2019 has just begun. A new year, new dreams and a GOT final season that should kick some ass (giggling)
Vishen Lakhiani; the author and founder of Mindvalley believes it takes more than just money and good looks to be fulfilled, and that if you want to be happy in 2019, you should focus on these six areas: your friendships, adventures, career and skills, health and fitness, relationships, and your spiritual life.
His motto: “A balanced life is a well-lived one,” and here`s why:
“When you think of your life and where you want to grow, think holistically. Too many people live lives lacking in balance. They may have great wealth but lousy relationships with their family. Or they may be incredibly fit and healthy but struggle with debt. Or they may have a career filled with achievements but feel heartbroken and lonely,“ writes Lakhiani in his bestseller, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms.
Balance is a term that may not be as trending as “hustling,” but that doesn`t make it less important. Einstein, Ted Williams (the famous baseball player), Bobby Fischer and Franz Kafka were extraordinary people with great careers, but outside of that, they weren`t great models to follow.
When a reporter asked Bobby Fischer, the chess master, about how satisfied he was with his life, Fischer said, “Well, it would have been better, you know. A little more balanced . . . a little more rounded.”
You need to do well in all the areas that matter. Einstein was probably the most gifted mind in the last decade but his family life sucked. He was divorced twice, stopped visiting his son Eduard —who struggled with mental illness— for more than thirty years and his other son Hans once said, “Probably the only project he ever gave up on was me.”
If sucking at parenting was valued, Eini should`ve gotten another Nobel. He couldn`t balance his life, and I think he wasn`t the happiest.
“An extraordinary life is balanced on all levels. Thinking holistically will help you make sure you don’t end up winning in one area but losing in another. I use the Twelve Areas of Balance to help keep an even keel, and now it’s your turn,” said Lakhiani.
So what to do?
Ask more questions, seek different answers and set new goals that make life more fulfilling.
Months #1: Work on your friendships
Lakhiani believes you should have at least five people who can have your back and whom you can enjoy time with.
Sounds a lot?
Some experts suggest it`s eight not five.
Tom Rath, the author of Vital Friends: The People You Can’t Afford to Live Without believes your life needs eight types of friends:
- The Builder: Someone who can motivate your ass and genuinely wants you to succeed. Think Monica Geller.
- The Champion: Someone who always has your back and praises you especially when you`re not around. Champions are loyal, accept you for who you are and good at keeping secrets.
- The Collaborator: Someone with similar interests. The person you call to watch a game or a movie.
- The Companion: Someone who `s always there for you no matter what. He/she is the first person you call when you have an issue.
- The Connector: A person with a huge network who can get you what you want and set you up with new people.
- The Energizer: A fun friend who gives you positive vibes and can cheers you up when not in the mood.
- The Mind opener: Someone who expands your horizons and encourages you to embrace new ideas, opportunities, cultures, and people.
- The Navigator: A well-experienced friend to mentor you and keep you headed in the right direction.
Make it your mission to find one of each type and befriend them.
Questions to ask:
- What makes a good friend?
- What makes you a good friend?
- What`s the one quality you can`t have in a friend?
- Ever lost a friend? Why?
Month #2: Think “adventure”
You may ask, shouldn`t month two be dedicated to my career?
Maybe, but if you start thinking early on about the type of experiences you want to have this year, the rush of excitement will pump you to take your career to a different level— at least to fund for these experiences.
Recent studies say that spending money on experiences is more fulfilling than shopping, so this month you should think about traveling or any other experience that makes you excited.
Questions to ask:
- What are the 3 most adventurous things you want to do this year?
- Are you making time and space for adventure in your life?
- How much money do you need to save? List three things you can do to make it happen.
- Would you feel guilty if you left your job or your family to take a holiday by yourself?
Month #3: Work on your career
Job satisfaction is key to happiness. Roman Krznaric, author of How to Find Fulfilling Work believes a fulfilling career should;
- Bring you respect
- Positively affect other people. In other words; it makes you feel like you`re making a real difference
- Help you express your talents and learn exciting skills
- Be engaging: I.e., it doesn`t feel like work to you.
Unfortunately, and according to studies, more than 60 percent of US adults say they would choose a different career if they could start again. So, I guess it`s time to ask some serious questions about how happy do you feel about what you do and whether or not you need to change your career. Here are some questions to ask:
- Think of a time you felt super pumped to do something, what made you that motivated?
- Can you see yourself doing what you do right now?
- Do you feel you’re being noticed and appreciated in your career?
- What are the 3 most effective actions/habits that will take your career to a whole new level?
- Do you think you`re disciplined enough to succeed in life? If no, then what`s the one habit you think will make you more disciplined and positively rub off on other areas of your life?
- What`s the best way to invest money? How can you save and invest money so that you no longer need to work —if you wish— 10 years from now?
- What do you consider something you’re “good” at?
- What are the 3 most valuable skills you wish to learn this year?
- Are you friends with anyone who posses any —or all— of these skills? How can you learn from him/her?
- What holds you back from learning new things?
- What special abilities and character traits do you have that you feel are most valuable?
- Can you save 10 minutes each day to learn something new? If no, why not?
