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For most people, a perfect life is a balanced life.  It’s when you satisfy your wants and needs in all areas of life.  In this article, I will cover the 8 key areas of life. This will provide a foundation to help you design your perfect life.

You will learn why it’s important to set goals in each area of life and what could happen if you don’t!  I’ll then cover each of these 8 life areas in detail. I’ll also give you some ideas and suggestions to help you improve each of these areas of life.

I also score myself for each of these 8 life areas. You might find my scores interesting and revealing! I encourage you to score yourself too.  This is an important first step to creating a balanced life.  A life where you feel happy and fulfilled.

I’m a big believer that you’re either improving or going backwards in all the major areas of life. You never really stand still.

Also, you will be happier when you’re intentionally focussing and working on all the key areas of your life. It helps you put yourself first rather than other people. It ensures that one area of your life such as your career does not take over.

These 8 areas of life work best for me. However, you can change these slightly, to fit in with your culture or values.

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Career or Business

So the first area of life is career or business. You will probably work in a career or business for 40 or more hours a week. So you want to make sure it’s something that is fulfilling, enjoyable, and that challenges or stretches you.  You want a career or business that meets your values, interests you and helps you become a better person.

Ideally you want to have a great company culture, wonderful people to work with that may become your friends too. This includes a supportive and understanding manager that stretches and challenges you.

I’ve had jobs in the past that have not been enjoyable. Jobs where I struggled to relate to my work colleagues. For me, this negatively influenced my friendships, intimate relationship and my mindset when I wasn’t at work. So when your job or career does not meet your needs, it can affect other areas of your life too.

If you’re running a business, you want to ensure that the business is growing and improving and that you’re getting better at being the business owner and entrepreneur.

Regularly check key metrics to ensure that you are on the right track and that your business is growing in the way you want it to. You want to have a great reputation and feel proud of what you do.

My Score: 8

I put a lot of time, energy and focus into my career and business. However, I value other aspects of my life and make time for them as you’re about to find out.

Health & Fitness

I believe that health and fitness are significantly different, so I’ve split this area of life into 2 sub-areas.  You can look very fit on the outside but have poor health. Or you can be healthy on the inside, without being strong, flexible and in great shape.

Health

Health is about what you eat, drink, the quality of your sleep and how you deal with stress.

Do you have any destructive habits in this area? Perhaps it’s comfort eating, or drinking too much alcohol.

When destructive health habits go unchecked, they gradually affect your health in subtle but very predictable ways. The effect of a poor diet on your health over a 10 or 20-year period is very certain and predictable.  Chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes are very likely to happen when you have poor health habits that continue for years. Anything you do (or don’t do) consistently will have predictable results on your health. 

Long-term continuous and prolonged stress can dramatically affect your health. Your body is very well equipped to deal with short-term stress, through the fight-or-flight response.  However, when this stress continues unchecked, this can put your health at risk.  For some great ways to reduce stress, I encourage you to read this article.

Fitness

This falls into three categories.  First, cardiovascular fitness, which increases your energy. It’s good for your heart, circulation and it forces you to breathe fully. Second, strength or weight training to help you become a stronger person.  Finally, stretching, yoga or pilates to increase your range of movement and become more flexible. 

My Score: 6

My diet is pretty good. I eat mainly whole foods. I drink some alcohol, but not much. I normally get 8 hours of good quality sleep most nights.  Fitness is more challenging for me.  My cardiovascular fitness is good as I walk a lot. However, I struggle with strength training and flexibility.

Partner or Intimate Relationships

If you’re single, this is about getting a partner. If you’re in a relationship, this is about keeping your partner. So let’s start with finding a partner.

Finding a Partner

This isn’t completely within your control. However, there are lots of things you can do to increase your chances of finding the right person. Start by knowing what you want in a partner. What would your ideal partner look like? What would their values be? What mental, emotional and spiritual qualities would this person have? Write this all down and visualize it regularly. I did this in my twenties, and it really worked for me!

Then take action. Go on dates, join clubs, go to places where your ideal person might hang out. Use internet dating. Practice talking to new people daily. The more people you meet, the sooner you’ll find the right person for you.

Keeping Your Partner

If you’re in a relationship and you want to keep your partner, then prioritize quality time together. This could be a weekly date night, or a weekend away once a month.

Remember the romantic things you did when you first met and start doing these again. Buy flowers, surprise presents or treats.

Communication is super important in a relationship and you can always improve the way you communicate. Ensure that you’re always communicating as effectively as you can.

Dream together. Think about your future life together and how you would like that to be. Be grateful and never take your relationship for granted. Appreciate the little things your partner says and does. Say “I love you” regularly and enjoy being with your partner right now.

