I would like to cover a very interesting concept called circle of life in this post. This came up during a discussion i had with a colleague few weeks back. Given the hectic lifestyles we are in we were discussing on a variety of topics on time management, priorities in life, work-life balance etc. He drew out this very interesting picture which i have elaborated below.
Our life can be pictured a set of concentric circles where we as an individual are at the center with the other aspects of of life like family, work, community etc encompassing the core. For us to be successful in the outer circles we need to ensure that we have the inner circles in order and are taken care. If we dont take care of the inner circles the outer circles will eventually breakdown. The order of priority in life reduces as we go from inner to outer circles. Lets do a deep dive into each of the circles of life.
At the core of our life is us as an individual. For us to be happy and successful in life we need to first and foremost take care of our-self. There are two parts of an individual - Mind and Body. For us to lead a happy life we need to ensure fitness of both mind and Body. To keep our body fit we need to spent some time on exercise, yoga etc. Meditation is a good exercise for the mind. It helps with relieving stress and helps you focus better. Only if we are healthy and happy can we lead a good family life and professional life. So taking care of self should be the top priority.
The Second layer after self is family. We need to ensure that we are spending adequate time with our family and are taking care of them. The family can be both your immediate family(Spouse, kids) and extended family like parents, siblings etc. These are the folks that stay with us thru the ups and downs in our life. In some cases your close friends may also come in this layer. This layer is key bcos they provide us the emotional support and provide meaning to our life. Only if you have a good personal life can you have a good professional/external life. This should be the second order of priority for an individual.
The Third layer after self and family is work. For us to be able to sustain ourself and our family we need to work. Work provides a means for our livelihood. For us to be successful at work we need to ensure that our inner circles of self and family are taken care. If the inner circles are not in order or we have issues in inner circle it will automatically impact our performance at work. While you may not see the impact immdly it will definitely catch up. At the same time if we don't take care of this layer it will affect our sustenance and will impact all other aspects of life. So this should be our third order of priority.
The outermost circle of life is the community. It basically means how are we contributing to improvement of the community? For us to be successful and happy in life and live in harmony with our society we need to give back to the community/society that nurtured us. We have a moral obligation to help/contribute to the society. Here again for us to be able to effectively contribute to the community our inner circles - self, family and work needs to be in order. For example if you are having personal problems or you are out of job you cannot effectively contribute to the society. This should be our fourth order of priority.
For us to be successful and happy in life we need to ensure that we balance our life across all these four circles and we allocate time for each of these circles in the order of priority mentioned above. While we may have short term pressures preventing us from balancing our life we need to ensure that we get back to equilibrium as soon as possible to prevent long term disruption/issues in any of circles.
Pls let me know your thoughts on the same.