From the richest among us to the poorest, we all feel lost time, as if we are living an unfulfilled existence. There is no pill or motivational technique that can help us get into the right frame of mind. At the end of the day it’s upon you to properly evaluate your life and the person you have become; past, present, and future, where you are least and most satisfied, and what the implications of change will do to other aspects of your life.
All of this can be done by simply understanding the life wheel, how to use it to help you make rash judgments, and being open minded by taking self-evaluation tests like ones for personality and career. Most motivational speakers and life coaches will use the life wheel as a tool to only consider how satisfied you are with your present life, I think that’s step four. you must first evaluate the traits you have; secondly, reflect on the past so you can better understand how you evolved to the person you are today; third, break out the categories that embody who you are; fourth, evaluate your satisfaction; fifth, assess improvements and change where you see fit based on who you are and your passion; last, make sure that the changes and improvement you make fall in line with the life wheel you created.
The first and most important thing you must do is self-reflection and evaluation. By taking the personality and career test you can get online, you understand better what traits are strongest and what are weakest. You also see how these traits correlate with the career path you have chosen and the one that might best suit you if you ended up on a different path. I personally like the Carl Jung and Isabel Myers’ personality test. Answer the questions honestly, and don’t take it just once, I have taken countless tests, in various state of mind and have always come out as an ENFP (Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving). Long story short, ENFP’s are “idea” people and “people” people, everyone tends to like us and we like them back, we are friendly outgoing folk who see everything and everyone as part of a cosmic whole. We tend to have short attention spans when it comes to both career paths and relationships. I knew most of the traits I read on ENFP’s, but some I read surprised me, and after some reflection, I could see that I had those traits.
Once you have gone through the process of evaluating the traits you possess, it’s time to reflect on your past and see just how these traits have evolved over the years. The best way to go about this is to write your story down in the form of a timeline using the most memorable moments, both good and bad. Trying to reflect in your mind tends to be very disorganized, one minute you’re thinking about something in your youth then you’re thinking about tomorrow dinner party. Write everything from the beginning to present, how you reacted to good and bad moments, your decision process emotions throughout your growth, were you a quite kid or outspoken etc..
As you write, you’ll find yourself reflecting on moments that impact you to this day, to the point that you wonder if that had not occurred would I have been any different. Example, reflecting on my life I realized that the reason why I have deep seeded commitment issues to love interests is due to my family pounding in my head since youth I had to marry a Muslim woman (my family is Muslim), and 2 other situations that caused me to distrust that happened at an early age (you can read about those in my Post “A Destiny not yet fulfilled”). While the ENFP in me wants companionship, the circumstances in my life taught me to suppress those traits. Now that I have a better understanding of why I can’t seem to find love, I am able to better assess its importance to me and how it works within my wheel.
Now that we understand all our traits and the evolution they took throughout our life, we can now break down our life wheel into categories. The life wheel can be broken down into many categories or you can do what I do, and simply lump some together. Online, you will find many examples, some that have 3 sections (money, relationships, me) and some with as many as 20, I prefer to work with 6; Relationships and love, Spirituality, career and finance, family and friends, health and wellness, and self-improvement. Don’t let anyone ever tell you, you can only do it that way or this way, you know yourself better than anyone can ever understand, get the tools needed and allow yourself to grow. Even a psychologist isn’t really the one who gets you to some epiphany about your life, he/she is just a stranger that you can talk to who will not judge and listens as you delve into your life and the aspects that revolve around it. They are there to guide you and keep your thought process flowing on a timeline while simultaneously having you reflect on your emotions as they throw in random opinions, something, in all honesty, you can do using a life wheel, and posting your story and questions on our blog or using the many other informative sites out there.
Once you have broken down your life wheel into the categories most important to you, you’ll write them on the outside of the wheel starting with what you believe is most important to least. Draw 10 more circles inside the wheel and number them starting with zero, it should look like a target when complete. Within the target, you will highlight the line that most represents how satisfied you feel about a certain category, zero being the lowest and 10 the highest. You now have a clear picture about how satisfied you feel about the most important and least important aspects of your life. Don’t worry if you’re all over the place, just means you have more space to create balance.
The last part of your life wheel is to pull all phases together so you can properly assess and make changes and improvements. I don’t have to tell you, but this is by far the most difficult part of the process, but if you did everything else you are ready. Say hypothetically you mark everything a 10 but love and career are both under 5. Through the various online assessments, you have an idea of what career paths you’re best suited for and through reflection, you should have realized a path you always wanted to go (if not, contact me and we can go through it). In my life, I ended up in finance, but through online assessments and reflection, I came to the realization that I enjoy helping people and I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. By understanding that I quickly realized why I was unhappy, and looked to make a change. Same with love, I realized I had commitments issue due to family values and experiences in my youth.
At this point, you have come to a few realizations about your life and where the change or improvements are most needed. We now must apply the changes or improvements to our wheel and reflect on the impact it would have on other categories. Within my life, a change in career would have a major ripple effect; it would hinder my ability to help my parents financially, it would cripple my personal finances, I could not be as outgoing and social to conserve funds, and I would have to scale back on the hours I spent with friends and family.
Now that I have listed what the effects are, I can begin to plan for them so I can Move forward with my career change. I had my brother and sister to cover some of my parents financially, I found freelance opportunities that would allow me to still concentrate mainly on my new career path while giving me some income, I spoke to my family and friends about my goals and they understood that I would not always have the time for them, and I set time on weekends where I can enjoy social events.
By understanding your wheel of life and the changes and improvements needed to find happiness and balance, it puts you in a better situation to move forward with your dreams. Sitting there and just thinking about reacting will never work, you have got a pen and paper or computer and start seeing the words in front of you. Thinking about the changes you want to make brings all these emotions like fear and confusion, by writing everything down and seeing it through your eyes logically, you’re in a better position to react. The steps I have given you are just a guide and how I went about it to find my calling in life, you can follow my way or use it as a guide and build your own strategy to happiness. Again, trying to process everything in your head will only lead to frustration and ultimately a failure, so go through the process find your way and share with us on how it went.