The Four Pillars of Life: Building a Sound Foundation for Success

What is your life's foundation built upon?

What is your life’s foundation built upon? (photo via rich701)

There are four areas of our Cheap Jerseys lives that are the basis for all of our successes and failures. Keeping these four areas in balance allow you Baratas Replicas Ray Ban to lead a successful life, no matter that means to you. This balanced approach to success expands well cheap jerseys wholesale beyond just “business” or “personal” life. Baratas Ray Ban This is whole-life success; success as you define it for cheap jerseys your life, not as someone else describes it for you. Furthermore, maintaining these life areas in balance allows you to maintain long-term and consistent success & happiness.

In my last post, I shared how focusing on money in my professional life resulted in unhappiness that permeated my professional & personal lives. To summarize: I started a business and made some money. The company I started helped the community and employed people. This is what a business is supposed to do, right? Frustrated, I wondered why, as an entrepreneur, was I not happy building my successful, growing business.

I set out to analyze my life. My analysis began by assessing my life from two perspectives: cheap jerseys wholesale personal & professional. Our personal and professional lives are complicated beasts. So tightly intertwined are these areas of our lives that their separation is often in name only. Without a clear line of delineation between the two, I concluded that we cannot simply divide our lives into personal & professional segments. Furthermore, even if it were possible to identify a line between our personal and professional lives, there are elements of our lives that would exist on both sides of it.

At the time I came to this realization, I was frustrated with my own lack of progress in many areas of my life. With so many different influences upon our lives, influences that impact both our personal and professional lives, I couldn’t make a meaningful impact Negociación on my whole life by just focusing on my personal or professional life. It’s human nature to want reduce complicated ideas into easily understandable concepts. Until we identify and name these simplified concepts, we cannot effectively manipulate them.

Working Cheap nba Jerseys within the personal & professional distinction didn’t bring about any meaningful change. It was also clear that there was more to our lives than just body & mind. I set out looking for answers. I read numerous self-help books & historic texts, had deep conversations with friends & colleagues, consulted psychologists, I even listened to podcasts & watched TED talks. I analyzed my own life more deeply, writing often. I wrote down my actions every day, the influences upon my life, what made me happy and what made me fearful. What I worked on each day Cheap NFL Authentic Jerseys and what I put off until the next. What time I woke up and what time I went to sleep. Did I fall asleep in bed or on the couch? What I ate. What I bought. Did I watch TV? It didn’t stop there; I tracked many, many other daily activities, thoughts, and feelings. I eventually came to a conclusion that is so basic that it may appear to be common sense. However, if the following were truly common sense, I believe that we would be living in a world full of much happier, more contented people.

The Four Pillars of Life:

Modern society can be reduced down into just four constituent parts. These parts, or “Pillars,” of life create the foundation on which to build all other successes. I’m talking about real, personal success. Not Forbes 500 success, but actually feeling contented with hockey jerseys your success, whether or not anyone else recognizes it. This type of success can only be built upon a sound foundation of the Four Pillars of Life.

  • Mental Health: Your understanding of self and how that view of self relates to the world around you.
  • Physical Health: The health of your body, encompassing diet, exercise, and medical health.
  • Relationship (aka Interpersonal) Health: The health of your relationships with others. Not only is interpersonal health governed by the interactions that you have with others, but the people who you surround yourself with in all settings.
  • Financial Health: Our ability to purchase both the things that we need and those things that we reasonably desire.
Four Pillars of Life Diagram

The Four Pillars of Life act as the legs of the table upon which you build your goals and ambitions. If each leg gets equal attention, the legs will be the same length, providing a sturdy foundation on which to nfl jerseys china build your success. (Sorry for my poor hand-drawing!)

Each of the Four Pillars must be healthy and balanced in order to maintain a sound foundation for all pursuits in life. Our personal lives, professional lives, even spiritual lives, are built upon these Four Pillars. Quite literally, I think of the Pillars as legs to a table. It is upon this jordan retro 1 table, supported by the Four Pillars, that all of your ambitions, aspirations, and goals are built. Unless all of the Four Pillars are getting proper attention (thus, making the four legs of the table equal in length), the table will not be structurally sound. Imagine a four-legged table with two legs much shorter than the other. Or, worse, a table that is missing Fake Ray Bans a leg. Would you set anything valuable upon such a table? Of course not. However, the personal and professional lives that we all lead Marie are built upon the Four Pillars. It’s the weakness created by imbalance in the Four Pillars that leads to an unstable or unfulfilling life. However, if you Varonil have your mental, physical, inter-personal, and financial health in balance, your personal and professional lives will be much more fulfilling.

