How often do you find yourself thinking you would be happier if you:
- Had a better job?
- Earned more money?
- Had better relationships?
Any one of these things, and more, definitely contribute to your overall happiness, or contentment, in life. However, none of them in isolation will be the answer. So while it’s easy to focus on the job, the income, the significant others and/or family members, there are a few more things I encourage you to take into consideration when looking at how happy you are.
The Wheel of Life
In my coach training, I was introduced to the concept of the “Wheel of Life”. It’s kinda like a trivial pursuit pie, with eight segments that are interdependent on a variety of levels. Each of the segments focuses on an area of your life that will either add to, or detract from, your overall happiness. Here’s the list of segments:
- Family & Friends
- Significant Other/Romance
- Fun & Recreation
- Personal Growth
- Physical Environment
When you consider each of these areas of your life, what thoughts came to mind? Did you find yourself smiling about some areas and having a tear in your eye in others? Have you had a light-bulb moment already around which area you want to focus on?
Now, within each segment, draw a more solid line at the point where you would score yourself out of 10 on how well you are doing in that area. Chances are, you have a wonky wheel. You may have drawn your line a 8 for health, but at 3 for fun & recreation. Maybe you’re at a 9 on the career front, but a 1 on the significant other/romance segment.
Now you know how wonky your wheel is, you are in a position to see how you can balance it out to find your happy.
Getting the Balance Right
Where did you see any inter-connectivity for you? For me, personal growth and career are closely related. Having been unemployed a few times over a short period of time, money and fun & recreation became linked. Where are the links for you? What do those links tell you about some of the decisions you make?
As I learned through my coach training, finding the right balance between these different elements of life is key. If you are anything like me, you may have scored some of them close to 10 out of 10. Others were probably closer to a 1 or a 2! My first wheel was really wonky! I was really happy with some areas of my life, and in others not so much. But what was great about that is it allowed me, and hopefully you now too, to know where my focus needed to be.
When I scored myself as a 3 in significant other/romance, what did that look like in reality? What would 10 look like? Could I imagine the 10? What would happy look and feel like at 10?
Being currently single, it was clear to me that 10 would be a relationship with someone who I enjoy being around, who takes an interest in my thing (my curiosity for the world around me, coaching, leadership development) and I in his thing (fill in the blank!), even if we don’t fully understand why those things are so interesting for each other! It would be to have regular date nights with a plan to look forward to, getting dressed up, and tech-free. I could go on, but you get the picture!
So why did I score it a 3? Well, I’m doing the online dating thing, going on first dates, and being eliminated as much as I’m eliminating. So I’m working on it, but progress is slow and it feels like I’m a long way off from the 10 right now.
But if I’m at a 3 now, then what would make it a 4, or a 5? Great coaching question! Here’s where it’s going to take more effort from me to be closer to happy in this area of my life.
To get to the 4, or even the 5, I’d need to think about doing something else, something more, to influence my satisfaction with this area of my life. I started to reach out to guys rather than waiting for them to contact me. I said yes to first dates even when I wasn’t so sure about him. I used some of my coaching skills to try to have a more interesting conversation. Has it worked? Not yet. Am I closer to my 10? Not sure. But at least it feels like I’m doing something. What does 6 or 7 look like? For me, that’s when I’m just dating one person and seeing where that takes me.
So what does your 10 look like in some of your lower scoring areas? What do the next one or two notches look like that will move you closer to the 10? What plans are you willing to put in place to start moving towards your 10? If you are not sure, this is where a coach can come in really handy for you. If you are interested in some help and support to get you closer to your 10’s, contact me to see how we can work together to bring you more happiness in your life.