The Eight Pillars To Living A Great Life

Close eyes and imagine someone who you believe is living a great life.  Who do you see?  What do you see?

Is the person rich?  Does the person have a vibrant family life?  Maybe they are an adventurer who constantly seeks new challenges to conquer. 

While all these qualities are great, you must ask yourself, does success in one area of your life really mean that you are living a great life?

Many of us wrongly believe that success is defined by the increase accumulation of material wealth.  Owning big houses, nice clothes, and the latest gadgets is a sign of success.  This is amplified by the fact that mass media, namely advertisers are pushing their messages on us in order to drive more sales.  Sales is driven by showing people like us, how happy others are when they buy, use, and flash a product.  

Today’s blog digs into eight different areas of your life that are important to living your best life possible.  We will take a detailed look at each area and I will also provide suggestions on how you can improve each of them.  

To give credit where credit is due, I first heard of these 8 Pillars from Robin Sharma.  His ideas have sparked so much inspiration in me. I strongly suggest you take the time to check out his material.  

The Eight Pillars

1.       Your Mindset 

Your mind is your most powerful asset.  It can either strengthen or weaken you. If you are mentally strong, confident and energetic, there is no telling what you can accomplish in life.

Here are some things you want to ask yourself in order to see how good your current mindset is.

  • What is the current quality of your thoughts?
    • Are they primarily positive thoughts?
    • Are your thoughts full of hope even in negative times?
    • How clearly do you think throughout the day?
  • How self-confident are you?
    • Do you believe in yourself?
    • Do you believe that you can achieve anything you put your mind to?
    • Do you listen to your naysayers or critics or do you walk to the beat of your own drum?
  • How do you bounce back from failure?
    • Do you quit with things get tough?
    • Are you afraid to fail?
  • How peaceful is your mind during turbulent times?
    • Do you keep replaying bad memories over and over?
    • Are you harboring hate when you should be practicing forgiveness?
  • Are you pursuing personal growth?
    • Are you learning new skills and information?
    • Do you spend time training yourself so that you can excel at your career?
  • What are your values and beliefs?
    • What are you passionate about?
    • What are you core values?
    • How do you express your values and beliefs?
    • Are you willing to stand up for your rights when you get challenged?

2.   Your Health

You won't realize how lucky you are to be healthy until disease and illness takes hold of your life.  Every day in the corporate world, I see people sitting all day long with little to no exercise. Over the years, I see these individuals slowly deteriorating, mentally and physically. We humans are meant to be physically active. 

The book Spark by John Ratey helped me understand the importance of  exercise and how a lack of exercise negatively affects your brain and body. 

Equally important is the food your eat, the amount of water you drink and the amount of sleep you get every night.  This all adds up to your health.

Why is it important to stay healthy?

  • You have more energy throughout the day
  • You feel happier and have a better outlook on life
  • Your mind is able to focus directly on accomplishing your life goal


3.       Your Family

Having a healthy family relationship is a must to living a great life.  There is no greater satisfaction than coming home to a loving home and spending quality time with those you love the most.  Make your family a priority because careers, friends and money all come and go, but your family will always be your family.


4.       Your Career

Your career allows you to showcase, build, and enhance your skills and talents.  Your career should be the canvas for your masterpiece!  If you do not enjoy your career then you are wasting your most precious and limited resource - time.

One last point, your engagement levels at work is directly correlated to the talents you have and the you actually use.  If you don't feel like your current career challenges you to use and enhance your talents, its time to find a new canvas for your masterpiece.


5.       Your Material Wealth

Based on my blog introduction, you might think that I am against material wealth, but in truth I am not.  I am against using material wealth as a way to measure one's success in life.

Having money makes it easier for you to craft the life of your dreams.  It also provides you with a sense of security and gives you the opportunity to indulge in the finer things in life.

Just don't let material wealth define who you are.  Many people become defined by what they own, the money they have, or the job title on their business card.  Money does not buy happiness or fulfillment in life.


6.       Your Friendships and Relationships 

One of my favorite articles is a study completed by a nurse in Australia who was treating patients in a palliative care unit.  These patients were asked: “What are your biggest regrets in life?”  One of the most common answers was losing touch with their friends.

True friends lift your spirits and support you through thick and thin.  True friendships are ones not defined by distance or time. Your friend could move tomorrow and you may not see them again for years, but when you do, its like nothing has changed.

