We all want to make improvements in our lives. We may want to make more money, have more fulfilling relationships, grow in our career, or simply be happier. We carry a fantasy about what we are really capable of if we could only achieve our true potential. I know I can visualize exactly what it is I want out of life. I know what I would be doing, where I would be living, and the impact I would have on the world. What do you see when you picture you ideal or best self? As much as this is an energizing and inspiring consideration, it’s possible that along the way we’ll run into obligations and responsibilities that conflict with our passions. When it seems like we just can’t make significant strides toward our goals we may begin to limit and squelch our belief in what is possible. We might think it’s too difficult, sell ourselves short, and believe we could never get there. This makes sense, as it can feel overwhelming to keep up with all the different areas of our life. We have family responsibilities, work duties, exercise, and personal growth we’re trying to keep up with. Though in order to live a truly fulfilling and balanced life we need to devote time and energy to all major aspects of our life, and begin to set the bar a little higher each time we revisit them. We all have room to grow, whether it is in relationships, emotional well-being, physical health, or spirituality. We can make strides to better ourselves in each of these areas little by little. There is no need to feel overwhelmed. It’s about creating a habit of success by consistently make small positive changes in all areas of our life. This means not compromising our family life, for our professional life, or not neglecting our health for the sake of financial freedom. There may be times when our professional or financial domain is a priority, however when this infringes on our family and relationships, being able to come back and reach balance is crucial to keep our life healthy and our values in line. When we learn to set the bar higher in each of our life domains we gradually get closer and closer to realizing our potential. I certainly don’t want anyone to think that finding balance while making personal progress is about perfection or sacrificing our personal morals or values. It’s not about pushing ourselves to do more and more or to have more and more, but is about transforming our self-concept in order to recognize our potential. It’s about finding a blend between ambition and contentment. To achieve true balance and live a life of ultimate integrity the capacity to see a clear vision and set goals in many domains is necessary. So, to start raising your set-point, uncover the overall vision for your life and how you want to live. Once you have established this, begin to set simple goals in each area that you can work toward. Here is a basic exercise to get you started. On a scale of 1 – 5 with 5 being the most and 1 being the least, rate how much effort you put into each of the below categories. If you score less than a three in any domain, this may be a place to start raising your set-point. This means you recognize you are capable of more. Emotional
- Do you have emotional balance?
- Are you empathetic?
- In control of your emotional responses
- Peaceful, joyful, and open to new experiences
- Have positive self-regard
- Able to cope with adversity
- Feel confident in your ability
- Are autonomous
- Optimist and hopeful about your future
- Do read at least 1 book per month?
- Have healthy debates to expand your knowledge
- Are you coachable?
- Are you discerning?
- Are you a critical thinking and able to make important decisions?
- Do you exercises at least 3 times a week
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day
- Get 6-8 hours of sleep
- Have good eating habits
- Good overall health risk management
- Do you have a strong relationship with God?
- Seek truth
- Sharing with others
- Developing strong moral character
- Do you regularly meet with others to talk and have fun?
- Understand each other’s love needs
- Are you totally committed?
- Are you understanding?
- Scheduled family meals
- Scheduled family vacations
- Involved with children’s lives
- Able to manage conflict
- Do you explore unlimited possibilities
- Desire high value
- Seek excitement and passion
- Remain energized
- Do you have financial peace of mind?
- Able to engage in joyful giving
- Use a financial planner
- Feel stable/secure
- Debt-free except house
So, with all of these areas in mind where do you score the lowest? What is the primary area you could raise your set-point in? Some of these domains probably stood out with significant areas for improvement. Just set small and steady goals to get you started. Think of things you can do on an ongoing basis to make up the deficiency in this area. Set some clear and realistic goals to start working on, but don’t sell yourself short for the long-run. As well, where do you feel very strong and successful? This may be an area you’re satisfied with currently and haven’t considered making strides in. Though remember that a little progress here and there adds up over time. Finding balance within these areas requires effectively and efficiently being able to manage your growth and development. It’s about being content as you pursue your calling and potential, though not necessarily being satisfied. The moment you become satisfied is the moment you cease to grow as a person. You may have been living at the same level for much of your life without giving it much thought. With a little more willpower, motivation, and inspiration you could easily transcend your current level if you desire. Don’t hold back when you feel ready to raise the bar and push your set-point higher. Once you raise your set-point you’re at a new level, and all you have to do is make efforts to remain balanced and make consistent progress. Stay patient and persistent as you reach closer and closer to your potential. Photo credit: Shandi-lee