The Five Aspects of Optimizing Life

In my previous post, I wrote that appreciating life is the starting point to optimizing it. If you appreciate your life, you will want to optimize it. You will want to make the most out of it.

But how do we optimize our lives? What are the aspects that we need to optimize?

Well, there are different ways to look at it, but my preferred way is to look at life as it consists of five aspects:

  • Work: your career and finance.
  • Health: your physical health.
  • Learning: your personal development.
  • Social: your relationships with others.
  • Spiritual: your relationship with the greater power.

If you want to live your life to the fullest, you need to balance all of them. But that’s not enough; you also need to grow in them.

If you lack even one aspect, your life will be crippled. Let’s see what would happen if you were to lack one of them:

  • Work: your career would be mediocre; you would fall short of your potential. You might even live with financial problems.
  • Health: you couldn’t live with energy and vitality. You might also become sick.
  • Learning: you would miss many opportunities in life for one simple reason: you don’t know about them.
  • Social: you wouldn’t feel the happiness of friendships and family life. You might also feel lonely or depressed.
  • Spiritual: you would feel empty inside, no matter how successful you seem on the outside. It’s as if everything you have achieved is meaningless.

As you can see, you need all of them to live fully. You can’t afford to neglect even one.

Now, how can we grow in each aspect?

There are many ways, of course, but here are some ideas:

  • Work
    • Use a productivity system like Getting Things Done.
    • Track your expenses to make sure that you spend less than you earn, and then invest the difference.
    • Dream big and start working on it.
  • Health
    • Build a habit of working out.
    • Make sure that you have enough sleep every day.
    • Eat healthy and nutritious food.
  • Learning
    • Bring a book wherever you go and read it in your spare time.
    • Follow some blogs in your field.
    • Create a side project to explore a new area of interest.
  • Social
    • Spend a lot of time with your family.
    • Join a local community.
    • Help someone without keeping score.
  • Spiritual

If you do these, you will grow in a balanced way. You will become a better person day by day.

Unfortunately, many people obsess over one aspect of their lives at the expense of the others. They might be so obsessed with their work, for instance, that they neglect their family, health, or spirituality. Sadly, the realization often comes too late and becomes a lifetime regret.

Don’t let that happen to you. Your life is too precious to be spent that way. Aim to live your life with balance and growth instead.

You will then live a full and happy life.

***

Any thoughts on these five aspects and how to grow in them? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

31 Comments

  1. Your blog is amazing and always makes me happy. It’s o point!

  2. What is this greater power you speak of?

    In my learning sector, I found out that there is no such thing as fairy tales. Through science I learned about the natural world and the limitations of the human brain.

    Follow your heart? If you’re a child maybe this serves a role. When you grow up you LEARN that you don’t think or feel anything with your heart, but rather with your brain.

    And finally, as true as it is that one can find purpose and meaning in what they do, thinking that there is some pre ordained purpose that we all need to find in order to be happy is a recipe for disaster for many people who don’t only have one ultimate pursuit.

    Try focusing on being, just being… No where to get, no one to be, nothing to compare yourself to, just live as the wonderfully amazing natural organism that you are. No moment will ever repeat itself so enjoy every previous second.

    There is no solid reason to be an adult and believe in God.

    • God, of course.

      I think the main reason why we see things differently is because I completely believe in God and you don’t.

      • Donald Latumahina, God bless you for this site. I keep your e-mails coming even though I’m no longer able to work. James ,your focus on yourself is a recipe for disaster. No where to go , no one to be… stagnated you are. Be within, listen with truth-think. You’ll find out the heart does produce emotions which can lead to finding your spiritual guide.I’ve a close friend who shares your thinking.Hope you both come to a wonderful discovery. One you can’t tough, Must be felt….

    • I have a very close friend who shares your thinking. Both of you suffer from hard hearing. Feel within …. forget the previous learned. Listen to your heart. Search the latest scientific findings regarding just how much the human heart influences your core existence ….let me know your educated conclusion ,please James.

    • As a man think in his heart so is he.
      But the things which proceed out of the mouth come Out of the heart; and they defile the man.

