I’ve been watching a lot of Dexter lately. It’s a Showtime TV series that centers on a blood splatter analyst who leads a secret life as a serial killer.
I will admit, this show stresses me out .
It’s not that I’m afraid for Dexter (I mean, his name is the title of the show – I doubt they are going to kill him off any time soon…well, wait that was purely a guess … I’m only on the 4th season… oh no… don’t give it away! Dexter be careful! )
I’m stressed because Dexter is AWFUL at organizing his life. I don’t worry about his crimes… I get stressed when he leaves his child with the nanny for too long. I get stressed when he doesn’t show up to work on time because he was off riding in his boat. Mainly, I get stressed because Dexter has tried to divide his life into perfect little pieces (no pun intended… harharhar ), and he finds his life constantly crashing down around him.
Dexter, buddy, can’t you see the full picture!?
Which makes me think, don’t we all try to do the same? We compartmentalize our lives on a daily basis. We have our family, our friends, our romantic partners, our career, our personal development, our homes and our health. We have these segments in our lives that we must juggle, and sometimes it’s easier to divide them into separate entities. Sometimes it seems easier to handle them that way.
But just like Dexter, therein lies a fatal flaw. Here’s why segmenting your life could cost you your happiness and sanity.
If you are a control freak like me, segmenting just seems to make sense. It’s much easier to wrap our heads around one section of our life than all of the intricate pieces at once.
You do different activities in each segment, and each part requires a different type of attention and care. You don’t treat your career like you would your health, or treat your family like you would your house.
Segmenting gives our logical minds a sense of relief.
Phew! That part is taken care of, now on to the next thing. ..
The problem is, each segment is unable to operate fully as an individual entity.
In fact, all segments work TOGETHER to create a life that you can call your own. And when we design our lives, we aim to create an environment where all segments work in tandem and support one another.
If you are miserable in your career, your romantic relationship might suffer. If you are ill, you might not be able to focus on your family as much as you would like. There’s a reason why cheating on your partner with another person always ends badly – it’s just too difficult to separate aspects of your life for long. They will catch up with you.
The trick is to always look at the big picture. That’s where Lifestyle Design comes into play.
The best way to design a life that incorporates each element is to clarify an over-arching goal for yourself. You want to find a greater purpose that each segment can support.
For example, I like to design my life around Happiness Creation . My career lets me do this the most, by allowing me to write articles and speak at events where I can uplift and inspire others, where I can coach my clients to create their own personal lifestyle design, and where I can develop a community through my created content. That’s a WHOLE ‘LOTTA HAPPINESS CREATION!
I support Happiness Creation in my relationship with my soulmate . I make it my priority to keep our partnership exciting, where we can grow and support one another in new ways. Creation is about ever-expanding possibilities and not falling into the same routine over time. This is the ultimate goal in everything that I do.
Maybe it’s tranquility. Or excitement. Or love. Or control ( hey – not all goals are noble. It’s up to you to design the life you want).
Really take a moment to think about this – it’s important.
If you are having trouble deciding for yourself, think about someone close to you. Sometimes it’s easier to analyze others around you to understand the concept of over-arching goals. People make a WHOLE LOT more sense once you’ve pinpointed their over-arching goal.
Or to start off, think of a character in your favorite movie or book. Sometimes goals for characters are easier to spot, considering their fictional lives are often much less complex than our reality.
Also, if you are having trouble, sometimes it’s easier to work backwards. Do you have a large goal or dream that is important to you? Take a moment and ask yourself – “Why do I want to achieve this dream? What’s the REASON behind this goal?”
Maybe your goal is to become a successful comedian. Why do you want to become a successful comedian? Maybe it’s because you want to make other people laugh. WHY do you want to make other people laugh? Maybe it’s because you value acceptance and friendship.
Really go deep here and speak your truth. Only you will know when an answer resonates with your soul.
