Updated: May 25, 2021
How do I get more out of life?
It is a question that all of us ask at some point, and for some of us it is a daily occurrence. It is the very question that is responsible for the much of what we know, love and despise about the world today, because as we dive deeper into the question we realize it is ultimately about wanting more, wanting different, wanting better. The human race has evolved to what it is today because of this search.
However, the overwhelming reality is that most people believe (largely due to clever and persistent marketing) that the answer to getting more out of life is achieved through doing more, having more, seeing more.
There is a reason why most people are rarely satisfied. It doesn't matter how many items we own, the amount of money in the bank, or places we travel to, none of that ever leads to lasting satisfaction. More often than not people continue to want more and more, trying to fill a bucket that continues to leak.
Turning your attention within.
What if the answer to getting more out of life has been within you your whole life? Hidden potential that is waiting for you to unleash it?
We are all born with a genetic code that contributes to who we are. It impacts our personality, our intellect, the skills that we can acquire, what we look like, and more. It holds the key to our innate potential.
However, human potential is unknown. We do not truly and definitively know the limits of our potential, as individuals or as a civilization.
We know that as we age and move into adulthood, our rate of learning slows. While there is strong science to validate this, I believe that there are also strong environmental factors at work.
Adulthood for many, marks the transition from growth, learning, and development, to being more structured, secure, and stable. This inherently stunts the adult pursuit for full potential. For many, the perception of their potential is defined by what they can learn or achieve before entering adulthood, at which point the mindset of "I am who I am" begins to creep in.
You full potential is waiting to be released.
I grew up as an athlete, and was blessed to have parents that taught me the importance of health and fitness. It has remained with me my entire life. As an athlete I realized early on how my training and nutrition impacted my ability to perform at my best. It ignited a passion for human performance and a pursuit to understand how to optimize it.
But it's not just about health.
In 2013, after years of helping people to improve their physical and mental health, a word changed my whole perspective on life, and the reason for my company’s existence. Well-being. Now for over 10 years as a coach, consultant, and educator, my focus has been on helping people and organizations to optimize well-being and human performance.
That’s right, a simple word like well-being, changed my life. Sometimes it seems like “well-being” is the flavor of the month and perhaps there is a reason for that, but I am yet to see, hear, or read about well-being with the conviction and clarity that changed my life.
Most people undervalue well-being because it isn't tangible, it is something that we can buy, it isn't something we get with our paycheck. It ultimately comes from the relationships that we create between ourselves and the eight major aspects (also known as pillars, dimensions or domains) of our lives.
“The key to getting more out of life is to develop a positive relationship with your well-being.”
What do I mean by developing a positive relationship with your well-being? I mean understanding each domain of well-being and how the state of each domain has the ability to influence your life in a positive or negative way. Once you understand, than you can work of nurturing a relationship that unlocks your potential and optimizes your performance.
Below are the eight (8) domains of well-being (a.k.a secrets to getting more out of life), each of which can impact on one or more of the other domains.
PHYSICAL — Do you have a positive relationship with your physical self? Do you exercise regularly, make sure you’re getting a balanced diet, get enough sleep, get regular health exams? Do you minimize use of substance harmful substances (alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, illicit drugs, pharmaceutical drugs? Do you minimize involvement in activities that have a high degree of risk?
EMOTIONAL — Do you have a positive relationship with your emotions? Do you allow yourself to feel emotions? Do you take time to understand your emotions? Do you take time to understand how your emotions impact other areas of your life? On a side note, understanding your own emotions can help you to understand the emotions of others as well.
SOCIAL — Do you have a positive relationship with those around you? Do you take opportunities to be present (in the moment) with other people? Do you allow other people to add value to your life? Do you take time to add value to the lives of others? Do you look for opportunities to spend time with others who have similar interests?
INTELLECTUAL — Do you have a positive relationship with your intellectual side? Do you make opportunities for activities that promote intellectual growth/stimulation (reading, puzzles, games, documentaries, etc.)? Do you take part in solving problems when they arise? If you don’t know something, are you willing to explore options and resources available for solutions?
ENVIRONMENTAL — Do you have a positive relationship with your surroundings? Do you understand how your surroundings influence you, and how you influence your surroundings? Do you understand the purpose and function of your surroundings? Do you care for your surroundings?
SPIRITUAL — Do you have a positive relationship with your spiritual self? Do you have a sense of meaning or purpose? Are you able to connect the things you do with a greater purpose or a reason greater than yourself? (Arguably the most important domain, it can provide guidance, direction, meaning and purpose to all of the other domains).
FINANCIAL — Do you have a positive relationship with your finances? Do you budget? Do you save? Do you invest? Do you donate? In other words, do you make wise decisions with the money you have (regardless of how much you have).
OCCUPATIONAL — Do you have a positive relationship with work/school? Do you have balance between leisure and work/school? Do you feel a sense of meaning with what you do? Do you feel challenged? Are you able to see the value of what you do? Does your work continually impact negatively on one or more of the other domains of well-being.
You might be thinking “duh”, but it is one thing to understand this concept and a very different thing to take action on that understanding.
The key to developing a positive relationship with your well-being is mindfulness and reflection.
If you truly want to see positive change in your life, you must make time to reflect on your life. More specifically, you must take time to reflect on the state of your well-being so that you can understand how you can improve it, to ultimately get more out of life!
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The easiest way to start is to try and identify what gives your life meaning and purpose. Identifying this will help to define the other domains.
We all have untapped potential to be healthier, happier and more successful.
The pathway to unlocking that potential is to optimize our state of well-being through intimate relationships with each domain.
Building those intimate relationships requires reflection, mindfulness and intention.