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The 8 Pillars of Life

Written by Stephen Scoggins

July 3, 2020

In my post, How To Transform Your Life, I broke down the 3 steps you must take to develop Life Mastery. Here we will go deeper and evaluate the different areas of life mastery, which I call the 8 Pillars of Life.

Simplify Life Mastery & Gain Momentum

Change happens when you decide to change, commit to guiding principles, and act on those principles consistently. However, we need to do this for every area of life in order to achieve lasting transformation and true breakthrough.

Often life can be messy, stressful, and overwhelming. It feels like there are dozens of things we need to get done and not enough time to do even a few. That’s why it’s very important to break our lives down into core areas of focus so we can get traction. The more wins we get, the easier it is to stay motivated.

The 8 Pillars of Life

In many cases, the problems you experience in your life aren’t the real issue. Instead it’s usually a lack of proficiency in one or more of the areas of life mastery. If you can identify the region with the biggest problem, you can raise the tide of all the others. This is the purpose of the 8 Pillars of Life.

8 Pillars of Life diagram, the Journey Principles with Stephen Scoggins

“The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.”

-Albert Einstein

Here are the 8 Pillars of Life:

  1. Financial Pillar
  2. Physical Pillar
  3. Emotional Pillar
  4. Spiritual Pillar
  5. Relational Pillar
  6. Professional Pillar
  7. Personal Growth
  8. Life Impact

Let’s break each one down.

1. Financial Pillar

via GIPHY

Money isn’t everything, but boy, does it matter. Everything is easier when you’re financially healthy, and everything is harder when you’re not. That’s why money is the first of the 8 pillars of Life. Many people misread the health of their financial pillar when they accumulate too much debt, so a key to success in the financial pillar is not being over-leveraged.

Healthy

  • Little or No Debt
  • Emergency fund equal to 6-12 months expenses
  • Employed
  • Consistently saving more than you’re spending
  • Wealth is growing through investments

Unhealthy

  • Lots of Debt
  • No Emergency Fund
  • Unemployed
  • Consistently spending more than you’re saving
  • Wealth is stagnant (no investments)

2. Physical Pillar

via GIPHY

You only get one body, and you need to treat it well. If you don’t take care of this area of life mastery, you may find that you don’t have the energy necessary to take care of the others!

Healthy

  • Consistent sleep schedule and 6-8 hours per night
  • Eating healthy foods (organic, high protein, fiber, omegas, etc.)
  • Exercise 5-7 days per week
  • Outdoor exposure and sunlight
  • Good posture (shoulders back, chin up, etc.)
  • High Energy
  • Low toxin exposure

Unhealthy

  • Inconsistent sleep schedule or less than 6 hours per evening
  • Unhealthy foods (processed, high sugar)
  • Little or no consistent exercise
  • Constantly indoors staring at lit screens
  • Bad posture (slumped, bent over, etc.)
  • Low energy
  • High toxin exposure

3. Emotional Pillar

via GIPHY

This is one of my favorite of the 8 Pillars of Life because it’s where I needed the most transformation. When we don’t have a handle on this one, it tends to wreck every area of our life. Insecurities, fears, and low self esteem are poisonous.

To diagnose your emotional health, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are healthy boundaries absent in your life?
  • How often do you act impulsively vs considering your actions?
  • Do you often dwell on things outside of your control?
  • Can you identify any areas where you consistently sabotage yourself?
  • Do you usually feel like things will be ok or do you usually feel like they won’t be ok?
  • Are you hard on yourself or do you like yourself?

4. Spiritual Pillar

via GIPHY

Many people are turned off by this pillar, but you’re going to need hope, replenishment, and perspective no matter who you are. These things come from a sense of higher purpose, and in our darkest times, the best weapon we have is connecting with a power beyond yourself. For this reason, regardless of your religious beliefs, I believe that spirituality should be a regular part of your routine. If you don’t have this, you will eventually find yourself empty and unfulfilled.

5. Relational

via GIPHY

There’s a saying that if you look at your closest relationships, you’ll see your future. Another says that you are the average of the 5 people you have spent the most time with. I believe both of these statements are true, so choose your circle wisely and make sure you bring to every relationship what you want to get out of it.

Healthy Relationships:

  • Energize
  • Inspire
  • Relax
  • Challenge and Encourage
  • Impart perspective
  • Ask you questions

Unhealthy Relationships:

  • Drain
  • Depress
  • Are Tense
  • Challenge and Discourage
  • Impart confusion or frustration
  • Disregard your opinion

6. Professional Life

via GIPHY

Your job is where you spend most of your time. It’s how you provide for yourself and where you are most likely to make new connections and experience measurable wins. It will greatly influence your overall self esteem and sense of significance, so don’t stay in a job you hate any longer than you have to.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How does your career get you closer to your goals and/or the person you want to be?
  2. Are you doing what you love or what you must?
  3. Can you elevate your authentic self where you are, or do you have to hide it?
  4. Are you able to use your strengths and talents in your career right now?
  5. Do the people you work with energize or drain you?

7. Personal Development

via GIPHY

Change itself is so important that it gets it’s own area of life mastery! Nothing will ever give you a more vibrant sense of purpose than making renewed progress regularly. Do you have a plan in place to grow your mind, body, and spirit, or are you only challenged when you’re forced to be? If you’re not growing, you’re moving backwards, so ask yourself the following questions to make sure you’re moving forward in your 8 pillars of life:

  • Have I been making the same complaint over and over?
  • If so, can I proudly and clearly explain what I’ve been doing about it?
  • Are my struggles the exact same as they were last year?
  • Can I name at least 3 ways I’ve changed for the better in the last year?
  • Am I spending most of my free time on things that don’t contribute to any of my 8 Pillars of Life?

8. Life Impact (Contribution)

via GIPHY

There is nothing worse than regret– realizing that we’ve lived a life of constant taking rather than a life of value.  In other words, we don’t want to get to the end of our lives and realize that all we’ve done is leech from others. The villains of every story are the characters that hoard everything for themselves, but the heroes give away what they have so that others can flourish. If we want to make an impact, we need to give ourselves away, and we need to start today.

Tip #1 – Focus on One Pillar at a Time

When working on transforming your life, it’s better to focus on no more than two pillars at once to prevent frustrations. Trying to fix more than that at once can be overwhelming, and being overwhelmed can get you stuck. In contrast, if you steadily get small wins, your momentum will continue to build. The 8 Pillars of Life are to help you simplify life mastery and start generating momentum now.

Tip #2 – Improving One Pillar Will Boost The Others

One of the coolest aspects of the 8 Pillars of Life is that each builds upon the others. Let’s refer back to the diagram.

Notice that the first set of four support the second set. If one of the lower four is shaky, it drastically increases instability in the upper pillars. For example, if your financial pillar is unstable, then nine times out of ten, your professional life and contribution to others is unstable as well. Because of this, you may want to focus on the lower four pillars first. This can give you a strong foundation to build from. The good news is that solidifying these will raise the tide of the other areas of life mastery, so take comfort in knowing that improving one pillar will likely make each of the 8 pillars of life stronger by default!

Life Mastery Is Easier Than You Think

When you‘re focused on Life Mastery and making daily progress, your purpose will become clearer every day. As your confidence grows, your life will have a daily, renewed sense of meaning. Using the 8 Pillars of Life will help you become confident in your daily action-steps towards a life of meaning.

With this tool you should be able to identify which area needs the most growth today. If you want more clarity or help staying motivated, I recommend my free ebook, 5 Principles For A Personal Breakthrough. It’ll help you get where you want to go faster.

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