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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

How the 5 Pillars of Life Help You Achieve Balance in Life

How the 5 Pillars of Life Help You Achieve Balance in Life

Have you recently had the chance to pause, take a look at where you are in life, and consider your current aspirations or values? Everyone has different priorities and milestones they want to accomplish. We call these goals our pillars of life.

When imagining a pillar, you might picture structures that hold up a house or make up a grand entryway for a building. The pillars of life can be thought of similarly. They are foundations that exist to guide us and give us stability. If you feel uncertain about the future, consider striving to build 5 pillars of life: career, money, love, purpose, and enthusiasm.

Through these tangible coaching tips, you will be able to strengthen your pillars and achieve more balance in life.

1. Define Your Career Goals

Maybe you take pride in having worked for the same company for twenty years, or perhaps you finally followed your heart and started your own nonprofit. Having a career does simply mean committing yourself to a nine to five job. It could be contributing to any organization, as an employee, volunteer, or owner. It is all about taking our desire to learn and making an impact. We do this by giving energy to the business side of ourselves, utilizing our troubleshooting skills, and defining our work ethic.

Everyone has slivers of a career in their daily lives. Stay-at-home parents are in charge of the bills for the house, a college student might volunteer on the weekends, and a restaurant employee could be working to become a manager one day.

If this pillar is not as strong as you desire or you are looking to switch gears in life, consider going back to school. It is never too late to earn new credentials or certifications, even online. If you feel like you have lost your compass when it comes to your career, take a survey or personality test that will help determine what profession best suits you.

For example, donating time or resources to a cause you care about may lead to discovering a gift for fundraising or communicating with people. From there, the opportunity for a career change might grow. If you are currently an administrative assistant but aspire to move into management, try shadowing your boss to learn how they became a leader.

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Once you define your career goals, you will feel more clarity and balance in pursuing your aspirations.

2. Allow Money to Work for You

Becoming a millionaire does not have to be a goal, but money is an important pillar in life. It pays for the essentials and allows us to achieve milestones, such as buying our first home, saving for retirement, or taking a dream trip.

Money also helps us provide for our kids, pets, and ourselves in whatever way we desire. Consider what your financial needs are for you to feel comfortable in life. How much money you need or what you do with it is up for interpretation. You might want to live a frugal lifestyle and only spend on necessities, or maybe you spend money the minute you get it. Either way, there is value in respecting money because you will find good things come your way when you are deliberate with your funds.

If you stash away five dollars into a piggy bank every month, one day you will be thankful when your savings amounts to hundreds or thousands of dollars. You could also look into the retirement plans available at your place of employment. See if they have incentives that make you want to save more, which will give you peace of mind for the future.

Some people work an extra job on the weekends because they enjoy having added spending money for fancy dinners or they are saving up to start their own business. If you are a parent, consider teaching your kids the significance of money, which encourages them to work harder to earn things they desire. Money not only allows us to achieve our goals, but it also motivates us to be proactive.

When you define what your money pillar looks like, you have an anchor to hold on to that keeps your financial life balanced. You will discover that when you value money, it will grow and work for you.

3. Discover Variations of Love

We all have that desire to nurture and bond with someone or something. Loving and being loved by family, a significant other, a friend, or a four-legged buddy is a warm feeling that we all appreciate.

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Love comes in many forms, and you can decide what kind you want to work on or pursue. The type of love you desire might be unconditional, passionate, camaraderie, or nurturing.

When you think of the unconditional love in your life, ponder what characteristics make up these relationships. If you have ever gotten into a heated argument with a family member one night then greeted them in the morning as if nothing happened, you are familiar with unconditional devotion. It involves being forgiving, taking the high road, and realizing that you would rather see the other person happy than be right.

Passionate love could be allowing yourself to cultivate activities you are zealous about. Perhaps you have a passion for cooking, and making dinner for friends and family is your way of expressing this kind of love.

Camaraderie involves an exchange that is enriching and builds each other up. Simply asking a friend how they are doing can build companionship.

Finally, there is nurturing, which is focused on growing and caring. To nurture and be nurtured improves our lives and makes the journey richer. You can nurture a child, pet, friendship, or an organization that is meaningful to you.

The qualities you value in relationships and the type of affection you want to give and receive is completely up to you. Relationship goals can be achieved in many ways, like signing up for a dating app. While you may be skeptical, being vulnerable and putting yourself out there may lead to finding the love of your life. You might reach out to old friends and discover the chapter you thought was over is actually wide open again.

Setting up a weekly lunch date with your mom is another important way to show love. Our parents are not here forever, and taking the time to get to know details about their life is priceless. Even spending more time with your pet can fill you with warmth. Pets look at us like we are celebrities, and all they want is a tummy scratch, treat, and to play, so show them as much affection as possible.