Like legs of a table, connected together by the table top, the Four Pillars all depend upon each other for support. None of the Four Pillars can exist entirely on their own:

  • If you don’t have financial health, you may not be able to afford preventative care or even healthy food to maintain physical & mental health.
  • Without mental health, your perception of self may destroy your physical health through eating disorders or obsessive exercise.
  • In the absence of interpersonal health, your financial health may be impacted by purchasing clothes, cars, watches, etc. in order to obtain a person or group’s acceptance.
  • Without physical health, you may be unable or unwilling to engage in activities with others, adversely impacting your relationship health and/or your financial health.

We all know people who place excessive emphasis on Cheap Jerseys one area of their life while neglecting others. Most commonly, we obsess over our financial health or physical health; obsessing to a point that it becomes unhealthy. Think about the miserable millionaire or the obsessive runner who drops dead from a heart attack. Regularly, we simply put too much emphasis on our finances, working long hours at our fake ray bans jobs while putting both our physical and mental health on the back burner. Often, people will overemphasize the importance of certain relationships in their lives, which leads them to seeking acceptance of people and groups in ways that are damaging. The quest for acceptance may manifest itself as drinking, smoking, skipping the gym, buying expensive cars or Fake Oakleys watches, or even calling in sick to work in order to gain acceptance cheap jerseys or “fit in” with a person or group. These examples are just a few of the oakley outlet infinite ways that lack of balance can occur. No matter how an  imbalance in life manifests itself, it can be defined within the framework of the Four Pillars.

The elements that make up mental, physical, interpersonal, and financial health are unique to each of custom jerseys us. Thus, Cheap Jordans Sale the foundation on which we NFL Jerseys Cheap build our success is unique to each of us. With such varying elements within our lives, we cannot attempt, as a society or community, to define success in the same way (i.e. money in the bank or job title). However, by keeping the Four Pillars in balance, you can get closer to achieving success and contentment, no matter what that may mean to you.


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Achieving What You Seek is Easy, But What Are You Seeking?

A screen shot of my calendar from early last year.

A screen shot of my calendar from early last year.

I haven’t done a hell of a lot in the last six months. At least not by my old standards. Sure, I’ve “worked.” I’ve consulted on a number of projects and made some investments. But I’m an entrepreneur. I don’t “work,” I build shit.

About fourteen months ago, I realized that I didn’t like what I had built. While my business served our customers, it did not serve me in the way that I wanted oakley womens sunglasses it to. This wasn’t a loss of motivation, but rather a realization that I was not living the life that I Fake Oakleys wanted to live. The only way to be true to myself, as I saw it, nfl jerseys cheap was to remove myself from the organizations and entities that I had created. The first eight months went by quickly: I sold some businesses & assets, shut down others [gasp], and settled lawsuits. I’m still cheap nfl jerseys working on selling a few assets and tying a bow on some old of relationships.

While I had built a successful business, other areas of my life were not as well off. I was fat. I was stressed. My relationships were strained. I Wholesale Jerseys didn’t ray ban sale have time to do the things that I wanted to do. On July 17th, 2013, I made the decision to implement major, meaningful Ray Ban Outlet changes to my business. It took me about eight months to convert my business into one that afforded me a lifestyle Cheap Jerseys that I wanted, rather than just make me money or feed my ego.  This was a huge realization: I finally had intentionally created a lifestyle, which is what I had wanted to do since I walked out of my last “real” job on September 25, 2009.

Then (fat) vs. Now (not fat)

I haven’t built anything in over a year. In fact, I have deconstructed what I have built. I’ve sought to understand why I built these businesses in the first place. What motivates me? What motivates others? The intention has been to create stillness, not motion.

It took a few months, but then it happened. Holy shit. I had free time.

I exercised. I meditated. I planned. I wrote. I spent time with friends. I surfed. I read books. I travelled. I am still doing those things.

As I write that, I can’t help but shake my head and laugh at myself. I now spend my free time doing the exact same things I did with my free Ray Ban sale time when I quit my job five years ago. In fact, as a drinker of the Tim Ferriss koolaid, I quit my job so that I could create a lifestyle that allowed me to do these things – it just took me five years to achieve this goal. I’ve grown immensely in the cheap Oakleys sunglasses last five years and my relationship with these activities has changed dramatically, but they are still the same activities.

What Wholesale NFL Jerseys the hell happened?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t quote my own writing from the eve of my 30th birthday: “Suffering will result from all of the best decisions that you make.” I certainly suffered, in my own way, and that changed my outlook on life. My health suffered. I often slept two hours per night, or not at all. My calendar was an obscene mess of constant meetings and calls (see the photo above, that’s a real screen shot). When I wasn’t in meetings, I was in the office.

While that lifestyle may have been necessary to teach me a life lesson, I question whether it was a necessary evil of creating success. To quote my 30th birthday post again, “Humans will always achieve that which they seek.” That’s exactly what happened: I achieved what I sought. Early on, at the beginning of my entrepreneurial endeavors, I sought to create time for myself. And that’s what I got: time. But then money got tight. So I sought to create money. When you have free time, people want to hang out with you, but they don’t help you create more free time. With money, everyone wants to help you make more of it. They will want their cut, of course, but they’ll help out.

