Stabilizing Our Lives: The Influence of Other People
One of my friends, Sue Mickatavage, wrote me after reading my book, �Take Back Your Life!� She shared an insight it had given her and her husband, Bruce. In chapter five, I discuss how to balance your �Wheel of Life.� This wheel graphic and concept was introduced to me by Nancy Keny, a life coach, during a motivational seminar.
The eight components of your life are equal portions of the wheel. Like slices of a pie, your life contains: career, money, health, friends and family, significant others and romance, personal growth, fun and recreation, physical environment. When your life is in balance, the eight components are in equal portions. When life is out of balance, some of the components are significantly more deficient than the others. Like a wheel that is out of round, your life, when out of balance is unable to go forward. When life gets out of balance, adjustments are necessary in order to stabilize it. We need to find the sources of our unhappiness.
As you look at your wheel of life, you will see areas that are abundant, and segments that have a deficiency. If you've been feeling as if something is missing in your life, it is probably one or more of the eight segments. When a component is lacking or deficient, it causes us to be unhappy, stressful, and unsuccessful. Once you have identified the deficiency, you are in a better position to enhance your life. Now you can identify goals to achieve in order to move forward.
My friend Sue pointed out to me that wheels of life are more like gears, interlocking with wheels of spouses, members of the immediate family, friends, employers, employees, and colleagues. To the extent that our lives are meshed with other lives, we are affected by other people's instability, imbalance, and unhappiness.
For example, if our spouse works 13 hours a day, seven days a week, in order to develop a career and earn an income, we feel neglected. As a result, the portions of our wheel of life involving romance and fun may be deficient in our lives. We need to express to our spouse how their life negatively affects ours. Spouses influence each other in life. When one spouse doesn't sleep well, neither does the other. Changes in behavior will be needed in order to rebalance the lives of the couple.
Recognizing that people in our lives directly influence us, we need to become aware of relationships with imbalanced people. If when coming home from work we feel drained and tired, we need to reflect on how those around us at work are influencing us. Are our coworkers supportive and nurturing, or unsupportive, ranting, and unappreciative? It may be time to change jobs or find new friends and add more people in our lives to help us stay in balance. This will require a life style change.
As we look at all the people in our lives that affect us, we need to realize how close they are to us emotionally. For those people who influence us in a more negative way, we need to distance ourselves from them. It is important to surround yourself with people who make you happy.
It should be noted that some imbalance due to other people is temporary, because of situations that are uncontrollable. Short-term illness, seasonality of the job and resulting loss of income, job layoff, or poor performance of the stock market will eventually be resolved, bringing life back in balance.
Examine your life�s balance by drawing a circle and labeling each of the eight segments. Shade in each of the components based on the abundance of that component in your life. As you look at your wheel, see where the imbalance lies. Focus on those segments that are the most deficient and write goals. Work towards your goals. Make changes in your life style that may include changing your relationships with other people.
� Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. would like to read your comments about her column and the impact it has made on your life. She also encourages your ideas for future columns. Contact her at: Rosemarie@RosemarieSpeaks.com, or 1008 Eastchester Dr., Columbus, OH 43230-6230.
Rosemarie's new book, Take Back Your Life! is now available. It is a collection of 20 of her best articles. It is the perfect gift of encouragement and inspiration to last a lifetime. Books can be purchased on Rosemarie's web site, www.RosemarieSpeaks.com
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Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D