It is a New Year and, for many people, new year resolutions will meet up on the rocks of harsh realities, which will either make or break hopes for the future. Sometimes things in life are beyond our control. For example, recently at work, one of my co-workers was driving out to a party. Through no fault of her own, another driver blacked out, fell limp and hit her car causing her severe bodily damage that will put her out for quite awhile. Another co-worker, just the year before, was jogging and got hit by a drunk driver. After a year, she is still in and out of a coma. Life happens and can brutally change our path and plans. Just last year, I practiced for 4 months every week for a seasonal concert. We were singing one of my favorite songs of like all time. I couldn’t wait to be on stage to sing this song, but I ended up getting pneumonia and had to miss it. The whole thing was not my plan but ended up showing me so many things about myself. Sometimes life just happens, sometimes you pull a joker out of the card deck of the cosmos and you have to take an unplanned, least desired direction. And yet, that can end up being far better than the direction you were taking.
If life were a car, how is your ride your going? Is it like riding in a carriage with a missing wheel down a dirt road, or an unnerving game of dodging Michigan Road pot holes? Maybe it is as smooth as driving over a newly paved road! Then great for you! But, do you like the way life is treating you? Hey, even the great Diana Ross is asking you in this rather quirky song of hers “Do You Know”
Oh god, do I love her. But, I digress. If you are like most people, you either hold a healthy desire for more growth and goals or, on the opposite end, you are stuck under persistent overwhelm. In either case, you are going to benefit from a life tool I will show you. It is a tool Life Coaches use to help clients determine areas the client may want to focus on. I could keep this stuff to myself but why when it may help others? My goal with this blog is not only to give you more insight into me as to all things LA Jamison, but to encourage in your life. As much as I can make an impact on this world, I want to and things like this should not be so hard to come by.
I don’t know about you, but I often have so many thoughts and feelings about things I’m happy with and not happy with that it all becomes jumbled. It may sound odd but if we are truthful with ourselves, it is easier to swim in overwhelm and just keep doing the same routine in our lives than to take the risk for some healthy self-examination. And there are so many people who just won’t ask a professional for help and many others can’t afford it. So, whatever your reason or excuse, consider me your Neil Patrick Harris for a moment from the TV show “How I Met Your Mother”.
I’m coming to you like this dude who has a tip to make your trip around town easier. I’m giving you something you would have to pay for via a Life Coach— for nothing more than your time! This tool is called “The Wheel of Life”. I like it because I’m a visual learner. The Wheel of Life uses a scale based off a 0-10 scale. 0 being no sanctification and 10 being total satisfaction with areas in your life. You can see how the scale on the wheel is to be placed for each section in the image below. I use the goal of Financial well being as an example below. Excuse my rather crude drawing, I am not an artist lol.
Your “Wheel of Life” is going to be broken up into a pie wheel of sorts with each slice of that pie representing an area in your life that is important for you. The first pie may be “Finances” as shown above. This is a common category of interest for most people. Whatever categories you pick, make them ones that matter to you. Ones that you want to be running as close to “10” as possible for a sense completeness, healthiness and happiness. Now, here is a list of categories just as an example to get you thinking:
Next, once you have your list of categories, you will rate your satisfaction in each category. Again, that scale is from 0-10. Your list will then look something like this as you score yourself:
Those are just made up scores but you get the gist. You will take these scores and start dividing up your wheel into pie pieces and drawing in the lines for each category of where you rated yourself between 0-10. It will look something like this:
So, for me, I scored myself as a 5 for financial well being. You will see that I drew a line across the section of that pie at around a 5. The half-way mark. I consider the 5 maker as a survivor marker. You are at least meeting most of your needs in that area but you aren’t thriving. You are just surviving in that area as far as sanctification goes. As you go along with more categories, the wheel will begin to look something like this:
You are now well on your way to creating your own Wheel of Life. Now, unless you are a super healthy person, your lines for scoring will be uneven to each other. This is okay and perfectly normal. And when you are done filling in your wheel with the pie slices and drawing in the score lines from your list, your wheel should look something like this (I chose to use colors, but you don’t have to):
As we think about the illustration of a car tire, the outer most circle is the 10. The outer most circle is drawn perfectly round in blue. This is what a car tire is supposed to look like for a smooth ride and for you to get where you are going. That is the “ideal’. A tire full of air, no holes and no gaps. There is another circle within the outer circle if you haven’t realized that by now. The pink-colored parts make up the second wheel inside the outer most circle. This is the actual tire, if you will, the person is driving through life on. Note how uneven this pink portion is. Can you imagine driving on a tire with that shape? Yet many of us go through life like this. We often take better care of our car and car tires than we do our own soul.
Let me caution you, this isn’t a tool to shame yourself with. It is a tool to go “ah-ha!” with. I always feel a little relieved and enlightened when I look at the finished product. It makes sense as to why the ride in my life get’s bumpy. Ever feel so fulfilled in reaching a goal and before long you are haunted by the ones you haven’t reached? A tool like this is a great reminder that yes, you can see the parts of yourself where you want more satisfaction in, but it will also show you the progress too.
I just started this year with doing a side by side comparison. You can see it in the images below. It is not important that you zoom up and try to read every section I wrote in on my wheel. They may be hard to read. I don’t care if you do but it isn’t important. Rather, look at the shape difference between the two wheels. You will notice one side got fuller and the other side shrank between the year. Also, the wheel overall has more sections closer to the 10 mark in 2019 than in 2018 even with the spirituality hitting the 10 mark in 2018 but shrinking in 2019. This shows growth toward more satisfaction over a year even if a few went down. You can read about how I overcame a number of areas in my life through my book here Discoveries which will give you more tools especially if your LGBT.
I hope this helps you and if you do a wheel, I would love for you to post it here or on my FB page or send it to me privately! Here’s to a smoother, more fulfilling ride for us all in 2019 than the year before!