Originally posted in July 2015 by Social Media Contractors
It is great if you’re buying into the idea that a well-balanced life consists of a balance of these four pillars:
- Personal Health
- A Secure Relationship
- Financial and Physical Security
- Passion For What You Do
But let’s be real, there are a ton of emotions associated with even starting to think this way. Examples being: lost.What does this really mean? Overwhelmed. OK, great, I buy it but where do I start? Self-loathing. I can see this for others but you don’t know my situation. And on and on. But, where the answers to these concerns start can be extremely simple, cheap and easy. It can happen in split second with just a slight shift in your thinking. It starts with personal accountability.
So, unless you are reading this in some war torn African country, the likelihood that someone is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to make decisions you don’t want to is extremely low. This isn’t to say you have to fully love where you currently are on your road to fulfilling the four pillars but you do have to own that it is your road and your decisions/actions have placed you exactly where you are today.
I had the good fortune to spend some time in a Buddhist monastery of exiled Tibetans just outside of Katmandu. Some of these monks had stories of horrible atrocities and epic journeys to escape China. Yet, none of them held any ill-will toward the Chinese or their situation. They loved where they were, the journey they were on, and they fully embraced where they were today and where they wanted to go. Just because they were monks didn’t mean they didn’t have dreams or goals, they did and in a big way. The biggest thing I learned from them was to appreciate where you are today, good or bad, and realize that we are ultimately responsible for our actions, we are accountable especially to ourselves. As the monks would say, “life isn’t fair, get over it.”
So, if your life is so fantastic that it’s all unicorns and pixie dust, or you are horribly unfit or dating an evil troll or buried in debt or in an awful job, guess what? The decisions you made, good or bad, lead you to where you are today. You have made your bed, but here is the secret, you don’t have to sleep in it, at least not forever. Once you begin to acknowledge your actions have impacted where you are today, you can begin to embrace that your actions can also take you to where you want to be tomorrow. Personal accountability can be a huge pain in the ass, just as it can be an unfathomably empowering tool.
So keep this in mind. No matter how bad you have it, the child soldiers of Sudan likely have it much, much worse. Just as no matter how much money or stuff you think you need there will always be a Saudi Prince who has more. What it comes down to is figuring out what success looks like for you. Not your neighbor, brother, or friend, but for you personally. Identify your success for each pillar and then start building toward that success.
Over the next few weeks I will talk about each of the four pillars in their own blog posts. Check back for those each Friday.