  3. I think you’re right about life being in balance. If we spend too long out of balance and neglect say health or relationships then this will have a negative impact in the future. Sometmes we need to do a recorrect. For example if we’ve been working too hard then we should take a time out – a sabatical – rather than continuing to work hard to get more wealth than we need for the moment.

  4. I completely agree. I believe that life should not only be in balance but very, very stable. When the mundane details of our lives are in harmony and stable, then and only then can we move on to the higher aspects and higher potential that is waiting for us… 🙂 This is the wonderful thing about optimising life! Super blog :):)

  5. Isn’t it sad that you have to add “without keeping score” to “help someone?” Come on, society, step it up.

  6. Thanks for this post Donald. Great as always. Keep up the good work.

    Cheers

  7. Good Morning, Donald

    I really appreciate these thought for soul I called them that way because it they really pick me up , inspire and motivates me even during difficult time really they fired up my soul

    Much appreciated

  8. Pls how can u be able to balance ur finance when in a family almost every body depends on u. To even take care of yourself becomes problem due to poor financial status. If u are not being paid well. What do u do to be able to balance ur life?

  9. Namaskaram,

    I feel these aspects can be optimised furthur and keep it in order, to simplify:

    1. Spiritual and Health.
    2. Relationships and Career/finance.

    Next important thing is..
    Balance and growth can be achieved by “responding conciously” in all those aspects.

    Responding = learning, working and loving/devoting.

    I hope i optimised and simplified it sensibly.

    Pranaam.

  10. Nice article made my day !!

  11. hello, i think there is something missing.

    what about entertainment?

    • Hi Rickvian,

      I think the theme of this piece is self-betterment, and how focusing on those five aspects mentioned (Health, career, learning, purpose, and relationships) optimizes the fulfillment you get out of life. Certainly entertainment is important to enjoy life, but I would speculate that pursuing entertainment is not going to improve how you feel about yourself at the end of the day. This is probably because being entertained does not require work to achieve.

  12. OMG! Donald, this is a.m awesome site. I stumbled upon it as I was looking up the meaning of aspects of life. I’m doing a bible study which requires me to list the positive and negative aspects God has allowed in my life. In order to do so, I need understanding. And, OMG! This site was perfect!!! Keep up the GREAT work!

  13. Like always this article was great and helpful.Your words are promising.Thanks

  14. Just hit the nail right on it top… Thank you!

  15. Aishath Zubaidha
    Aishath Zubaidha

    It’s a beautiful idea

  16. This is the greatest article I’ve read this year so far.
    Truthfully speaking history is full of so many great men who were ruined for neglecting or not recognising the value of all the aspects of life.
    Let’s take J.D.Rockefeller;
    Finance: He took care of business pretty well and hence amassed a huge fortune. He is my role model in this aspect btw.
    Spiritual: He constantly attended church and always contributed to it’s concerns.
    Health: When he realized that his health was equally important, he greately adjusted his lifestyle allowing him to outlive his fellow gilded age businessmen like Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Morgan etc.
    Learning: Though not so great at this, he still managed to learn golf and constantly sought perfection.
    Social: His greatest challenge by far was to harmonise his social life. The product of this were children of a weak character including his heir Junior. He had to resort to hide in his home behind tight security a result of his poor public relations.
    The lesson is, being good in some aspects of life does not makes good in all of them by default. As such we must be willing to pick up a book or two or seek professional advice to improve in the aspects we are weak.
    This calls for us to abandon our ego and look out for role models(people with the highest achievements) in the respective aspect(s).
    Turning to James;
    He really has some point. The heart has ABSOLUTELY NO capacity to think or feel ANYTHING. Simple science tells us the heart pumps blood through the body system. Infact we would have less marriage challenges if partners married with their brains.
    Two, i don’t advise the find your passion/ purpose dogma. Passion is simply an emotion just like fear, anxiety, love and for goodness sake we always outgrow all emotions that we hold.
    Lastly, our belief in God is only a product of our limited knowledge. Otherwise Everytime we acquire new knowledge, God’s relevance continuously shrinks. Think about the earthquarkes, floods disease, strong winds etc, these things used to be associated with God human knowledge increased. Today all of these have been or their impact has been tamed and one would sound so stupid associating them with some God.
    NYC tym.

  17. Udit Narayan Padhi
    Udit Narayan Padhi

    what are the minor aspects of life that you should consider?

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