When it comes to success as a human being, what ultimately matters is achieving a true sense of harmony between the various areas of your life. This typically means striking a balance between the commitments of work and family whilst somehow finding time to accommodate your own personal and spiritual needs and desires. Within the personal sphere are elements such as health, happiness and a sense of fulfilment to consider. These may include fitness, career, leisure time and even your sex life to name but a few. In other words, you cannot be truly successful and happy by only achieving goals and objectives in one sphere. True transformation requires a level of unity where there is harmony in every area of life.
One colleague and close friend of mine, Leo Lafferty-Whyte, author of the book ‘Life Satisfaction – A Scientist’s Guide’, calls this the triple H principle. In his model, individuals are encouraged to consider the happiness, health and harmony they feel in different areas of their life as a starting point for their journey of transformation.
My own model is something I refer to as the 3 P’s of success – Passion, Purpose and Prosperity. My belief is that if you can construct a life in which these overlapping spheres are fulfilled, then the fourth area where they overlap offers the experience of ultimate success, essentially total unity.
There is nothing simple about either approach – attaining the ultimate goal requires huge commitment, tremendous effort and brutal honesty when it comes to how you perceive your life. But it is worth every iota of time and energy you put into it. Once you begin to unlock this thing I call unity, you will find yourself gifted with an incredible sense of focus and drive that allows you to achieve anything you truly believe in.
So how does one go about creating unity? The following steps will help lay the path.
1. Evaluate and accept where you are
Before we can begin a journey of transformation, we need to first recognise where we are in life, and secondly, be willing to accept that this is where we are. It can be brutal. But it forms a baseline against which to plot our path and measure our success.
2. Decide where you want to be
What is it you want your life to look like compared to what it looks like now? Do you want to be happier? Do you want to be healthier or fitter? Do you want more time with your family? There are an infinite number of things that you might consider within this point. Be sure to look at each different sphere of life until you have come up with what you believe to be the perfect balance. Personally, I believe in writing things down as you go through this process. Don’t judge either – even if your perceived perfect lifestyle seems like a utopian fantasy, don’t write it off. You can get there.
3. Define changes you need to make
What needs to change in order for you to be where you want to be? Again, write things down if it helps. Consider what changes are internal – things relating to how you think and behave, and external factors such as where you live and work.
In the beginning, there will be a natural tendency to mentally split things into two groups – that which you believe you can influence and that which you believe is beyond your control. It is vitally important that you avoid this and stick to the first approach. Just because a factor is external does not mean you do not somehow have the capacity to change it. Everything is possible.
Accept ultimate responsibility for your destiny and do not accept that anything is unchangeable.
4. Make an action plan
It would be foolish to think you can change everything instantly. Not to say that it isn’t possible – but the odds are stacked against you and you risk crashing and burning in the process unless you possess exceptional strength of character. In most cases, it is better to develop an action plan which splits up the areas you need to address and identifies an achievable way to deliver. Some things may well fit well in parallel – a change of job and a relocation, for example, may actually be completely connected. A change in relationship, should it be part of your process of transformation, may also bring with it solutions to other issues as a direct result.
You may find that you prefer to start with the smaller changes first – the quick wins – in order to build your confidence. Others may find that the short, sharp, shock approach is far more effective. In both cases, there are advantages and disadvantages. Whichever approach you decide to take, make sure you have a clear step by step plan and go back to it regularly to monitor your progress.
5. Risk it all
As I mentioned in my previous article, a to-do list is of no value unless you actually execute. So the next thing you need to do is seize life by the [insert preferred noun], go all in and make things happen. If you truly wish to transform your life and get to where you have already decided you want to be, you must be prepared to risk it all, even if that means going without, losing friends and entering the complete unknown. There will be sacrifices. You have to be all in, and so does anybody who you have invited to join you on this journey. Ask yourself the serious question – is the place I wish to be a genuine goal or simply a fantasy? The choice is entirely yours.
6. Are we there yet?
Just like a journey in a car, when embarking on a journey of transformation you have to keep on looking at the road ahead, whilst not forgetting to keep an eye on the rear view mirrors. You will observe waymarkers along the road if you are moving in the right direction, and conversely there will be plenty of signals if you are not. Your job is to keep the vehicle moving in the right direction until you’ve passed the point of no return, and then keep the momentum beyond.
There’s just one catch here: the journey itself will transform you, and you may just find that the final destination is not what it once appeared to be. That’s fine. If you have committed to enough action to become aware that your ultimate destination is different, nothing has been wasted. Take a pause, go back to stage one and repeat. As long as you stay disciplined, the incredible progress you have made up until this point will not be lost.
So what are you waiting for? The journey to transformation begins today.■
Check out the list below for previous articles in this series: