“I am now living a delightful, interesting and satisfying life of the most widely useful kind. Because of my own increased health, wealth and happiness, I am now able to help others live a delightful, interesting and satisfying life of the most widely useful kind, my good – our good – is universal.”
While Catherine Ponder and I may have differing philosophies that guide us through life, I can deeply relate to her reflections above. I believe that in order to help lead others towards a successful life, you must first find the perfect balance of health, wealth and wisdom in your own life. If you ask me how and why that is, it’s actually fairly simple to comprehend, but first you must assess each aspect of your life.
It is common knowledge that your diet should be comprised of fresh fruits, vegetables and lots of water while limiting your intake of fried, sweet and fast foods. In addition, incorporating exercise into your daily routine is very important to achieving optimal results. When you want to get into the habit of exercising each day, it has to become something that you are comfortable with and enjoy doing; nothing overly strenuous or tiring. It is ideal to go for thirty minute walks at least five times a week. I am also very against any sort of reliance on drugs, alcohol, or nicotine – too much of any of these can quickly destroy the life you have built for yourself or worse, may end up killing you. If you carefully adhere to each of these principles, you will be much more likely to achieve your ideal body weight, which will then help mitigate any chronic diseases from developing. For those who already suffer from a chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure, I would urge you all the more to make your health a priority in your life. As Jim Rohn puts it, “Take care of your body – it’s the only place you have to live.”
Once you are on the road to achieving good health, the next element of your life you should focus on is wealth. Only a few are lucky enough to have been born with a silver spoon in their mouth; most have to study hard, find a good job, then must work hard. A recent survey found that 78% of workers in the United States are living paycheck to paycheck, while 71% of workers are also in some sort of debt. While part of the issue is undoubtedly the steadily increasing cost of housing and living, the other side of the problem is too many people living outside of their means, trying to keep up with the Joneses. Many Americans are purchasing houses with more space than they need, buying new clothing in order to follow the fast-fading trends, and eating at restaurants far too often instead of eating in. My advice is that everyone learns to live within their means in order to wipe out debt and to begin saving more each month. If this is not possible or if you cannot have the lifestyle you would like while on a tighter budget, I recommend you set some time aside to consider how you could expand your means.
From there we must focus on wisdom. In my opinion, the most important component of wisdom is the ability to evaluate every relationship in your life in order to understand which people motivate you to be a better version of yourself, and which people drain you. It is particularly important to consider those you interact with on a daily basis, such as your co-workers, close friends and even family. Whenever possible, I suggest you greatly reduce your interactions with those who have a very negative effect on your life, sometimes even cutting them off completely if they are particularly toxic and do not seem to be open to change. When you do this, you will very quickly notice the impact it has on your overall wellbeing and state of mind. Oftentimes we do not realize what a burden certain relationships have on us until we are free of them. While some people are naturally more inclined to already have these sort of boundaries in their lives, there are many for whom this will be more of a challenge. But over time and after making it a habit, people usually will master the art of cultivating relationships wisely. Be patient with yourself, as wisdom like this can only be attained with experience, patience and observation.
Now that you understand how to grow in each of these three aspects individually, I want to show you how each is connected to the other, and how one depends on the other for existence.
As I mentioned earlier, it is very important to lead a healthy life. However, it is not possible to eat healthy foods like vegetables, fruits and good protein without money. While you can still go for a walk or even work out if you are on a tight budget, purchasing wholesome, high-quality foods on a low income will be made more difficult. This doesn’t mean that you have an excuse to then feed your body anything you can find. Eating rubbish will only deteriorate your health and may lead to problems like hypertension, high blood pressure or diabetes.
On the other side of the coin, there are many people who in their pursuit for wealth, end up sacrificing their health. They tend to sleep at irregular hours, miss meals and work late into the night. This all works against the body’s natural systems and will eventually take its toll on the body in the long run. If you don’t put your health first while chasing financial success, you may end up with all the money in the world only to find that you are suffering from preventable diseases.
However, even if you do look out for your health and have accumulated some wealth, your life may still be miserable if you insist on keeping people in your life who continually drain you. Only if you are in a truly good frame of mind and freed from that negativity and narcissism can you make wise decisions regarding finances and health.
So you see, it is an infinite circle of life where one aspect of success depends heavily on another. You need wealth to take good care of your body, a healthy body in order to make money, and a healthy and wise mind in order to move forward in either of those areas. As Ann Wigmore said, “Your health is what you make of it. Everything you do and think either adds to the vitality, energy, and spirit you possess or takes away from it.”
As you move forward from here, how will you create harmony and balance in your own life after considering these factors?