As 2012 fades into history and a new year begins, I find myself thinking a lot about how to create balance in my life. This is nothing new for me as every year I tend to evaluate my recent experiences, see what lessons I can learn, and apply them in the new year. The word I am focusing on this year is balance. As I cogitate on this concept of balance, one thought keeps reoccurring in my mind. Balance is about four-quadrant living; and 4 quadrant living is all about paradigm shifting. I have coined the phrase “Four-quadrant living” from a quote found in the expanded translation of the Bible by Kenneth S Wuest. In the Gospel of Mark it says “ And you shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with your whole mind, and with your whole strength. ” Before you get lost in the obvious religious connotation, look beyond that to see the four-quadrants identified here. Let’s focus on this principle. Your life has four-quadrants, and you are to use those four-quadrants in their wholeness. If one quadrant experiences extremes, the other three will be out of balance. I will talk about extremes in a few, because I do not want you to miss the dynamics of these four-quadrants.
So, in general, what are the four-quadrants? First you are an emotional being. You experience sadness and joy, broken heartedness and fulfillment, and many other emotional responses to your situations. Second, you are a spiritual being. You are designed to serve a higher purpose than yourself. Third, you are an intellectual being. You react to the world around you with logic and intellect. Finally, you are a physical being. You exist in time and space. These four-quadrants form your entire being and when one quadrant experiences an extreme, the other three become unbalanced. The acronym I have used to develop this coaching model is P.I.E.S. This translates to Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual. Balance requires your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and your whole strength. These four-quadrants of your life should be abiding and operating in the seven practical concepts I spoke of in my last posting titled “Starting off 2013 headed in the correct direction”. These quadrants should be in alignment, have continuity, seek a higher purpose, be intentional about engagement, constantly be under the eye of evaluation, always adding value to life, and be evolving towards the next greater achievement.
This thought has given birth to a model of coaching that I use to help clients accelerate their lives to achieve their goals. Balance can be thought of as an absence of extremes. When the extremes are reduced, balance results. Think about the times in your life when everything appeared to be out of control. As you reflect on your experiences, try to recall how you felt concerning this concept of balance. Did you feel that your life was in balance or totally out of whack? Was your life like a glider-rocker or was it more like a washing machine with an unbalanced load? Life balance plays an important part in your ability to maintain the proper state of mind when your life situations seem out of control. When extremes are present, balance is fleeting. So the primary focus in Four-Quadrant Coaching™ is to reduce the extremes, find and maintain balance, and shift the focus of the client towards achieving his or her goals and objectives. However, four-Quadrant Coaching™ is not just about these three targets, it is a strategic approach to accelerating the client life to achieve his or her goals.
So what does this mean to you? Over the course of the next couple of months I will be looking at each quadrant and giving you some practical advice on how to bring these four-quadrants into balance. What I have discovered as a parent of a special needs child is that often times balance is more about my ability to anticipate a situation than it is about my ability to control it. It is about building flexibility into my processes and plans so that extremes do not impact any of the four quadrants. To help you understand how Four-Quadrant Coaching™ works, consider the following five thoughts.
First, to maintain balance in your life you must learn to be proactive. Being proactive means that you anticipate the potential outcomes of a given situation even before that situation manifests itself. Being proactive requires your intellect. You must be able to examine the current situation, develop an accurate assessment of the dynamics of the situation, consider the potential outcomes based on a variety of actions, and then execute a strategy that reduces or eliminates extremes. The elimination of extremes creates balance. Remember, balance can be thought of as an absence of extremes.
Second, to maintain balance in your life you must learn how to be intentional. Intentionality means that you purposefully execute your strategies for accomplishing the goals which you set. Intentionality requires that you set, as a priority, those actions that will directly impact your success. If you set a goal to purchase your first house, every decision you make from that point forward must always be considered in conjunction with how the end result of your action will advance you towards achieving your goal. If you set a goal of eliminating debt from your life, your actions must make eliminating debt a priority over every financial transaction. If you set a goal to be healthier, your actions must support the process of getting healthier. Those actions that do not support your goals should be delayed or eliminated based on your needs.
Third, to maintain balance in your life you must learn how to create space for the most important things. I have an assessment that is designed to help a client determine the most important aspects of his or her life. It is important for the client to identify where he or she is expending his or her energies in relationship to what is most important. If you are expending energy in areas of your life that are not important to you, then you are creating the extremes that reduce balance. How true it is that some people spend their lives doing a job they do not like, for a check that never seems to be enough, in a location where they swore that they would never live. They do this because they have not built space into their lives.
Forth, to maintain balance in your life you must connect emotionally to the world around you. I did not learn this concept until my son was born. For many years I assumed the posture of me first. Then along came my son and life hit me hard. That is when I learned that every life (born and unborn) creates a wake. Every life leaves a track of waves that lap on the shores of the lives of others as he or she moves through the waters of each person’s life. Because my son was born with multiple physical and cognitive challenges, I have learned more about empathy, anxiety, fear, sadness, grief, and mourning. These very personal emotions have helped me in connecting to the world around me. This emotional connection has created a balance where once there was an extreme. We all share the same emotions, even though our circumstances and situations might be different.
Finally, to maintain balance in your life you must learn to develop your spiritual nature. I am not going to try to define this concept in relationship to your life. However, I will share that when you develop specific values associated with your spiritual nature such as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control you will find that your life will have much more balanced. When you develop these values within your core principles, you create the stability and strength to manage difficult situation. The balance that is created by you possessing stability and strength within your spiritual nature will accelerate your ability to achieve your goals and get results in your life.
Four-Quadrant Coaching™ accelerates your life so that you can achieve your goals and get results. As the next few months pass, I am going to challenge you to begin to incorporate the principles I discuss into your life. If you decide that you would like to incorporate Four-Quadrant Coaching™ into your life on an ongoing basis, contact me by visiting my website http://kenrupert.com and use the contact form to inquire about the process. Just starting with these five basic steps can dramatically shift your paradigms and change the trajectory of your life in a positive direction in 2013.