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Your Wheel of Life – The Spokes Support the Rim: Part 2

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Balancing the Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Spokes

Last month, I wrote about the first three spokes in your wheel of life: Financial/Career, Personal and Social. The following is a discussion of the physical, emotional and spiritual spokes of your wheel.


Ralph Waldo Emerson said that your health is your wealth. Your physical well-being is of critical importance. How healthy are you? When was the last time you had a checkup? The body has an incredible ability to function despite our abuse of it. Most health professionals believe that disease can be caused by a reckless lifestyle and a negative mental outlook. Most of us are aware of what it takes to remain healthy. Begin by listening to your body. Your body knows what your mind cannot accept. In other words, if you are a type “A” personality, you are prone to heart disease. You know you need to slow down, but you won’t until you have a heart attack or stroke. You feel the need to pack 48 hours into a 24-hour day. That is impossible to do without consequences to the body.

If you are constantly fatigued or something feels “off,” discover why. Fatigue, illness and disease are often messages that tell us to look at the way we are living. Every human being has a “dead-date.” This is the day, hour and minute that we die. Most of us live as though tomorrow is forever. Having just lost my 50 year old sister-in-law to an unknown cause, I have been thinking a lot about this lately. I was on the phone with her in the morning and in the afternoon she was dead. If you need a little push in the right direction, think of your family, loved ones and those whose careers depend upon you. What would happen to them if you weren’t here? Take care of yourself and understand that your physical health affects every area of your life. Your health is the most valuable possession you have. It is our well-being and our essence. Treat your physical body with respect. It’s the only body you have.


The emotional part of the wheel has to do with your relationship to your family, friends, colleagues and to yourself. List the ten most important people in your life. When was the last time you told them how valuable they are to you? Do you tell them how special they are? Do you let them know what a difference they have made in your life? Most people assume that the people they care about know how they feel. Nothing could be further from the truth. As I travel around the country, give lectures and write books, I am constantly amazed how few people actually open up to the people they care about most. I often ask myself why people have such a hard time opening up? I believe the answer goes back to our inability to be vulnerable. As our world becomes more isolated and relationships more distant, it is imperative that we let people know how important they are to us.

The emotional part of the wheel that has to do with “yourself” is also critically important. Most people are self-deprecating. We don’t need other people to tell us how lousy we are, because we do such a good job at self-criticism. When I am asked to give lectures on the power of self-esteem, I tell the audience to look in the mirror and find something good about themselves for the next 21 days. Eventually, finding something “good” will become a habit. Having started my career as a counselor of at-risk youth, I can assure you that 90% of these kids have crippling low self-esteem. We need to build up our children and it begins by building up ourselves. If you are a parent and you do not have self-esteem, chances are you will recreate a climate of low self-esteem in the next generation. But let me add that I get sick and tired of people blaming their parents for who or what they have become. History is full of saints that came from horrible backgrounds and vice versa. No matter where we came from, we still have the power to choose who and what we become.


Spirituality is believing in something outside of yourself. Some people call that outside influence their higher power or God. If you want to grow in your spirituality, it is important to have fellowship with people of like values. When your spiritual spoke is strong, you know you are not traveling through life alone. When you have a relationship with God, you will not face the trials and tribulations of life alone. Sometimes in life, you don’t know where you are going, but with faith you can believe in things yet unseen. Having faith is the opposite of having fear. Fear and faith do not exist in the same place. We may not know what the future holds but we know who holds the future.


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