Month #4: Work on your family and love life
The older you get, the more you need a partner to stand beside you in bad and good days. These are some steps to follow to improve your love life this year depending on your status:
If you`re single
If you don`t have one then the coolest thing to do is to start looking. The two quickest ways to finding potential partners are:
- Go where love goes
The first thing to do if you`re tired of being single, is to know exactly where to mingle. Don`t spend the whole night in your room and expect someone to knock on your door with a tight ass and a pie of pizza (unless Hooters starts a home delivery line).
Ask yourself what type of person do I want to attract and where they normally spend time, and hang in there for at least an hour every day. You can`t fish in your bathroom tub, you`ve got to go where the fish go. Hit the gym, go to speed dates, work from a coffee shop instead of home, hit some clubs/bars…etc. If you spend the time and do the job correctly, you`ll find a handful of potential partners in less than six weeks.
- Spend some time with a connector
A connector, like I said earlier, is someone who knows everybody. Find this person and hang out with them more often. Trust me, this works.
If you already have a relationship
John Gottman, the famous relationship expert and founder of The Gottman Institute has some good tips for you:
- Share more bids with your partner
A bid, according to Gottman, is the fundamental unit of emotional communication that makes or breaks a relationship. “A bid can be a question, a gesture, a look, a touch—any single expression that says, “I want to feel connected to you.” A response to a bid is just that—a positive or negative answer to somebody’s request for emotional connection.” He says.
Your goal this month is to increase your bids with the little things that matter.
Tom Hardy the founder of SUCCESS Magazine was once talking about how he changed his marital life with he began to write one thing he loved about his wife every day for a year then he gave her the journal as a birthday gift. If it worked for him, it can work for you too.
- Get to know their world
Know as many details as possible about your partner; their likes, dislikes, old memories, and any major event in his or her history. Gottman believes happy couples understand each other`s world better than their siblings, friends and even parents.
They read each other like an open book and know everything about their lives including doubts, concerns, hot spots and even trivial things like their favorite TV show or how they like their salad.
- Turn toward each other more often
Spend your free time together, share your secrets, seek to impress them even if it makes you look silly and talk to each other when you have bad days. Your goal is to be their most favorite person by the end of the month.
Questions to ask:
- How do you define love?
- What do you expect from a romantic relationship, both to receive and to give?
- Can you trust/love someone with all you`ve got? If no, then why?
- Is your family life satisfying to you? Is it a burden or an asset to your happiness?
- What are the 3 most important values you believe a family should share?
- What`s the one thing you can do to establish these 3 core values?
- What are the three most important topics you think you should discuss with one or more members of your family?
Month #5: Your health and fitness
Every overweight person I know have tried dieting at least once in their life —and failed. Even those who`ve lost a significant amount of weight; most of them regain it back in no time, mostly because they trap themselves in the dieting mentality.
They starve themselves for three or four months and eat food they hate to death until they reach their goal. Then all the weight starts crippling back on their body as they lean towards their old eating habits
The dieting mentality doesn`t work because:
- You`ll get back to your old eating habits once you reach your goal. In case you don`t know, eighty percent of those who lose weight regain it back in less than a year.
- It`s a struggle to deprive yourself of all the food you love, even if for a couple of months. You`ll hate every moment of it and most probably quit.
The key is to stop chasing after every single diet on the planet and start a sustainable lifestyle. Find an activity that you like and build your life around it, and adjust your eating habits so you can eat the things you love in moderation.
Robert Glover, who lost a huge amount of weight and became a fitness coach and YouTube celebrity, believes that the key to a sexy body is consistency and nothing else. “Consistency is a thousand times more important than intensity. Consistency is the money when it comes to fitness whether you`re trying to lose weight or gain muscles,” he said.
For building consistency, Glover summarizes fitness in two simple rules:
- Move more often: What you exercise doesn`t really matter. In other words; any is better than none. Even if you don`t break so much sweat at first, soon you`ll improve and feel and look better.
- Eat more whole foods: Eat foods that don`t have ingredients in it or words that you can`t spell, (like eggs, chicken, fruits and veggies. Don`t count calories or jump to any diet yet. Just replace bad foods with better “whole” ones and the weight will begin to drop.
Personally, I`ve been eating one meal a day for the last 12 months. It`s very satisfying to have a huge plate of 1,500-2,000 of food, plus it gives me a wiggle room when it comes to the types of food I eat.
Questions to ask: Turn to your partner more often
- How can you enjoy what eat without getting fat?
- Why can`t you imagine yourself eating healthy and working out?
- Do you believe you’re aging well or poorly?
- How can you change your health by adding just one good habit?
- How can you change your health by removing just one bad habit?
Month #6: Your spiritual life
Experts believe that things like mindfulness, gratitude, self-love and self-compassion make us happy. In a recent study, researchers found that practicing mindfulness consistently —even for just a few minutes— increases sympathy and connection with other people.
Another 2015 study found that after six weeks of mindfully meditating, participants reported significantly greater vitality as well as less personal distress. Studies also found that mindfulness increases well-being —especially in young boys— and it can be as effective as pills in dealing with moderate sleep problems.
So, what to do?
Build your morning routine around mindfulness. Start with five minutes of meditation every morning for a month and see what happens.
Questions to ask:
- What type of spiritual values do you believe in?
- How do you practice them and how often?
- Are you stuck in models of culture and religion that hold little appeal but that you’re afraid to abandon for fear of hurting others?
- What`s the one habit you can add to become more spiritual?
- What`s the one single habit you can remove to become more spiritual?