If you feel that your relationship is going backwards, then this great quote will help you get back on track. It is, “if you were to treat this person as if it was the beginning of the relationship, then there would be no end”.

My Score: 7

Hopefully, my wife agrees!

Money and Wealth

One of the fundamental reasons relationships end is a lack of money and the stress that comes from financial difficulties. So you can see how one area of life can influence another. Being in debt is hugely stressful, and that can negatively impact your relationship and your health.

To improve your financial situation, you want to earn more, spend less or do both! Personally, I find it easier to spend less money than make more money.  I think that’s the case for most people.

Budgeting

To get ahead financially, you want your living costs to be around 60% of your total income after tax. This leaves you with 10% for guilt free spending (for example nights out, restaurants and other treats) and 10% towards longer term purchases (for example vacations, a new TV or new furniture).

You save the final 20% for unexpected financial costs and for investing.  Unexpected financial costs include losing your job, serious illness, going through a divorce, a recession or a coronavirus health pandemic. Did you see that one coming?  These are all things that are unexpected and difficult to predict.

I cover these budgeting concepts in greater detail in my article on how to spend less than you earn.

Wealth

This is having an income stream that comes in regardless of whether or not you are working. This includes interest from savings, dividends from shares or rental income from an investment property. It could also be income from an online business where you’re selling physical or digital products on the internet.

Related Article : The Difference Between Rich and Wealthy People

My Score: 4

I am debt-free. However, my income is relatively low, and that’s a lifestyle decision. I’m reducing my expenses. I also believe that I have a good roadmap in place to improve my financial situation in the future.

Personal and Spiritual Development

Like health and fitness, I’ve broken this area of life into multiple sub-areas.

Personal Development

As you know, personal development helps you become a better person and be more effective and successful. You can do this by meditating, journaling, using creative visualization, repeating affirmations, reminding yourself of your goals, reading, learning and many other methods or techniques.

This also includes investing in courses and seminars that give you fresh information, insights and inspiration to better your life.

It’s essential that you apply what you learn consistently.  One of the best ways to do this is to have an empowering daily morning routine.  Before you do anything else, dedicate 15 mins, 30 mins or even 1 hour to your personal development.  You’ll feel so much better for it and your day will be much more productive and fulfilling.

Spiritual Development

This could include prayer, meditation, keeping a gratitude journal and expressing gratitude.  It’s about connecting to a higher power in whatever way that works for you.  This will depend on your religious or spiritual beliefs, so do what is right for you.

Community Activities and Volunteering

You may wish to include any community or volunteering activities in this area of life.  These activities often help you become a better person and increase your sense of connection with humanity.

My Score: 6

I learn and research personal development topics to share with you or to help my hypnotherapy clients. When I come across fresh approaches, I try them out on myself first. 

However, I don’t have a consistent personal development or spiritual practice at the moment. This is primarily due to my focus on helping others, growing my business and being in a good place mentally and emotionally right now.

Family, Friends and Social

I’ve also broken down this area of life into multiple sub-areas.

Family

Most important is your immediate family such as your parents, siblings and any sons or daughters. This is about spending time with them, resolving any conflicts and improving your relationship and connection with them.

However, you can also include uncles, aunts, grandparents, nephews, nieces and other extended family members here too.

Friends

For me, this is about connecting and reconnecting with good friends and spending quality time with them. I do this by having a weekly friend ritual. Once a week I spend an evening with a good friend that I haven’t seen for a while and we share experiences about life and catch up.

If some of your friends are a long way away, then why not meet up via Skype or Zoom? You can still share experiences and have a drink together. You’re just doing it virtually!

This might also be about making new friends by joining clubs and going on activities where you can meet like-minded people.  Personal development seminars can be great for this!

Social

This is connecting with groups of people, such as your work colleagues, school or college friends. It could also be social or activity groups.  I highly recommend going to meetup.com and finding groups in your local area. It’s free. 

When I first moved to Sydney, Australia 10 years ago, meetup.com was the way I met most of my friends. There are hundreds of meetup groups covering a wide variety of common interests.

My score: 5

Whilst I’ve been busy developing Self Help for Life and my hypnotherapy business, meeting up with friends has been on the back-burner for a while.  However, I’m redressing this now through my one-on-one friend ritual.

Recreation and Hobbies

These are the fun things that make you happy and help you relax.

Recreation

For me, this is day trips, weekends away and longer holidays or vacations. It’s experiencing other countries, cultures, seeing unique wildlife or tasting different foods.

When I was a child, my parents always took us into the country for a few hours each weekend.  It was lovely to go hiking and get some fresh air.