It is also important to note that you should also actively seek to spend more time with people who you admire or inspire you.  On the flip side, you should think about spending less time with people who are negative and drain your energy levels.


7.       Have More Fun in Your Life 

Life is an adventure and should be lived as one.

Remember when you were a kid and all you wanted to do was play, discover and use your imagination? It’s hard to remember these times because as we grow into adults we are told to take things seriously. 

But what good is living life that is repetitive and mundane?  We only have one chance to live so we might as well enjoy living it.  


8.       Your Legacy 

I won’t repeat what I have already blogged about.  Please check out the blog called “Start With The End In Mind” for a recap.

Making a difference in the world will bring tremendous joy to you.  

Be significant! Live a life so that when you leave this Earth, you left it better than you entered it!

The first step in improving your life is to understand the current state of each pillar.  Than can move on to define actions to take to start moving you a step closer to living a completely fulfilling life.

Here is a template that you can use to get started.

Current Rating:

  • On a scale of 1 to 10 how successful are you currently in each pillar? (10 being you are completely happy and have nothing to improve upon)

Ideal State:

  • What would this pillar look like if it was 100% perfect?
    • Write down the things you can think to reach a level of "perfection" in this pillar
  • Imagine yourself in a state of bliss in a particular pillar.  
    • What do you see?
    • What do you feel?
    • What do you have?

One thing you can do NOW

  • What is ONE that you can commit to doing right now to take you closer to your ideal state?

Here are some ideas of things you could do to increase each pillar.

1.       Your Mindset

  • Meditation
  • Give gratitude daily
  • Use a journal to capture your thoughts, fears, accomplishments, etc
  • Read inspiring books
  • Spend time and money on personal development
  • Use self-affirmations
  • Perform daily random acts of kindness

2.       Your Health

  • Exercise regularly
  • Read the book Spark by John Ratey
  • Minimize eating refined sugars
  • Minimize eating packaged foods
  • Get 7-9 hours of sleep everyday
  • Find ways to relax and lower your stress
  • Drink lots of water

3.       Your Family

  • Put away your mobile phones while spending time with the family
  • Make family time sacred time
  • Plan a fun event that you can all do together weekly
  • Call a family member that you haven’t spoken to in a while
  • Tell your loved ones that you love them (don’t assume they know)
  • Surprise your significant other with a love note

4.       Your Career

  • Create a personal development plan for yourself
  • Set goals for yourself to reach for
  • Find ways to make current products/processes better. Innovate!
  • Under commit and over deliver
  • Go for a 21 day challenge of meeting someone new every day for 21 days
  • Find a mentor or be a mentor
  • Get involved in work  projects that allow you to blur the lines between your personal passions and your career

5.       Your Material Wealth  

  • Automatically invest money into a savings account each paycheck
  • Find new sources of income. With the Internet economy anyone with a great idea can make extra money.
  • Plan a vacation (Research has shown that this boosts your mood)
  • Create a vision board of all the things in life you want to have (I use Pinterest for this)

6.       Your Friendships and Relationships

  • Reconnect with lost friends
  • Set up coffee or lunch meetings with those who inspire you
  • Read autobiographies of some of the world’s greatest humans (Gandhi, Mandela, Luther King Jr, etc.)
  • Cut out people from your life who drain your energy
  • Spend less time with negative people
  • Spend less time gossiping with people

7.       Having More Fun in Your Life

  • Smile and laugh more
  • Plan a weekly event that gets you excited
  • Actively look for ways at work to have more fun
  • Team Building Events
  • Toys at work
  • Do something completely different and adventurous.

8.       Your Legacy

  • Define your life mission
  • Find a way to make a positive difference in one person’s life a day
  • Volunteer your time to help others in need
  • Make a commitment to be helpful  and kind to others


It’s now your opportunity to take action.  You have the power to create the life of your dreams.  I wish you all the best of luck.


Special Note: I put all of my blogs into a downloadable pdf book and added a couple of extra unpublished blogs that I will release only to my newsletter subscribers.  

The two extra blogs talk about the process I go through to build strong lasting routines and my final "secret" ingredient to my morning routine which energizes me and gets me ready to rock the day.  

My newsletter subscribers will also get access to my Top 5 most recommended books to induce massive self-improvement.  Click this link to subscribe.