The Wheel of Life

Making your Life Matters

“Step with great care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.” – Dr. Seuss

Balance in Your Life

As Dr Seuss, the famous children’s book author, puts it “Life is a great balancing act”. Yet, you tend to get busy and stressed out on some specific projects or aspects, and you tend to lose sight of the things that should really matter to you. When you’re at this crossroad, it’s time to take a step back, re-assess, and put balance back into your life.

This is where the Wheel of Life comes in. The Wheel of Life is a self-assessment tool often used in life coaching and goal setting. Much like Buddhism’s Wheel of Life or bhavacakra, the Wheel of Life tool uses the wheel as a representation of life with the wheel’s spokes as life’s paths or areas. While bhavacakra dwells on giving lessons on enlightenment, the Wheel of Life tool helps you assess your life, and helps you achieve a more balanced and satisfying life.

The Total Person Concept

The Wheel of Life, also known as the Total Person Concept, was developed by Dr. Paul J. Meyer, founder of Success Motivation Institute Inc. Inspired by a bike tire, Dr. Meyer’s Wheel of Life or Total Person Concept advocates that balance is the key to life and all areas in a person’s life together is the sum total of that person.

Much like a wheel, you need to give appropriate attention to each area to maintain balance in your life. When you give more attention to one area of your life, other areas may become neglected and you might become dissatisfied with these areas.

The Wheel of Life aims to help you identify the important areas in your life and give these areas your appropriate attention to become the Total Person you want to be based on your personal priorities and values.

Assess your current life and think where you want to be in a few months, a year, or so from now and what your priorities are.

Assess Your Life

When you’ve made your self-assessment, you can use the Wheel of Life tool to help you reflect into and re-assess your satisfaction level towards your current life, and compare it with what you want your ideal life to be.  You can map on each spoke of the wheel the different aspects or areas of your life that are important to you.

Figure 1 is an example of the Wheel of Life, with different categories such as Career, Finance, Personal Growth, Health, Family, Relationships, Social Life, and Attitude.  In each wheel or category, you can rate your satisfaction levels from 1 to 10.

The categories given in Figure 1 are merely examples. You may have some areas in your life that you want to understand or you feel you need to give more attention to. Your Wheel of Life, the Total Person that you want to become may be different from that of another person’s wheel.

Figure 1: Example of the Wheel of Life

Create Your Wheel of Life

Identify Your Life Areas

Identify six, eight, or more areas, depending on how many areas in your life you think you should pay more attention to. Consider the following when you start assessing your life areas:

  • The role/s that you play in life: Such as a husband, wife, father, mother, friend, leader, or other roles

  • Areas in life that matter to you: Such as career education, family, friends, finance, or other areas.

  • Your priorities in life: Reflect on your priorities in life based on your life’s role, your life’s areas, or both.  

 

Download or Create Your Own

You can download a blank template of the Wheel of Life. You can also draw a circle on piece of paper or on a blackboard and make this as your Wheel of Life.

On each spoke of the wheel write down your life areas that you’ve identified. Assess and give your satisfaction ratings for each of your life area using the scale of 1 (not satisfied) to 10 (very satisfied),

Now connect and join the marks or dots on the circle. Take a look at your wheel with its connected dots and ask yourself “Does my wheel feel and look balanced?”

Take Action to be the Total Person in You

Take a hard look at your wheel of life. Consider your current strengths, values, and priorities to plan your course of action in achieving balance in your life. For instance, if you’re a manager or a boss in your company, you can delegate some tasks to your subordinates so you don’t need to work overtime or on weekends and you can spend more time with your family. Or perhaps one of your life areas is financial growth then you can think of budgeting your money and cutting down on unnecessary expenses.

You may need to make small or big changes depending on what your priorities are in your life. The key to your wheel is to give the proper attention to important areas in your life and to take the necessary actions to achieve a balanced life and become the Total Person that you want to be.