Where it starts
Wheel of life is a tool I thankfully use to make many of my clients aware of what they ideally like to do vs. what they really do. Better said, what kind of life would you like to live? I have had great discussions with executives and others who are fully confident about how they have lived. However, when we did a deep dive they surprisingly came to new insights, sometimes as confrontation, sometimes as a trusted confirmation for what and how they did. It is amazing to see the happy faces when the Wheel of Life exercise confirms the chosen route. It is also interesting to notice some start thinking deeply when they realize the road-map is not set as it is meant to. A few say, great to realize I am on the right path. Others say, Oh God! How is it possible that I have been doing these things all those years without even noticing what I’ve done? See figure 1 for different dimensions of wheel of life.
Figure 1- different dimension of wheel of life
What does shape your wheel of life?
Imagine you dream to become a CIO but what you do currently, is the road-map of becoming a production manager. Doing the wheel of life exercise will make you aware of what you really like to do or become. That willingness is sometimes hidden under deeper layers of your dreams, values and things to achieve in your life. What does really matter to you? Is it becoming an excellent production manager or a successful CIO? You might even realize none of the two choices would really make you happy. Instead, you may really dream of running your own B&B business.
The following paragraph may get you closer to the value of wheel of life. I haven’t met many people saying they do not care about their friends and family. When I ask people what is important in their life. They usually (even with a sincere body language) answer: family, friends, career, financial stability, fun, etc. When we go through the wheel of life exercise, the reality turns to be different, sometimes slightly sometimes terribly. I have met many people who have listed family as very important for them in their life. But when we go deeper into details we realize some haven’t talked to their most important family members for years. One hasn’t talked with his only brother for 3 years. The other is ashamed that his daughter is not pleased to see him. Another was saying he wish he could be part of his kids’ lives. I really love them, I think I’ve done whatever they want, how come they hate me? I am such a successful GM, but a terrible dad, one said once. Wheel of life makes you aware of where you stand in your life and why? The exercise is completed when you also know how to get there, if you feel you need to change the setting of your wheel of life.
What would you do if you won lottery?
Painfully, there are many people around us who do something they don’t like to get something else they do like. In some cases there is even no relation between the two. Let me make it more tangible. What would you do if you did not have to work for your costs? How would your day then look like if you won a lottery of €10.000.000? What would be your next immediate step? Would you be going to the same work with the same attitude, energy, standards, norms and values? The majority of people I asked what they would do if they won the lottery…, yes you are guessing right. They would stop working for their bosses immediately! In many cases this happens because the wheel of life is not set properly.
Many people do not do what they really want deep in their heart. Many people work for money, chasing the money, to do what they really enjoy. There is nothing wrong with working for money. We all have to live on something. The point is what kind of work do we do? We may get much better results when we chase our dreams and not the money. Make your dream create money for you. As we coaches say, limiting beliefs make us sticking to what and how we do instead of what we really want to. Typical examples: “I do not really enjoy working for this company, but I don’t have any other choice”. “I can’t pursue my dream, because I don’t know how to deal with failure”. “I can’t ask for promotion, what if my boss disagrees?” The more we think we can’t, the more we get stopped by our limiting beliefs, unhappy and far away from our dreams.
Dare to dream
Doing the wheel of life exercise will not cost you more than an hour, but it may change your life and help you live as you dream.
The first- and in some cases the most important barrier- you need to break down to realize your dream, is your limiting belief system.
Wheel of life can be a good start. Dare to dream and design your wheel of life as you wish.
About the author
Hamid Safaei is the founder of ImOcean Academy. He is a qualified executive coach helping executives and high potentials unleash their potential. Hamid has led successful business transformations for a number of Fortune Global 500.
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