None of my other friends at school did this.  They were stuck at home whilst their parents were doing chores. I’m lucky that my parents valued the importance of recreation.

Hobbies

Hobbies could include playing or watching different sports, going kayaking, sailing or playing golf. You could play a musical instrument or listen to music. Perhaps for you it’s art or crafts, or playing computer games.

Whatever it is for you, take some time to cultivate a hobby.

My Score: 7

My major hobby is walking. I love walking in nature and make time to do that. Also weekends away, holidays and vacations. I also love music and use my Sony noise-canceling headphones to listen to music whilst walking and on public transport.

Home, Environment and Things

Home

Home is about the place you live in. Is it large enough, well designed, comfortable and peaceful? Do you like the color scheme and the overall feel of your home?  This area of life would include doing any home renovations.

Environment

This is the area you live in. Is it a safe area where you feel comfortable walking the streets? This would also include access to shops, cafes and public transport if this is important to you.

It also includes the weather. Is it a hot or cold area? Do you get lots of sunshine or many gray, cloudy or wet days? 

People that live in the far north (for example, in Scandinavia) often suffer from S.A.D. This stands for seasonal affective disorder and is common in the winter months when daylight hours are typically 6 hours or fewer. This can have a major effect on the mental health of people in these areas.

So do winters affect you? Do you feel down and depressed in the winter? If so, consider the influence of S.A.D.

What is the air quality like where you live? Is the air clean and fresh or polluted?

Environmental influences often take time to change.  However, consider these when you next move house or decide on a new town, city or country to live in.

Things

This is buying things that are not related to a hobby. For example, a new car, TV, computer, smart phone, or other gadget. This would also include clothes.

My Score: 8

We live in a very safe and beautiful part of Sydney in Australia.  We have views of Sydney Harbour from my apartment and it’s very safe to walk alone at night.

However, this wasn’t always the case.  Just over 10 years ago, we lived in London. The crowds, packed public transport, icy winters with short daylight hours bothered us, so we hatched up a plan to move to Australia. It was a massive undertaking, but we will never look back.  It took a lot of time and commitment to make it happen, but we did it!

In Conclusion

Now you know the 8 major areas of life.  Awareness is the first step to change, so I encourage you to score yourself for each of the 8 areas.  Discover the areas that are strong for you and the ones that require more attention. 

Some areas will be more important to you than others. That’s okay.  The most important thing is that you strive to live a life that makes you happy and fulfilled right now, but also in the longer term too.  Regularly checking in and scoring each area of your life will help you do that.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people do? The ones that are truly happy, fulfilled and prosperous? Well, I reveal this in my 10 Strategies for Your Success eBook. It’s a great read and as a treat for reading this article, it’s yours for free!

Just click the button below and I’ll send this eBook to you right away.

Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul

I have been on this planet for nearly half a century and a lot has happened during that time. Most of it was good, but I also experienced some difficult and challenging times.

In this article, I would like to share 10 brutal truths about life based on my experience. I hope it will help you make wiser decisions and have a better perspective about your life.

So here are my 10 brutal truths about life:

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1. Life is not fair.

We’re not born equal. When I was at school, I was the skinny, weak, and short kid. I was very poor at sports. The kids who were more athletic were the popular ones. I wasn’t so much.

My interests and passions were around music, so I played the French Horn. But there was a very gifted kid in the orchestra who played French Horn better than me. He was also proficient on 3 instruments while I could only play one. I found that very annoying, especially as he seemed to practice less than me!

Last year a friend of mine died of brain cancer. He was in his early 40s and leading a healthy life. He didn’t smoke or drink excessively. Why was it him that died of brain cancer rather than someone else? Children also die of cancer every day. What’s fair about that?

At work, people get promoted even though they have fewer skills and less experience than you. And you think, “Why them? Why did they get the promotion and not me?”

The reality is – life is not fair. Fairness is a human invention. We created the concept of fairness or the idea that life should be fair.

2. Behavior never lies.

What you say you do and what you actually do is totally different! Or as Gary Ryan Blair says “behavior never lies”.

Let’s say your friend is talking about becoming super fit and healthy and how they will make that happen. But then you see them in McDonald’s eating junk food. That’s going to give you a mixed message because they are saying one thing and doing another. This reduces trust.

Or you’re a manager at work, and you are lazy and relaxed about things. It’s not surprising if you find your employees acting the same because they will follow what you do much more than what you say. This can also work positively. If you’re proactive and you look after your staff, you’ll find that your employees will do the same. It’s what you do that matters, not what you say you will do.

So one of the brutal truths about life is that behavior never lies. Always focus much more on what someone does rather than what they say and make sure that your behavior never lies too.