In this scenario, acceptance and friendship might be your over-arching goal. You might REALLY value your social life, and seek a soulmate that not only fulfills your romantic interests, but is also your best friend. You might enjoy living in a city, where you can easily meet new people.
Most everything in your life will come back to this main goal.
Once you pinpoint your main goal and foundation, it will be easy to spot areas that are weaker and more segmented than others.
For me, each segment of my life must support my goal of “Happiness Creation”, otherwise I know it’s time for a change. For example, I live in New York City but desire to move somewhere warmer – and calmer! I know that New York City no longer creates the happiness that I desire in a location to call home. Therefore, I’m actively making plans to find a place that fits those needs.
Happiness Creation has always been the driving force in my life. For a long time, I thought acting was my happiness. It wasn’t until I came to terms with the fact that it no longer served me that I realized my main goal had been Happiness Creation all along.
What needs to change in order to support your highest good? What areas of your life have become disconnected from your foundation; where you might have fortified the walls of your segments a little too strong?
Segments are brick walls, solid barriers that we put up in order to keep areas of our lives shut off from one another.
Whereas boundaries are healthy and fundamental; they are like a chain link fence that sets limits, but without halting the flow of your foundational energy and life force.
It would be easy to build a brick wall, to keep our careers to ourselves and focus only on the elements of our relationship that we have in common. It would be even easier to assume that the other person just ‘doesn’t understand’ and to keep our professional lives separate from one another.
But instead, we’ve built a chain link fence that establishes a boundary, but allows for in-depth communication so we can support one another in our separate endeavors. I listen to every speech he gives for work and I help him fine-tune the presentation. He reads every Soultiply post before I hit publish and helps me brainstorm my business strategy. We look out for one another, and learn from our differences.
And in that way, my career is very much a part of my relationship with him, and vice versa.
And for me, that creates happiness – which is the point of it all.
My relationship supports my career. And the point is to have each segment support the other, while ALL segments support your larger life-designed goal.
What areas of your life could use the support of the other segments? What can you do to design them so that happens?
Maybe your career is not supporting your health. That’s a problem that isn’t going to resolve itself.
Or maybe your social life isn’t supporting your romantic aspirations. It’s hard to meet that special someone sitting at home on the couch.
Each aspect of your life MUST support your highest self, and only you will know what that means.
Be demanding of your dreams. Hold each aspect of your life to the standard of your greatest good and don’t let it falter.
Imagine if your life were a giant game of Jenga; what would happen if I yanked one segment out? Would it all crumble down?
The goal is to be balanced, where each aspect supports the others to create a strong foundation.
That’s how you win the game.
Stress is like a poisonous gas that just loves to float among the segments and seep into the cracks and weaknesses nestled in each barrier.
Stress might first impact you at work. Then you snap at your family and bring all that work “garbage” home with you. You find yourself having more and more little spats with your partner. After weeks of enduring a stressful situation, you catch a cold and convince yourself to power through the illness because you can’t miss a day at work… because you’re so stressed. You are tired, run down, feeling sad because your home life isn’t as great as it used to be, and now your career is suffering because of it.
Don’t you see that it’s a cycle? Stress is the ultimate test to see if your foundation is strong enough.
What can you do to fortify the weaknesses?
And when we have those moments where it feels like life is crashing down around us, most likely it’s the disintegration of all segments at once . It’s when we’ve lost sight of our foundation, the main goal that drives our lifestyle design.
It’s often during those moments – where it seems like nothing is going right and all things around us are changing – where we learn the most. When our life goals shine the brightest and the truth of our core becomes crystal clear.
Embrace those moments. The pain will fade, the dust will settle. Trust and embrace the clarity after the storm.
And use that momentum to create a life that truly inspires you. A life that operates in perfect harmony, like a well-oiled machine. Pick up the segmented pieces and create a living masterpiece.
You’ll be glad that you did.
I hope this article brought you some clarity and pointed you in the right direction. If you find that you need some help designing a supported and purposeful life, never hesitate to reach out. Soultiply has got you covered .