If your life is out of balance, It’s because you’re out of shape in one or more areas.
We’ve now reached the third tier of the Pyramid of Success. This is the part that applies outside the world of athletics, according to John Wooden. He says this because while practices train you to develop certain skills, conditioning is the foundation upon which those skills are built.
Without the proper conditioning, we fail to be the best we are capable of being.
There are four crucial areas we must get into shape if we want to maximize our potential.
The first area is physical conditioning.
No doubt this one. Is the most obvious. It’s what we see first when someone walks by. Is he heavy, muscular, or thin? Does she have trouble walking, or does she move with grace? Is he smoking or drinking water?
Our physical appearance can reveal a lot about our exercise, eating, and sleep habits.
The good news is that if you’ve made some mistakes with this in the past, you can learn today what to do to improve. Here are three practical guidelines.
1. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re satisfied.
2. Exercise regularly.
3. Schedule six or seven hours of sleep.
The second area to get into shape is our morals.
Zig Ziglar said that being moral is not healthy, it’s practical. Consider the Ten Commandments. If you follow them, you will stay out of trouble. For example, if you don’t steal from your employer, you won’t get fired. Don’t indulge in sex when you’re not married, and you’ll avoid venereal disease, emotional pain, and unwanted pregnancies. Don’t lie, and you’ll avoid a bad reputation.
You don’t need any special skills to get your morals into good condition. All you require is knowledge and desire.
The third area to get into shape is our minds.
Sir William Osler gave a commencement address to the graduates at Yale back in 1913. In that address, he encouraged the students to exercise their minds three to four hours each day. Now this was long before the age of digital distraction we live in now. There was no e-mail, no Facebook, no YouTube to fill their hours. TV didn’t exist. Nobody had mobile phones, tablets, or laptops. But the idea that “when you graduate you quit learning” permeated the minds of people young and old.
If you want your mind to stay sharp, invest some time in education. It can come from books, speeches, or videos. Just do something. Learn a skill. Read a biography. Take some lessons. You’ll be surprised the difference it makes.
The fourth and final area to get into shape is our spiritual lives.
Thomas Aquinas made this observation:
“Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures.”
We all yearn to be truly happy. Billy Graham said that our two greatest spiritual needs are to be forgiven and to be good. If you don’t feel joy in knowing that all is right with your Creator, the rest of your life will never be in balance.
If you want to be your best, get into condition physically, morally, mentally, and spiritually. Do all these things every day and you’ll be as fit as your circumstances will allow.
You really can’t do better than that.