(While this article first appeared in the 'Good Men Project' for men, it can apply to Women as well)
Are you healthy in one area of life, but sick in all the rest?
When you hear the word “health,” you probably immediately think about physical health. But actually, health encompasses many other areas of a man’s life besides the physical side – and those areas need to be healthy, too.
Why? Because there’s no sense in being healthy in one area of your life, but being sick in other areas. It’s only when you’re healthy in all areas that you start to truly live a life worth living.
So what are these areas of life? There are seven of them, namely:
#1: Physical health.
This one everyone knows about. The goal is not to be thin or attractive – the goal is to be healthy. Check your physical health right now. Are you getting sick? Are you not as strong or limber as you could otherwise be? How can you improve your health today?
#2: Mental health.
This pertains to your self-development, a large portion of which relies on continually learning new things. Is your life stagnant right now? Have you settled into a mindless routine that’s getting very old very quickly? It might be time to read an eye-opening new book or learn a useful new skill.
#3: Family health.
In the past, family integrity was super-important for the development of boys into men. Today, in most of the Western world, that importance seems all but gone. Don’t follow the trend – instead, pick up the torch and ask yourself: How can I make my family happier and stronger moving forward?
#4: Financial health.
It’s not just about making enough money. It’s also about preparing for the possibility of dying too soon (with insurance) or living too long (with careful investments and a resilient retirement fund).
#5: Vocational health.
This is basically your means of earning a living – your career, your businesses, your investments, and so on. It’s also your primary means of being useful to the world and finding meaning as a man. There are many wonderful ways to put food on the table – don’t choose something that’s meaningless and destructive.
#6: Social health.
Life is so much richer and more rewarding when shared with friends. Build a network: Have friends, business contacts, work partners, hobby buddies. Join volunteer groups and ministries. That’s not to say you can’t be an island – you can definitely try – but a network will help you achieve what you want in less time, with less stress, and with a lot more fun.
#7: Spiritual health.
For myself and many other men, this is the most important area of life to keep healthy. Whether you keep yourself spiritually healthy by following an organized religion or your own personal meditations, keep that communication line to the divine open – it’s going to bless your life in unexpected, unimaginable, wonderful ways.
Being healthy in all areas of your life requires a lot of work, discipline, and sacrifice. But in the beginning, most of the work will consist of simply cutting yourself free from whatever is binding you to failure, frustration, and mediocrity.
For some men, it’s bad habits like excessive alcohol or TV watching. For others, it’s toxic relationships with the wrong kinds of people. Every man is different.
So ask yourself right now: Which areas of your life do you need to work on? Which areas are less than healthy? List down the things you can do to shore up your health in those areas, and get to work.
The good news is that when you start becoming healthier in all areas of your life, good things start to happen – you find better work, you build better relationships, you meet better people, and so on. And all of that will add up and help you achieve the success, happiness, and meaning you’ve always wanted.
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