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When you invest time in people and love, you will feel more confident and connected in life.

4. Tap Into Your Purpose by Leaving Your Mark

Another key to achieving balance in life is having a purpose or a sense of intention. Having a sense of purpose is key to establishing sturdy pillars of life. This does not just mean attaining a specific career or financial goal—it can be having an idea of the type of mark you want to leave on the world.

This aspect of purpose comes in micro and macro levels. On a small scale, you might find that your purpose is to treat people with kindness or be a team player. On a larger level, your purpose could be living out your ideal vocation, whether it means being a teacher, parent, writer, or entrepreneur. You may vow to do one selfless act every day or strive to be the first person in the family to own their own business.

Considering how you want your friends and family to remember you is a vital aspect of what purpose means. Maybe you want to be known as someone who always has a smile on their face or as the go-to person people count on. If so, this means your life purpose is bringing cheer to people and being a giving friend.

The beauty of having a purpose is that it can shift. The goal you are focusing on now might be completely different from your goal in five years. Perhaps your current purpose is getting your dream job and buying your parents a new home. Later in life, your purpose might be volunteering once retired.

No matter what, when you have the motivation to get out of bed every day, it is easier to feel stable and maintain a clear direction in life.

5. Find Your Enthusiasm

Life can become mundane if we do not have activities or hobbies that spark enthusiasm within us. Try picturing a vintage car versus a new, shiny one. Some people love the charm and history of the old one, while others appreciate the high-tech aspects of the new one.

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Both of these people have an enthusiasm for life, just different perspectives. So, now is the time to figure out what excites your spirit. Enthusiasm is an important pillar of life.

Are you someone who cherishes memories and creates detailed scrapbooks for your family? Or are you a cheerleader for people and work to help others achieve their dreams? By journaling and discovering what others admire about you, you begin to see what is possible and define the direction and story of your life.

While not everything we experience is exciting, it is invigorating to feel a sense of personal growth. Even arriving at a place where you no longer feel it necessary to live up to someone else’s standards is a big leap.

As you mature, you experience the wear and tear of life, but throughout it all, you can focus your enthusiasm on different activities and hobbies. When you are going through a difficult time or feeling uneasy, putting energy into spirituality or passions will make you feel more calm and centered.

Final Thoughts

The pillars of life allow us to achieve balance by giving us anchors to grasp when the waves of life rock the boat. These pillars can be continually developed and strengthened. A table won’t function properly when one leg is three feet tall while the others are six. The goal is to create sturdy pillars and a solid foundation.

Also, pillars evolve as our circumstances do. You can value the vibrancy of new pillars while respecting the older ones. Keep in mind that you are on a unique journey, so your pillars might look different than your best friend’s.

Remember that we are all supporting each other. As you strive to construct your pillars, learn from people who have built theirs. It may take a lifetime to perfect your pillars, but the act of creating a path you desire will give you newfound clarity and confidence.

More Tips to Improve Your Pillars of Life

Featured photo credit: Patrick Schneider via unsplash.com

More by this author

Nancy Solari

Nancy Solari is an accomplished CEO, life coach, and motivational speaker.

How to Start Journaling for Self- Development (6 Simple Ways) How To Take Back Your Life When Things Get Out of Control How to Commit to Self-Development for Continuous Growth How to Find Joy in Life During Difficult Times How the 5 Pillars of Life Help You Achieve Balance in Life

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Last Updated on February 17, 2021

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

Do you ever find yourself telling a friend or colleague that you’re “so busy” whenever they ask how you’re doing? Or, that you “have a lot on your plate and hardly have any time for yourself”?

These are common answers to the question: “ how are you doing?”. Perhaps you see it as an easy response that doesn’t need much explanation.  Or, it could be that you’re in disbelief at the end of the week, wondering where all that time went.

The reality is that time is precious and waits for no man. Yet, many of us unconsciously squander time away; but when  that realization kicks in, it’s often too late, or you have little time left to spare. And, the end result of what you were going to accomplish either gets short changed or fails altogether.

Think about the time when you had to be up early for an important meeting at work; yet, the night before you were up late binge watching a TV series. You ended up waking up late the next morning and had to rush to work, leaving you flustered and not well prepared for the meeting. Did you really have to watch those TV series late into the night? Or could you have used that time for an early rest?

Or, what about  that time you had a deadline to meet, and you spent every night that week working late to complete the project. Did you really have to spend every night working late at the office? Or could you have prioritized your time better and gotten the project done during your typical work hours?

I’m sure we’re all guilty of not spending our time wisely at some point in our lives.

But let’s not focus on the time that has already been spent; instead, let’s look at how we can prioritize and leverage the time that we still have!

