This website espouses a specific way of living called living intentionally. It teaches you how to be happy, healthy and wealthy.
It’s easy to see why life can seem so confusing when you’re trying to improve yourself. Everyone can do anything they want, live any way they want, have any goals and dreams they want and on top of it, we each have our own unique personalities, quirks, neuroses, strengths and weaknesses. And there seems to be an unlimited number of ways to improve yourself and reach your dreams taught by many different life coaches, gurus and pop culture personalities – and many of their teachings seem to work but are contradictory to each other!
So, where do you start when the world seems like madness and you just want to be happy, healthy and wealthy?
This website attempts to cut through the confusion and bring you clarity by giving you a model that ties everything together. Let us begin.
It helps to have a way to structure the world which contextualizes how everything is related. Think of it as a map of the world and how it works. The world can’t actually be neatly organized like this but remember that the map isn’t the territory itself. The map is there to help you navigate the territory.
The first concept we’ll introduce are the Spheres. Your world can be categorized in unique spheres: your body, mind, spirit and personal finances.
There are only 5-10 things to do in each sphere that greatly increases your chances in succeeding in that area of life.
There are goals for each sphere. I say that this model teaches you how to be “happy, healthy and wealthy”. That’s a cute jingle, but the goals of the spheres are actually slightly different than that. They are:
- Body: to be healthy,
- Mind: to be equanimous,
- Spirit: to feel purposeful,
- Finances: to be without financial stress.
I feel that this is a good definition of success that is universal enough for all human beings: to be healthy and equanimous, feel purposeful and to be without financial stress.
The Characteristics of Each Goal
We’ve defined the goals of each sphere, but what does it mean to be equanimous? Or healthy? Next, we define what we mean by each of those. We’ll list out what it means and what it does not mean as a way to be clear in our definitions.
BODY. To be healthy…
… means to be at an appropriate weight for your height, to have healthy medical test results, and to have enough energy to do what you want daily.
… it means to not be overweight or do things that you know increases the chance of damaging your health or to make you die earlier.
MIND. To be equanimous…
… means to have your natural mental state be calm, centered, in the present moment and to deal with issues gracefully as they come.
… it means to not be in a constant state of agitation or anger or to be anxious about the past or constantly worry about the future.
SPIRIT. To feel purposeful…
… means to live your life with passion, excitement and creativity.
… it means to not be just living day-to-day without any direction.
FINANCES. To be without financial stress…
… means to have enough money to purchase what you want and need for now and in the future.
… it means to not be immature with your money and to just blow it on stupid stuff because you want it or to “keep up with the Jones.”
The Barriers to the Goals
OK, so now at this point, we understand that there are four spheres, each with goals and we listed characteristics of each goal. That is all fairly straight forward. Now we’ll focus on what’s stopping you from reaching those goals: the barriers stopping you from reaching your goals, the causes of those barriers and the height of the barriers.
The Cause of the Barriers
The goals we’ve listed are the same for everyone in the world. So why is the world so confusing when it comes to improving your life? It’s because the barriers to reach the goals and the causes of those barriers can be vastly different and complex for each person.
For example, someone may feel that they are where they want to be at when it comes to their mind, spirit and financial spheres but need to lose 30 lbs to reach their body goals. This is where it can get complex. It’s usually not as easy as just “eat better and get more exercise”. If it was that easy – everyone would be slim and trim!
So they’ve defined their barrier – 30 lbs. But what is causing the barrier? What is stopping them from losing the weight? They start thinking it through and realize that they eat for comfort. This leads them to seeing a therapist and starting a long journey of discovering that eating for comfort started in childhood and this was due to how cold and sternly their father treated them. They work through those feelings and find healthier ways to comfort themselves. This allows them to then focus on losing the weight by “eating better and getting more exercise”. It’s hard work but achievable and they lose the weight, achieving their goal.
The Height of the Barriers
Another aspects of the barriers is how high your barriers are. There are differences between losing 10 lbs and 100 lbs. There are differences between having a little social anxiety that makes you feel uncomfortable around people occasionally and having debilitating social anxiety that keeps you from holding down a job. It’s the same barrier but the heights are significantly different.
OK, so, we’re getting somewhere. We’ve organized the world in a way that makes sense: the four spheres, each having goals. The goals having characteristics. The barriers to reaching the goals. The causes and the heights of the barriers. Great, but what’s missing? It’s those 5-10 skills that are necessary to break through your barriers to reach the goals of each sphere. You’ll be directed to a page for each sphere to learn those 5-10 skills for each of the spheres soon. But there are some additional detail we first need to go over.
The list of skills for you to learn to reach the goals in each sphere is short and specific. For example, learning to meditate is one of the skills to learn. But the different ways for you to learn that skill, in this case meditation, is nearly limitless. These different ways of learning to the skill are called skill expressions. That’s why it seems like everyone can learn the same skill but through different means – because they can!
Formal Skill Expressions
For example, you can learn meditation by following well-defined paths such as Buddhist or zen meditation. These well-defined, well-tested structured paths are called formal skill expressions.
Informal Skill Expressions
But many people have also learned meditation on their own by doing more mundane activities ranging from fishing and mountain climbing to knitting and playing video games! Learning the necessary skills for each sphere through less structures approaches are called informal skill expressions.
Reaching vs Maintaining a Goal
All of our guidance so far has been on reaching the goals of each sphere. That takes a certain type of work. Usually, the work is simple but not easy. For example, if you have social anxiety, the goal is to lean into social interaction which naturally reduces anxiety. Again, that’s simple but not necessarily easy. And sticking with doing the necessary work daily can be challenging.
Once you reach your goal, you usually have to work to maintain staying at your goal or else you risk backsliding or developing other barriers and you’re no longer at your goal. For example, after losing 30 lbs, you need to work at staying diligent at eating right and working out regularly or risk putting the weight back on.
OK, that is the complete structure that is taught here. Let’s review it. We’ve organized the world in a way that makes sense:
The four spheres, each having goals. The goals having characteristics. The barriers to reaching the goals. The causes and the heights of the barriers. The skills necessary to break through the barriers to reach the goals. Expressing skills through either formal or informal methods. Reaching the goals and then maintaining yourself to stay at them.
The Next Steps
Now that we’ve structured the world to help us make sense of it, what’s next? Great question. We’ll explain that here.
Visit the spheres – body, mind, spirit and finance – to learn about each one. There you’ll learn their goals, characteristics and necessary skills you need to learn to reach the goals. There is also a general section that covers skills that can help you in all spheres, as well as a technology section.
In each section, there are links to formal skill expressions – websites, videos, books – that can help you achieve the goals of that sphere. The author has direct experience with all listed resources and knows firsthand that they can help you evolve. There are many different resources listed that you may find helpful, no matter your personality, tastes and preferences. This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list but a list to help you see what’s out there and what’s possible.
So, you’ve gone out and reached your goals. Congratulations! Sometimes it takes weeks to reach your goals, sometimes years or decades or a lifetime. Sometimes it’s a direct path and sometimes you stumble, fumble and bumble your way through the darkness to eventually reach success. Everyone is different and that is okay.
Living intentionally isn’t something that you do as an aside to your life, it’s the purpose of life and living itself. Life is about learning, growing, evolving and expressing yourself. Embrace it! But don’t feel like a victim, only reacting to life. Be bold! Live actively and proactively! Live intentionally! I truly hope the best for you!