I became fixated on money. I thought in terms of money. Everything that I did Projects required money. Buying supplies, paying electrical bills, hiring a vendor, or just putting gas in the car all required money. Time is money. So I spent more time and expected more money. I took on business partners who shared my fixation on money. I raised money from wholesale nfl jerseys investors. We hired employees and contracted with vendors. Business partners, investors, vendors, and employees were not looking to my business as a source of  free time. We had none of that. They wanted money. As long as the money was there, people would stick around. Everyone’s gauge for success was money. So guess what happened: we made money. Sometimes a lot, sometimes barely enough to pay the bills, but they always got paid.

Sure, over a beer, my business partners and I would talk about what we wanted to do with the money we made. We all wanted money for the same reason: “freedom.” Freedom to do the things we always dreamed of doing: travel, spend more time with friends and family, buy cars, homes, and watches, etc. But even when we had good money, it wasn’t enough. There’s always more to wholesale jerseys be had. When you seek money itself, you’re seeking something that is inherently a comparison to other people. The comparison Cheap NFL Authentic Jerseys to others isn’t just as simple jordans for cheap as the vain desire to have a more expensive watch than the guy next to you at Capitol Grill. No, the comparisons are more fundamental to business itself. Investors, lenders, landlords, and even customers (Kurzvideo) will compare your ability to make money to that of your competition.

Money is the ultimate yardstick. Money defines success in business. In broad terms, a successful business can be boiled down to its revenue being greater than its expenses. A failure is a business that has expenses that exceed revenue. Money is the language that we speak in business. There’s no way around it. Even if you are the most socially conscious “B-Corp” on the planet, your vendors, landlords, lenders, and investors want money. None of us want to work for money itself. We don’t stack it in our home and admire it (maybe some people do). We want the freedom Cheap Jerseys From China that the money affords us. Yet we seek money not freedom. Freedom requires money and time. However, when we have more time, we use that time to make more money, instead of enjoying our freedom. Thus, we get money, not freedom.

Let me stop for a moment. I understand that you may think that I am jaded or simply have had a bad experience in business. To the contrary, I have had cheap authentic jordans an excellent experience and I look forward to continuing in business. However, when business is boiled down to its core, it is people and their motivations. I have previously written about the Four Motivations of Entrepreneurs, and I continue to believe that this is true and accurate. However, money is the only quantifiable, consistent, and thus comparable element of business. Every business must have money. Even non-profits are analyzed by donors based upon their overhead and expenses – not just the effectiveness of the organization. Don’t mistake values or ethics for motivation: Cheap Jordan Shoes philanthropy, conservation, etc. are not motivations, but higher level values and ethics.

As I mentioned above, I haven’t created anything in over a year.  The consulting work that I have completed this year was for clients who hired me to help them make more money. I did this work because I love helping other people make money to make money for myself. This work was different from the businesses #ㅇㅇㅇ#… that I built before. I knew that the consulting gigs I had were temporary and that the money they created would allow me to have even more wholesale nfl jerseys free time in the future. (I’m still taking on the occasional consulting project)

Why haven’t I started a new business? One word: fear. Fear that I will return to seeking money at the expense of the rest of my life. I want to build a business that creates money and time (and makes the world a better place, yada yada). If the language of business is money, how does one add “time” and “freedom” to the vocabulary of business? Is it really possible to create a business that does something more than create income and expenses? There’s theories out there, and a NFL Jerseys China few people who have actually created it. But it’s not as simple as “The Four Hour Work Week” would have you believe.

Money is the means to an end. But it’s not the only means necessary. Time is also required. And then, once they are achieved, they must be applied correctly in order to create the “end” that you are looking for: freedom. Therefore you must be absolutely resolute and certain about what you are seeking and how you will apply it to create the outcome you desire.

This same dilemma occurs in nearly every element of our lives. Our relationships are tumultuous because we mistake a process for a milestone. Our health is impacted because we mistake physical attractiveness for physical health. Our minds are messed up because we seek to dull feelings rather than understand them. Hate your job? Well you probably sought it out and the fact that you’re not really looking for another one means that you have achieved exactly what you sought: staying in your shitty job. In a bad relationship? Have you really committed yourself to repairing it? Or do you just become resentful towards the other person when they don’t put in the same effort. You guessed it: you’re seeking to resent the other person, not repair the relationship. We could go on like this forever, but…

In my next post, I’ll be discussing one of the tools that I use to avoid working towards the wrong outcome. It’s not easy, but it’s immensely useful.

So now I leave you with this: What are you seeking? Is it the outcome you wish to achieve? Or is it something else, disguised as your goal?