Before you are introduced to The End of Competition Principles it’s important to take some time for introspection and self-assessment. The Balance Wheel Exercise will give you a clearer picture of what you value right now. It will help you see whether your time and energy are being spent in proportion to those values. It will also help prepare your mind to use the Ten Principles in the most effective way possible. What you discover as you do this exercise is personal—for your use only. You will not be asked to share it with anyone, so be completely honest.
Most of us want to live a life that is well balanced. We do not want to sacrifi ce our personal lives for our careers or build a great professional life at the expense of our families. We do not want to neglect our spiritual life while becoming obsessed with health and fi tness. We do not want to watch our social lives whither while we build our intellect. We want to grow in all areas of life.
There are times though, when we do not feel balanced. This may be because of a choice we have consciously made, or simply because we are not paying attention to the whole situation or “Big Picture”. For example, while starting and building your business or furthering your education, your marriage and family life may suffer. Or, after the birth of a child, you may give community involvement much less of your time and energy. Or, while you are involved in an all out push to combat an illness and regain your health and fitness, you may not pay much attention to your social life.
As long as these are things that you are choosing consciously and deliberately, your life is on track. It may not be the track someone else would choose, but as far as you’re concerned, it’s fine. Later, you may make different choices to shift the balance elsewhere. When you are growing where you want to grow, your life is working. The difficulty arises when you do not take time to assess what is happening in your life. If you are not spending your time and energy on the things that are most important to you right now, you need to be aware of it so you can correct it.
Draw a figure like this on a pice of paper. This wheel represents various areas in your life. Label each of the spokes with a word or phrase that reflects an area that has some importance to you.
For example: marriage, children, family, physical health, mental health, career, spirituality, intellectual growth, community involvement, social life, recreation & leisure, retirement, artistic expression, travel, etc…
With one color marker or pen, make a dot on the spoke that indicates the importance you place on that area. The center of the circle represents no importance or zero and the outermost point represents the highest degree of importance or ten. So, something that is relatively important will have a dot toward the outside of the spoke, and something that is relatively unimportant will have a dot toward the center. When you have finished, connect the dots.
Next, go through the process again, but this time use a second color marker or pen. Make a dot on the spoke to indicate the amount of time and energy you are currently putting into this area. The center of the circle represents no time or energy or zero and the outermost point represents virtually all of your time or energy or ten. When you have fi nished, connect these dots with the second color.
Finally, go through the process one last time, using a third color marker or pen. Make a dot on the spoke to indicate the level of satisfaction you currently feel with this area. Again, the center represents no satisfaction or zero, and the outermost point represents complete satisfaction or ten.
Now, look at the colored dots in relationship to each other and try to answer some of the following questions. If you do not have time to answer all of them now, try to return to them later. If the spirit moves you, explore some of them in more depth.
1. Where does your level of satisfaction closely match the value?
2. Where is value high, but satisfaction low?
3. Where is value low, but time and energy high?
4. Where is value high, but time and energy low?
5. Does time and energy have any relationship to satisfaction?
6. Where are you not getting the results you want?
7. Are there areas where you would like to grow more, or more quickly?
8. Are there other areas that you would like to make less important?
9. What have you learned about yourself ?
10. What have you confirmed, or brought into question?
11. Does this give you any ideas about goals you might set for the future?
If you are like most people, this exercise will make you aware of some things in your life that you are happy with and some others that you would like to change. Fortunately, that is what The Principles seminar is all about: change that you deliberately and consciously choose. Changes that will improve the level of satisfaction you are getting in areas of life with high value for you. Change that will enable you to spend more time doing things that make you happy and less time feeling frustrated.
As you progress through The Ten Principles, you will be asked to return to and remember the discoveries you made in this exercise, and you will be asked to think about how they relate to what you are learning. You will find this exercise extremely valuable.