3. Sometimes you’ll never know the answer.

Two things happened in January 2016 that I’ve been trying to grasp and make sense of ever since. The first was the friend I mentioned earlier. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in his early 40s during this month. He died 2 years later.

In the same month, a neighbor suddenly committed suicide. She was retired and living a great life, traveling 3 or 4 months of the year, and had loads of friends. She was bubbly, positive, always a joy to be around.

We have 2 people here – one that desperately wanted to live and died of cancer and the other who seemed to have it all, but must have been suffering excruciating mental pain that she couldn’t go on with life. In both cases, I asked myself “Why”? and I agonized for hours over the answer.

I always felt that there was an underlying reason that causes cancer to happen. It can be poor diet, lack of exercise or unresolved emotional issues and stress. But I began questioning that. I thought, maybe that’s not the case. Maybe it just happens and there is little you can do to prevent it.

Sometimes you’ll never know the answers to some things that happen in life. This is one of the brutal truths about life that you just got to be okay with it and learn to let some things go without finding a reason.

4. You never know exactly what someone else is thinking and feeling.

When our neighbor committed suicide, it came as a complete shock to me, my wife, other neighbors, and everyone else who knew her. From the outside, she was bubbly, fun, energetic, friendly, and was living the lifestyle that I would dream about. But none of us, except perhaps her partner, knew exactly what was going on inside her head.

And here is a less extreme example. When someone passes you in a corridor at work and doesn’t smile, what does that mean? You may think they are ignoring you, but you don’t really know what they’re thinking or feeling. Perhaps they’ve got an important deadline, and they’re concerned. Perhaps there had an argument with their partner in the morning and they’re ruminating about that. Perhaps they’ve had a lack of sleep, so they just feel tired.

You just don’t know what someone is thinking or feeling. Instead, we create our own meaning regarding other people’s behavior or actions, and it’s often negative.

5. Happiness is an inside job.

Think about the things that make you happy. Going on a vacation makes me happy – the enjoyment of visiting new places and exploring different parts of the world. In the past, getting a new job made me happy because it felt great to meet new people and do different things and have that added variety.

Coming to live in Sydney, 10 years ago, made me thrilled. We felt like we were on a vacation as we explored the city and the surrounding areas each weekend. The weather is wonderful, and our lifestyle is more relaxed than in the UK.

All these things are great and they give you happiness, but it is a short-term pleasure, joy, and gratification. Why? Because The Law of Familiarity kicks in when you’ve been around anything new and different for long enough. You take it for granted. It becomes familiar and the new normal. This wonderful weather and all the other things we experience in Sydney become familiar and the new normal.

Achieving things in life won’t make you happy long term. Many people feel they go through life never achieving happiness. They think, “When I leave school I’ll be happy”. Then they go to college or university and they find that that’s not it. So they think, “Well, when I leave university and I have some money and a job, then I’ll be happy”. When they find a job, they realize that that’s not it either.

So they think, “When I get into a relationship and when I get married, I’ll be happy”. They do that, but again, it becomes familiar and the new normal after a while. Then, maybe they think, “When I buy a house I’ll be happy, or when I have kids”. And then logically it goes to “When I retire, I’ll be happy”.

Everything in life will eventually become the new normal. One of the brutal truths about life is that happiness is an inside job and you can choose to be happy whenever you want.
Happiness is not something you chase from achieving things on the outside.

You can choose to be happy right now by:

  • being grateful for what is working in your life and all the things you have.
  • developing a happy posture (for example, by lifting your head up) and smiling.
  • listening to some uplifting music that will change your mental state.
  • doing something you enjoy right now.
  • having quality time with your partner and close friends.
  • going out in nature.
  • escaping the Law of Familiarity by having variety in life.

6. Time is more valuable than money.

One of the 10 brutal truths about life is that you can replace money, but you cannot replace time. Time depreciates. Once that minute or day or month is gone, you can never get it back. So it’s important to use time wisely.

Research has shown that you need a certain amount of money to live a reasonably good life so that all your basics are covered. And that is around $60,000 to $70,000 a year. Anything above that is great because it allows you to afford the luxuries or to have other people do things for you, like cleaning, to save you some time.

However, if you’re working crazy hours to fund a lavish house or a posh car, or to have your kids at private school, then perhaps it’s time to think about the value of your time. Most people don’t value time and do things they hate just to have the money. They end up wasting their life away and then regretting it later. Make sure you use your time to do what matters to you, what gives you meaning and makes you happy. Use time wisely because you can never replace it.

