The Spiral of Life
It’s not a ‘circle’ or a ‘wheel’
There are many coaches and the like out there who talk about the ‘circle of life. Dividing your life activities into varying numbers of sectors and then analysing and assessing them to give a ‘score’, often out of 10, for each life area. I’ve seen this done with anything between four and twenty sectors.
The process then is more often than not to ‘balance’ these sectors, so they all have the same score and form a circle. Do more of those with a low score and less of those with a high score – because the ‘wheel’ won’t rotate unless it’s in balance.
Life isn’t like that!
There are indeed many facets to our lives, but they aren’t all equal or supposed to be. They don’t all ‘weigh the same amount’ and we don’t put equal importance on them. More to the point we don’t want or need to put 100% effort and concentration into each one when we are engaged in it. What we need is a different measure. It’s not about ‘equality’ or ‘balance’. Not everything we do or feel or think about is at the same stage or even on the same journey. So how do we manage it all? I’ve made some references to ‘Life Management’ and this is how it works.
First, we need to identify all the different facets of life we are engaged in. They fall into four main areas which I call the four domains, an idea I learned from Mary Morrissey and expanded on. Within each domain there are an equal number of sectors – you decide what they are.
For example in the ‘Self’ domain you might choose health, nutrition, knowledge and spirituality. You can subdivide these into facets, as many as you need but to make it manageable there are usually 16 facets in each domain. There don’t have to be the same number in each sector, but most people keep it symmetrical for ease of understanding.
The process of life management starts with a set of intentions. At first there is one intention four each pf the four domains: Self – Not Self – Doing – Receiving (or results). Start n the Results domain and identify what it is you want to achieve for each of the others, then in each of those three domains identify what needs to be done to realise the intention for the domain. This means start setting goals and making plans. Some intentions may be specific to a domain, a ‘health and wellness’ intention for example. Others may require action in more than one of the three ‘action’ domains. The fourth domain which is where we set the intention is all about measuring the results of our actions against the targets we set and so it may require us to ‘go round again’ to reach our objectives.
This is where the idea of the spiral comes in. We set the intention (dream or vision whatever you prefer to call it), we do the ‘work’ and then we see what comes from it. We can then continue towards the same destination or perhaps ‘upgrade’ the intention for the next round gradually lifting our aspirations and increasing the quality of our fourth ‘Lifestyle’ domain.
We take incremental actions moving from one point in the chain to another and this makes the idea of Life Management easy. The ‘hard’ bit is in the planning. What we need to do, how much and when. How do you climb a mountain? One small step at a time – but it’s not quite as simple. To climb a mountain you need to do a lot of preparation to establish a base camp with everything you need for the job. Then you’ll plan and establish other ‘camps’ or ‘milestones’ on the way until you get to the point where you can make the ‘final assault’ on the summit.
(Thanks to my coach Phil Olley for the mountain idea)
I’ve only covered a fraction of the concept of Life Management so in the next few weeks I’ll announce a free webinar to fully explain how this works.
In the meantime, examine this diagram illustrating what I’ve been talking about!
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