My Triangle of Health
A fulfilling life worth living entails having my triangle of health in good working order. When optimized, they will all work together to build a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in my life. They can also do the opposite when neglected. Each requires hard work to build and maintain. If you allow one domain to falter, the others will as well.
Characteristics of my Triangle of Health
- Physical Health: Strong, Mobile, Agile, Capable
- Social Health: Love, Bonding, Belonging, Safety
- Mental Health: Calm, Intentional, Happy, Content
Below I will outline the strategies that I utilize to optimize my triangle of health in order to have a fulfilling life worth living.
I have two children, ages 9 and 11. Both are very active and fast. My son asks me to wrestle nightly. The answer must always be yes, even when I don’t want to. My daughter often asks me to play tag on the lawn. We bike, swim and rollerblade as a family all the time. I want to always be able to participate in PLAY with my children. Play relentlessly is one of my mantras. I always say yes to play. Keeping a silly disposition and being ready at any moment for shenanigans is something that feeds my soul.
If I want to play at 50, 60, and beyond, I have no choice but to keep my body physically ready to keep up with the teenagers and young adults that will be in my life. I feel as good at 40 as I did at 30. The only reason I can say this is because I have consistently eaten healthy and exercised daily for the last 15 years. As I get older, my friend group willing to participate in these activities continues to get younger. This is somewhat disheartening. I want to inspire everyone to have fun by staying active.
“You are today, the product of all the days prior.” Meaning the habits and behaviors that you choose today is who you will become in the future. I take this idea very seriously. For example, if I replace all the daily exercise I do with TV or participate in some other sedentary behavior, I would be a very different person 10 years from now than if I did not.
It would be a lie if I said that looking good was not a part of staying physically healthy. I truly believe in the mantra of “Look good, feel good.” Being happy with the way you appear to others affects your confidence, and in turn, affects the way others respond to you.
- Play Relentlessly
- High Energy levels throughout the day
- Tasks of Daily living are trivial (more energy for the fun stuff)
- Look good, Feel Good
It is well known that social relationships are important, but do you know how important? A 75 year long Harvard study has identified the single most important metric that predicts how successful a person will be in their life. Close social relationships are what matters most to a fulfilling life. It’s not the quantity but the quality. In fact, the opposite is true; toxic relationships have a net negative impact on your health and longevity.
Love is a verb, not a feeling. It is not the way you “feel” about somebody that determines if you love them. It is the behaviors that you enact while interacting with them that show true love. I can say I love my spouse all day, but unless I am consistently exhibiting the behaviors of love, the words are meaningless.
My spouse and children have always been the foundation from which I build my social life. They have to fit into any other relationships that I make along the way. They will be with me for the rest of my life, so they have to come first. The relationship with my wife comes first over my children. I don’t mean I love my wife more. Our relationship has to be undeniable for our kids to have the best modeling of what a loving relationship is.
It has always been important to have friends that love me, and I, them. True friends have your back; they are a net positive in your life. They make you a better version of yourself, not a worse one. Those are the types of people that I surround myself with. Over the last 5 years or so, I have begun to phase people out of my life who do not meet those standards. Some may see it as selfish. I see it as a way of being the best person I can be. Living the best possible life worth living. We only get one of these. Might as well make it a fulfilling life.
- Love is a Verb, Not a Feeling
- Spouse and Kids are #1
- Friends that Truly Love you
Perspective is everything. How you perceive the situation determines how you “feel” about it. A victim mentality is just about the worst way of perceiving the world for your mental health. I am not saying that bad things don’t happen to good people. I am saying that you are not responsible for bad things happening to you. You are, however, responsible for how you respond. Will you wallow in your sorrows, or will you accept that it happened and move forward. I choose to move forward. Pity is the enemy; resilience is your friend.
I take this principle and apply it to all areas of my life. Let’s say you have a shitty job. You can go to work today hating every minute of it due to your perspective of woe is me. Alternatively, you can go to work with the mindset of doing the best possible job at whatever task is set before you. In one mindset, you are miserable. In the other, you have purpose and, dare I say, have fun.
Be curious. Never stop learning. Stagnation and mediocrity are life killers. Life-long learning has been shown to improve cognition and mental sharpness as we age. Find new areas of interest and dive into them headlong. In my mind, a fulfilling life includes perpetual learning.
Stop living life on the momentum of the past. Live intentionally. What I mean by this is to stop mindlessly going about your day with the same habits and behaviors of the past. Stop………Think for a minute about what you would like to be different in your life. What areas could you improve upon if you had a magic wand? Identify the area that is the most important to you and Take Action Today. Decide to make a small change, and commit to being consistent with it over the next month. You will be amazed at the progress that can be made in that amount of time.
- Have a Positive Perspective Always
- Be Curious and Never stop Learning
- Live Intentionally