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The Areas of Life™ – The Core Areas

In my last post, The Achievement Model™, we looked at a logical model for achieving anything in life. This post will expand on the core areas of life, and future posts will explore the extended and enhancing areas.

Below is an image of The Achievement Model™, the areas shaded blue are the core areas of life. You may click the image for a larger size.

The Achievement Model™ - The Core Areas

The Core Areas

The core areas of life are spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical and interval. These are the areas of life which will always affect you, no matter where you are or what you do. It’s important to understand that these areas are the most important areas of life when it comes to personal development and growth. For if you want to make any lasting change in your life, you must change yourself and your core areas first, before you can make a lasting change in the world around you.

This area has been the hardest to define – simply because spirituality is usually linked to one or another form of religion. Let me share with you the distinction of how spiritual will be defined in this model.

Wikipedia contributors, “Spirituality,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed May 24, 2009) defines spirituality in the following manner:

Spirituality is matters of the spirit, a concept tied to a spirit world, a multidimensional reality and one or more deities. Spiritual matters regard humankind’s ultimate nature and purpose, not as material biological organisms, but as spirits with an eternal relationship beyond the bodily senses, time and the material world. Spirituality implies the mind-body dichotomy, which indicates a separation between the body and soul.

The spiritual is contrasted with the material, the temporary and the earthly. A sense of connection is a central characteristic of spirituality — connection to a reality greater than the physical world and oneself, which may include an emotional experience of awe and reverence. Spirituality may also be about the development of the individual’s inner life through specific practices such as meditation and prayer. Spirituality is the personal, subjective aspect of religion and mysticism.

I believe this is a great definition, for it removes all inference that a specific religious belief system is directly connected to spirituality or the spirit itself – your religious beliefs are a personal choice, and I will never discuss or examine the belief systems of religion, for that is not what this blog is about ;)

The above definition states that the spirit goes beyond time, the bodily senses, and the material world. The spirit connects us to a reality greater than the physical world and oneself. This is very interesting…so then, what exactly is the spirit? The best, and most concise definition I could find was also by Wikipedia contributors, “Spirit,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed May 24, 2009).

An incorporeal but ubiquitous, non-quantifiable substance or energy present individually in all living things.

Now this tells us that the spirit is an incorporeal (meaning: without the nature of a body or substance) but ubiquitous (meaning: the property of being present everywhere) energy present in all living things. So this means that we are all “powered” by spirit, and are connected to a spiritual realm or dimension that we cannot see or sense in the material world. The spirit is kind of like radio waves, where we cannot see them, but we can send and receive them. Now the stronger our connection to the radio waves, the better reception we have – so the stronger our connection with the spirit (which is energy that is powering us), the greater our energy (and possibly many other things) we will receive via this spiritual connection.

As we move from the immaterial spirit, we find ourselves thinking or questioning what we are experiencing. This is the area of the intellectual. Wikipedia contributors, “Intellect,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed May 24, 2009) defines intellectual as:

An intellectual (from the adjective meaning “involving thought and reason”) is a person who uses his or her intelligence and analytical thinking, either in a profession capacity, or for personal reasons.

So we use our thought and reason, or intelligence, to answer questions or to problem solve. Before we continue, let’s define intelligence as per Wikipedia contributors, “Intelligence,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed May 24, 2009):

Intelligence is an umbrella term used to describe a property of the mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn. There are several ways to define intelligence. In some cases, intelligence may include traits such as creativity, personality, character, knowledge, or wisdom.

…and further down the page:

Intelligence comes from the Latin verb intellegere, which means “to understand”. By this rationale, intelligence (as understanding) is arguably different from being “smart” (able to adapt to one’s environment).

From this information we can see that intellectual traits include creativity, personality, character, knowledge, and wisdom – including the abilities to reason, plan, problem solve, think abstractly, comprehend, understand, communicate and learn. These are some of the most important traits and abilities we require to change our lives, to obtain that which we want so badly, and to achieve our greatest dreams. The area of the intellectual is the first area we may use our spiritual empowerment to create our physical reality.

The area of emotions is a very interesting area to understand. First let’s look at it’s definition by Wikipedia contributors, “Emotional,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed May 24, 2009):

An emotion is a mental and physiological state associated with a wide variety of feelings, thoughts, and behavior. Emotions are subjective experiences, or experienced from an individual point of view. Emotion is often associated with mood, temperament, personality, and disposition. The English word ‘emotion’ is derived from the French word émouvoir. This is based on the Latin emovere, where e- (variant of ex-) means ‘out’ and movere means ‘move’.[1] The related term “motivation” is also derived from movere.

The interesting part is how this definition explains that emotions are a mental and physiological (or bodily) state which are experienced from an individual point of view – in other words, we create emotions by how we view our experience and we then create a mental and physiological state. By this understanding, if we change how we view our experience(s), we change our emotion in that moment and in turn how we think and act. I’ll give you an example.

If you say something in front of a group of people, and they laugh – what do you think? Do you think they are laughing at you, and making fun of you personally? Or, do you instead think you are funny, and they are laughing at what you said? Now if you thought people were making fun of you, how would you act… and how would you feel? What if you thought people were laughing at what you said…how would you act and feel then?

You see the situation didn’t change, how you “thought” about what happened was the difference, and that in turn changed how you acted and felt emotionally.

To master your emotions is one of the most important skills you could ever learn – for your emotions can empower and motivate you, or they can completely dis-empower you leaving you feeling worthless and defeated.

The physical area of life includes the health of your body inside and out. From your organs to your percentage of body fat, we need to make sure our bodies are physically fit and healthy. If our bodies are fit and healthy we can live a happy and long life free of pain, full of pleasurable moments and energetic experiences. Too many of us create certain physical barriers for ourselves, either through neglect, unawareness, or lack of knowledge and motivation.

Sometimes it’s easy for someone who is aware of the root cause of a physical ailment, with the knowledge of how to change it, and possessing the motivation to do so, to simply tell someone else to “just do it” without providing the personalized tools to do so. It is true that any action is better than no action, for you can always learn through your experiences – and no matter what the outcome, the only failure is not taking action – but we will look at specific strategies for achieving physical success in future posts.

The last core area is the area of time, or moments in time otherwise known as intervals. Wikipedia contributors, “Time,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed May 24, 2009) defines time as:

Time is a component of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify the motions of objects.

Within this area we are able to plan and focus our energy(s) at any one moment for a specified time frame. For most, this is an area of opportunity that once mastered will, in itself, lead to certain success.

Nothing is a more precious commodity than time – for once it has been spent, it can never be recovered. If you don’t choose how you will spend your time, someone else will choose how to spend it for you.

I believe the following quote is an excellent way to conclude this post:

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. ~Carl Sandburg

This has been a quick overview of the core areas in The Areas of Life™ model. In the next post we will review the extended areas in this model, and in future posts, we will examine specific strategies for achieving success and happiness using these areas of life.

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