflect back on the purpose of your pursuits.
- What am I doing? Reflect back on your daily routine and actions.
7. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.
Master the art of letting things go by focusing your time and energy on things in your control. Spending too much time worrying on things out of your control can be a big time waster and silent killer on your mental health. As Richard Carlson, author of “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” puts it:
I used to stress over minor things that now seem so pointless when you consider what’s going on in the world. I stressed over heavy traffic, bills, gossip, drama and so on. Once I realized how pointless it was, I began to make progress in lightening up and letting go of these problems in my life. After all, worrying about it only extends your misery and stress. Why not just accept and enjoy life as it is?
What are ways you promote more happiness and fulfillment into your life?
Six Spokes Theory: Strategy For An Optimal Life by Darius Foroux
How major life events impact our long-term wellbeing by Arianna Cohen
How a “Do Nothing” Day Changed My Life by Hilary Barnett
The 10 Foundational Practices for a Good Life by Scott Young