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How to Leverage Your Time

Going back to the age-old battle of Quantity versus Quality, which do you think matters more? What if I told you that you need not worry about how much time you have left–instead, focus on how you’re making use of the time that you do have so that it’s worth many more valuable moments in the future?

That’s right. You can easily multiply or invest in the time that you have now. This way, you’ll reap many more returns in the future, instead of merely spending time at present. And, one simple way of investing in time now–so that it becomes quality time– is to Prioritize.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before. It isn’t new. Yet, how many of us actually intentionally sit down to prioritize daily tasks and responsibilities? Even less likely, how many of us know a method that can help us effortlessly decide what is important enough to take up an hour of time, and what can be skipped?

Here’s an important skill I want to introduce to you:

Determine Value in Any Task or Action

Before you can decide on what to prioritize, you need to know just how important that action is.

Value is what you gain from an action that you take. It’s the benefit you’re getting in return for spending your time. Sometimes, the Value is immediate or short term; other times, it‘s only realized in the long term.

So when you invest in time, you’re actually creating future value for the time you put in now. Usually, the benefits are not immediate and will take time to manifest. But once they are realized, they are enjoyed over a long period of time.

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Reduce Time Expenditures

Time expenditure on the other hand, creates short term benefits at the cost of your current time. Usually, the benefits are quickly enjoyed, but are one-off. So once it’s done, it’s gone.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your tasks are automatically prioritized by your brain. Some tasks can get you closer toward your goals, while others don’t really get you anywhere at all. Outside of work, most people seldom plan out their tasks deliberately, which allows  them be driven automatically.

This is where you end up feeling ‘busy’ all the time because some of the actions that you’re doing don’t necessarily align with what you want in the future. The consequence is that we spend a lot of our precious time on wasteful time expenditures, and far too little on time investments.

This causes a lot of people to be stuck in the same loop, day after day, month after month, year after year.

By simply determining the value of your daily actions or tasks, you’ll already be intentionally prioritizing at a much more efficient rate. This will not only reduce time expenditure, but increase time investments that you’ll be able to use in the near future for much more important areas in your life.

Let me paint you a scenario. Say you’re going on a week long vacation to Australia. It’s your first time travelling to Australia and there are so many activities you want to do, sights you want to see, and restaurants and eateries you’d like to visit .

All this research can get pretty overwhelming and you may not know where to even start! Do I book a hotel first? Or get my flights? But what if I decide on a specific  hotel and realize it’s far away from all the major attractions? Should I then look up what attractions I want to visit first? This list can go on!

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In order to not get overwhelmed or over plan your trip itinerary, here’s where Determining the Value of each action or task can help you Prioritize effortlessly.

Start with Your Intention

What is the purpose of this vacation? Once you know the purpose of this vacation, you’ll be able to list down a bunch of tasks or actions–such as booking a hotel, booking flights and land transport, booking tickets to certain attractions, making reservations for restaurants, etc.

Once you’ve compiled your list, the next step is simply to categorize them into 3 criteria:  

Must haves, Should haves, and Good to haves.

Must haves are tasks that are absolutely critical to achieve the objective, and should take top priority for resources and time.  

The Should haves are important but not critical; leaving them out may lessen the impact of your outcome.

And, the Good to haves are just optional. Not having them  won’t affect the outcome of your goal.

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Once you’re able to sort out your list according to these 3 criteria, you’re already one step closer to prioritizing effectively and spending quality time on those Must have tasks. And, this will be a game changer. You’ll be able to easily communicate what you are spending time on, and you’ll find that you have more time to spare because it’s crystal clear what’s worth skipping out on!

This can be applied to any aspect of your life, whether you’re a full-time working professional, stay at home parent, or working parent. If you’ve ever used the expression “I’ve been so busy” when talking to someone, then I’ll recommend you give this a shot.

Make use of this free guide Create More Time Out Of a Busy Schedule to help you prioritize your everyday demands and align them with your life intention. You will be guided to identify your must haves, should haves, and good to haves with this guidebook. Grab your free guide here.

Quantify Your Tasks

Now that you know how to determine the Value of your actions spent, the next step up to effective Prioritizing would be to quantify your tasks so that you can objectively decide which is more important. This is especially useful when you have multiple items within each Must have, Should have and Good to have criteria.

Quantifying your tasks by assigning a value will allow you to objectively see the importance, making it easy for you to know which task to work on first. This way, you can be assured that the time and effort that you’ve put into is quality.

Final Thoughts

Time management is only one piece of a bigger puzzle of change that you can go through, to turn your life around and find more fulfilment. Often, when you find yourself going through an obstacle or limitation in life, it’s not just because of one flaw or a one off decision you made.

It’s often a process and a result of many actions that resulted to where you are now, and so you should go deeper to reflect and see how things can be done differently.

Learn more time management tips:

Featured photo credit: Marten Bjork via unsplash.com

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