Do you want to be happy?
Of course, you do, but how badly do you want it?
What are you willing to do or learn to find real, enduring happiness?
Joy won’t come from gifts at Christmas.
Nor will it come from a nice promotion at work.
And no matter how much you look forward to it, your weekend binges won’t bring you happiness either.
Lasting happiness comes from having the right priorities in life and finding the balance between all of them.
The four pillars of a happy, abundant life are faith, family relationships, financial freedom, and fitness.
Consider, for a moment, each of these pillars as an actual column. As an engineer, I design houses to ensure that they can carry the weight of the roof, snow, and other loads imposed on them. I design columns frequently.
When designing a long beam to support your house, for example, I would make sure that it had enough columns underneath to help it carry the load. If one of the columns is demolished, the remaining columns must try to take the additional weight given to them.
The same is true with the four pillars. Think of these pillars as if they were literal pillars holding up your happy, abundant life.
If your mental or physical health slips, every other part of your life must carry the weight. When your relationships are suffering, your mental health has to pick up some of that weight. Or if you have neglected your finances, you will find your relationships and health suffering as they try to make up the difference.
If you want to live a happy, abundant life, you have to give adequate care to all four pillars.
Let one suffer, and they all have to carry the additional weight.
Think carefully, and you will find that each of these pillars is linked to your deepest fears, pains, and worries. But that is because they are also the sources of your most profound levels of connection, love, and happiness as well.
You need to be happy in each of these areas. But you have experienced pain in one or many of them for so long that you doubt that it’s even possible anymore. You may have even given up.
I know because I’ve been there too.
Lost weight and gained it back again.
Suffered the negative effects of my own anger, again and again.
And struggled to maintain a healthy habit of deep work.
I’m there now, in a lot of ways.
But there is hope.
There is so much hope and help and happiness for you and me if we will press forward. In this world that is fighting to destroy itself, there is light in the dark tunnel of all your problems.
You can progress to experience the happy, abundant life that you were meant to live. I am confident in this because I have experienced it for myself.
I see so many people suffering. Living paycheck to paycheck. Having broken hearts and lives from relationships. Struggling to stay afloat mentally and physically.
It can be easy these days to feel like we were just meant to live a life of drudgery. We aren’t terrible people for thinking this way. After all, it’s what we see around us.
But life wasn’t meant to be mostly pain scattered with a little happiness.
We were all given this chance at life so that we could live in happiness, with little moments of pain in between to help us learn and grow.
We obtain that happiness and abundance by putting our faith and family first above all else. We utilize our ability to earn money to fulfill our necessary temporal requirements. Our physical and mental health gives us the fuel required to take care of our highest priorities — faith and family.
So where do you start?
Just pick one pillar and move forward with it in even the smallest way. Begin with whichever pillar you struggle the least in.
Why the least?
Because that is likely the pillar that is the source of your greatest strengths. When you learn to live within your strengths, you are better prepared to give strength to the other pillars.
When you feel ready, move on to the next pillar that you feel is your next biggest strength. The strength developed in the first pillar you worked on will buoy you up through the difficult times.
How do I know?
This pattern is exactly how I’m learning to live my life, and how I balance so much. When I was depressed, I worked on the smallest thing I could — sleeping. For my physical health, I’m working on utilizing my love of fruits and vegetables to eat healthier. These are just a few ways that I strengthen myself when I find myself weakening in any of the four pillars.
So where would I start if I were you?
Read more books.
Your success and happiness in anything in life are directly proportional to how much you read about that particular thing. As Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”, but those 5 people don’t have to be those you can see in person every day.
Give 15 minutes every day reading or listening to a book about whichever pillar you want to work on most. You’ll find yourself being filled with ideas to do things you would never have imagined you could do.
You can do this.
A healthy, happy, abundant life is right ahead.
You just have to begin moving forward in small ways.
I have no doubt that you’ll make it.
Actionable Advice: Grab a piece of paper, a journal, or start a new note on your phone. Jot down the four pillars and next to each write where you’d like to be and some ideas for specific steps that you can take to get there.