Tuesday, November 08, 2011
By Tom Hinton
I realize it's only November, but many people have asked me this question, "What can I do now to jump-start some of the New Year's resolutions and positive changes I want to make in my life for next year?"
It's a great question and here's my response. Over the next eight weeks, I'll be posting a series of eight brief articles that focus on each of the 8 elements in the Wheel of Life
. Since I've been teaching The Course of 10,000 Days
for the past six years, it's become clear that the primary concerns and issues facing people are related to one or more elements in their Wheel of Life. So, together, we'll explore these eight elements and, hopefully, shed some insight to help you move forward with making your next 10,000 days significant!
But, first, here's some background on the Wheel of Life. Legend has it that the Buddha himself created the first depiction of the Wheel of Life -- or Bhavacakra -- as it's referred to in Buddhism. The original Wheel of Life design adorns most Buddhist Temples.
Over the centuries, this concept has evolved to take on many different interpretations. For example, the version created by The Course of 10,000 Days
equates eight equally important elements to its Wheel of Life. In no particular order, they are: Spirituality, Relationships, Environment, Career, Money, Wellness, Romance, and Fun & Recreation.
This article will focus on Environment
. When we use the term Environment in The Course of 10,000 Days,
we mean the following: What is the living, working, cultural and growth environment you currently exist in? What's fascinating to me is that 99% of the people who enroll in The Course of 10,000 Days
have never given a moment's thought to this aspect of their lives. Ironically, it isn't until we think about retirement that the issue of Environment even surfaces. And, frankly, most people define Environment as "where they want to live when they retire." But, this is only one aspect of Environment. The bigger picture must take into consideration not only where you live, but also where you work, the people you associate with, your ability to grow and develop as a person and spiritual being, and your ability to spend time developing your talents and gifts. Now you can see why Environment is so critical to one's success in life and our ability to achieve life balance.
So, here's your assignment for this week. Take a sheet of paper and turn it sideways (landscape version). Across the top of the page, draw five columns and label each one as follows: Where I Live; Where I Work; People I Associate With; My Ability to Grow; and, How I Spend my Time.
Then, in each of the columns, write your responses to the following questions:
• What are the positive aspects of __________ [where I live, where I work, etc.]?
• What are the negative aspects of __________ [where I live, where I work, etc.]?
• What steps can I take in the next 30 days to change the negative to a positive in each of these five areas?
• What action will I take today (or the next 24 hours) to implement that change?
Here's an example of how one 52 year-old female student at The Course of 10,000 Days
Weekend Retreat responded to the question: "Where I Live?" -- Positive Aspects include:
close to my 84 year-old mother; it's where I work; I have a small circle of friends; I've lived here 33 years and know the area including shops, bank, and my church. -- Negative Aspects include:
it's cold and dreary in the winter (Midwest USA) and it's humid in the summer; I stay indoors too much because of the weather and don't exercise; I have a job but I'm not advancing in terms of pay or position; very little culture other than a movie theatre in my town; my two best friends are approaching retirement and talking about moving to Florida; my church is in turmoil because of sex scandal issues with a former minister; my company has laid off 12% of its 400 employees and I feel insecure in this economy; my two sisters live near Atlanta with their kids; I feel obligated to care for Mom since I'm the only sibling still living where we grew up. -- Steps I Can Take in the Next 30 Days include
: I'm going to start researching new places to live in Florida or Georgia; I'm going to talk to Mom about relocating; I'm going to update my resume and put out some feelers. I'm going to tell my sisters I've decided to relocate as soon as possible, which they've encouraged me to do. -- What action will I take today?
I will talk to Mom at lunch today about the benefits of moving to a warmer climate near her daughters and four grandkids; I will update my resume; I will Google similar companies in my industry to see who is hiring.
There's a great expression we use in The Course of 10,000 Days
that goes like this: "Nothing happens until you commit to doing something and then act!" What this exercise will help you do is simply that – commit to doing something and then act.
While your situation is different and unique, no one is hopeless or helpless. You can do something to improve your life and take steps to make the rest of your life, the best of your life! So, start now by evaluating your Environment! About the Author
Tom Hinton is the author of 10,000 Days: The Rest of Your Life, the Best of Your Life!
that is now available as an eBook or paperback at: www.Amazon.com Tom is a popular speaker Work-Life Balance and Personal Growth topics. He also facilitates The Course of 10,000 Days
workshops. Contact: email@example.com
San Diego, CA