Simplifying Life Domains For Growth EP11


Welcome back. This week we’re going to be talking about life domains, what they are and how they can help us live on purpose. This has been an eye-opener for me. In doing this research, I found that there are 5 basic life domains. However, you can track as many as you need to help you. There is freedom to choose how many or how few areas you want to focus on because it’s your life. What I want to do is share some of the life domains and then you can pick up which ones you feel you need to focus on. I also want to take it from the extreme and hopefully make it simple.

Why Are Life Domains Important? 

Knowing and understanding what our life domains are helps us understand how we are doing in certain areas of life. If we are honest, they can show us where we are being super successful and where we need to work.

I went through exercise in 2018 and found that I was floundering in most areas of my life. In fact, according to that survey, out of the 9 areas it focused on, I was at the bottom in five and just above the bottom in two. I was only doing superb in two areas of my life. Spirituality and relationship. The funny thing is, those were the areas I had decided to work on at the start of that year. So I knew before I ever took it, there were things I could fix. And you probably know that too. You know there are things in your life that can use some work.

Deciding on what life domains we want to focus on and sticking to them can help us grow in those areas. I would love to tell you I didn’t jump in and try to fix all of my life’s domains right away. But, that’s not true. I tried to fix them all at once and failed, so I started over and developed a set of life domains that fit me and my lifestyle. Because when we try to be something we’re not, we usually end up not being successful.

Another thing I learned while doing the exercise is life domains are a lot like values. When we know them, we can focus on them and adjust them so that we can grow. Knowing what we value and where our values fit our life domains will add another level to our growth. 

The brilliant engineer and inventor Douglas Engelbart said, The better we get at getting better, the faster we will get better. He knew that the more we know and understand ourselves, the more we can grow and become our true selves.

What Life Domains Should I Focus On?

The one more or less scientific study I found said there are five basic life domains: health, relationships, community, career, and spirituality. The list grows exponentially from here. Health becomes diet and exercise, personal growth and Mental Health. Relationships become spouse, significant other, children, extended family. Community. becomes volunteering, religious organizations, kids’ sports, and friends. Career becomes vocation, job, avocation, hobbies and leisure. Spirituality becomes faith and religion. Then each of those can have their own area. And you can add money as well money becomes retirement, finances and charitable giving.

DietSpouse/Significant OtherVolunteeringVocationFaithFinances
ExerciseChildrenReligious OrganizationAvocationReligionCharitable Giving
Personal GrowthFriendsKids SportsHobbiesRetirement
Mental HealthExtended FamilyLeisure

So you can see how it gets confusing pretty quick. There are 26 things that I’ve just listed. If we try to focus every day or every week on each of those things, we’re going to drive ourselves mad. 

Let’s try to keep it simple. Not use these things to beat ourselves up. God knows we get enough of that from the constant barrage of negative self-talk. I want us to be simple and think about the three to five areas of our life that matter the most to us. And I’m going to tell you up front that these things will change. What’s important today may not be important tomorrow. But you have to decide that.

For me, I base the five life domains I focus on around my top five values. My top five values are Freedom, Personal Growth, Faith, Family, and Leadership. My life domains I focus on are:

  • Spirituality/Faith
  • Family
  • Personal Development
  • Friends
  • Leisure

Decide what matters most to you. 

For you, this will be different. You may decide to use the five basic areas: health, relationships, community, career, and spirituality. It may be exactly the same with different words attached. I don’t have career on my list because it falls under personal development, family and leisure for me. If those are in alignment, then my career will be fine. Decide what matters most to you, then see how few life domains you can get it into. 

For years, people have been trying to expand personal growth tools like this to fit every area of life into them. I want to get away from expansion and help you live a life you design and manage with as little effort as possible. When you wake up in the morning and try to decide how to be a ten in 12 life domains, that can get overwhelming. I can tell you from experience, you’ll never say, I wish I had worked more. Unless you’re an ego driven narcissist who loves money and hates your family. 

Ask The Right Questions

In his book, Living the Life You Were Meant to Live, Tom Paterson gives four questions to ask about your life domains.

  • What’s going right?
  • What’s Going Wrong?
  • What’s Confused?
  • What’s Missing?

If an area is going right, optimize it. For what’s going wrong, change it. is something confusing, clarify it. And for what’s missing, add it. If you spend 10-15 minute a week, and an hour a month looking at your life domains, you will know where to focus your effort. Examining yourself and developing an awareness of how you live will lead to growth, and that is what life is about. Growing toward the person you were created to be.

Like everything in life, this isn’t rocket science. You probably know exactly what areas of your life you need to focus on, so I hope this podcast has just jogged your memory. 

Thanks for stopping by.

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