Updated: May 3
In my experience, and from my research, the root cause for a not-so-happy life is that your life is out of balance - out of kilter somehow.
It might be that one aspect of your life is consuming too much of your time and energy and you're not spending enough time with other aspects of your life - for example, between your work and your family and friends.
It might be that your work is not satisfying to you and lacks purpose.
It might be that you've found yourself living a life that conflicts with your deep-seated values.
A balanced life is a crucial aspect of your daily life. It is the state of being in control of your personal and professional life, managing all aspects of your life with ease and satisfaction. It is about achieving harmony between different areas of life, such as work, family, health, and hobbies.
So, this post focuses on exploring life balance a little and introducing a free tool you can use to conduct your own life balance assessment as part of a growth mindset.
Are you happy? (that question again)
Maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life is vital for overall well-being. When we feel overwhelmed by our responsibilities, we tend to experience stress and anxiety, which can lead to negative health outcomes. On the other hand, when we have a good balance, we tend to be more productive, focused, and energetic. We are likelier to have positive relationships and enjoy a sense of fulfilment.
However, it isn't easy to consider all the aspects of your life, especially when your life balance is out of kilter, and one area of your life is dominating others to their detriment, and to the detriment of your happiness.
Enter the Wheel of Life
The Wheel of Life concept was popularised by Paul J. Meyer (1928-2009). Paul J. Meyer was an American motivational speaker, author, and entrepreneur known for his personal development and goal-setting work. He founded the Success Motivation Institute (SMI) and Leadership Management International (LMI), both of which focused on helping individuals and organizations develop their leadership and management skills.
The "Wheel of Life" is one of the key concepts associated with Paul J. Meyer's work. It is a personal development tool designed to help individuals assess and improve the balance and overall satisfaction in their lives. His work dates back to the 1960s and has been used in different forms by coaches, psychologists, and personal development professionals for several decades.
The wheel is divided into different segments, each representing a specific area of life. The idea behind this is that individuals should strive for a balance between these different areas.
To use the Wheel of Life, individuals rate their current level of satisfaction in each area on a scale from 1 to 10, with one being extremely unsatisfied and ten being extremely satisfied, which they then plot on the wheel as a visual representation of their life.
By reviewing the completed Wheel of Life, individuals can identify areas that may need improvement and set goals for further work.
It is important to note that similar concepts have been used in various cultures and belief systems throughout history. For example, in Buddhism, there is the Bhavachakra, or the Wheel of Life, which is a symbolic representation of the cycle of existence and the six realms of samsara. While these concepts differ significantly in their content and purpose, they share a common structure in using a wheel as a visual metaphor to represent different aspects of life.
The Wheel of Life and Personal Growth Coaching
The first step towards achieving life balance is to define what it means to us. What do we want to prioritize in our lives? What are our values, goals, and aspirations? These questions will help us understand what is truly important to us and make decisions accordingly.
My adaptation of this concept is based on the extensive research conducted by the World Coaching Organisation – Daniel Sá Nogueira and Marta Ferreira. It comprises twelve dimensions of life, grouped into four broad categories, Practical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual.
Is your life in balance?
I invite you to evaluate your life balance using the life balance exercise from the Amberbuzz Pivot Toolbox.
To complete this exercise effectively, I recommend you take it in three parts:
Prepare your mind using a mindfulness or breathing exercise... or just find a quiet place to relax and unwind before moving to part 2
Complete the exercise (below). When you are done, I recommend taking a screenshot of the balance wheel and the goals you have identified for your records. Remember that with this version of the exercise, your work won't be saved otherwise.
Select one goal to work on in the coming weeks to start to bring your life into balance.
If you want to discuss your findings or this exercise further, I encourage you to sign up for a free coaching conversation with me.
Note for mobile device visitors: This app doesn't work so well in mobile view - I recommend you visit the site from a desktop browser in order to complete this exercise.