7. You will die one day and so will all your friends, family, and loved ones.

This is one of the most brutal truths about life. We don’t know when this will happen. It could be today, tomorrow, next week, or next year. Hopefully, it will be a long time from now, but we often forget that this day will come.

You’ve maybe heard this saying, “Live every day as if it was your last because one day it will be”. I don’t completely buy into that. If I did, I would be on vacation 365 days a year, traveling the world, exploring and having adventures. However, I would also run out of money very quickly! For most of us, we need to work, so it’s important to be realistic here.

However, there are things that you can do. If there is something you’ve been putting off that can be easily dealt with, definitely have a sense of urgency to do that. Maybe it’s changing a job or career you’ve been putting off for a while. I like Gary Ryan Blair’s quote “We are all playing a high stakes game of one and done” We’re not on this planet for long”.

It’s important to have a sense of urgency about the things we do in life and we don’t put off for too long the things important to us. Often, it’s fear that stops us from doing what really matters. If you knew you would die next week, there would certainly be some things that you would do right away without hesitation.

Death can be a reminder to enjoy life and make the most of it and to have a sense of urgency around that. Remember that your friends, family, and loved ones will also die at some point. So it’s important to spend quality time with them right now while you still can.

8. Some people won’t like you.

They will judge and criticize you. It’s impossible to please everyone. Whatever you do in life, whatever you say, you’re likely to upset some people. Don’t go out of your way to get everyone to like you. It’s just not worth it.

Some people are naturally negative and difficult to please. Some will always focus on what’s wrong and will not be grateful. There’s nothing you can do to change that. When you’re walking on the street, people will notice and judge you based on what you’re wearing and how you’re holding yourself.

People naturally judge other people. It’s part of the human condition. And when you step out of the crowd, when you do something that other people won’t do, they may feel a little afraid. They see that you’re taking responsibility and doing things to change your life, and they may feel that you’re a threat to them so they will criticize you.

The more you do different things and strive to become your own person, the more that certain people, even loved ones in your life, will criticize you. And they’re not doing that to help you. They’re doing it because they’re afraid you will become something or someone different from what they’re familiar with. Also, people judge, criticize and put you down to help them feel better. It’s a way of temporarily enhancing their self-esteem.

9. It won’t just happen now like it used to.

When I look back at my parents’ life, it seemed easy and predictable. They went to school, then to university, where they met their partners. They got jobs in their early 20s, often staying in the same job or career for many years. They would get married in their 20s, have kids young and they’d be able to buy their own house because houses were cheap then. Now they’re living a very happy retirement because pension schemes were a lot better as well.

Things have changed now. Most people in their 20s and 30s haven’t met their partners. Many people are renting into their 30s and 40s, even with kids. It seems like things were easier in the past, compared to now. Nothing is guaranteed.

People that are earning 6 figures now have to work hard over many years to get to that level. People now require degrees, even multiple degrees to get into careers that didn’t require these qualifications in the past.

People in great relationships put in a lot of effort to make it great, and continually work on keeping it great.

Why is this? Well, I believe that people have much higher expectations now. In the past, people settled for less.

So don’t think important life events are just going to happen. Life doesn’t work like that anymore. Think about what you want to achieve and by when. Then take proactive action today.

Don’t assume that things will happen. And don’t take them for granted when they do. Take the steps to achieve them. One of my favorite inspirational quotes is “You will be rewarded in public for the thousands of hours you practice in private”. You can apply that to so many areas of life, especially studying, gaining qualifications, or starting and developing a business.

10. You are 100% responsible for changing your life.

Whenever you blame the economy, your level of intelligence, your family, where you live, your genetics, your weight, your looks, or anything else, you take away your power to change.

Bad things happen. But you have complete control over the meaning you give to those things. I don’t buy in to the idea that you create all these bad or good things in your life. But I do believe that if something devastating or bad happens, you have a 100% control over the meaning you give to that and the actions you take to get over it. There have been so many stories of people that were almost entirely crippled, and when they continually visualized their bodies moving, they regained their mobility.

In my hypnotherapy practice, I’m always helping people to take responsibility for their life, helping them get back to the cause rather than being at effect. The effect is when you’re blaming other people and other situations for your life. Being at cause is taking 100% responsibility. It’s important to take responsibility for your happiness, unhappiness, successes and failures.

So, these are my 10 brutal truths about life that no one wants to hear based on my experience of life so far. I may have gone on a bit of a rant at times, but I hope you still found this article informative, inspiring and motivating.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people do? The ones that are truly happy, fulfilled and prosperous? Well, I reveal this in my 10 Strategies for Your Success eBook. It’s a great read and as a treat for reading this article, it’s yours for free!

Just click the button below and I’ll send this eBook to you right away.

Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul