When I teach, work with people or just simply think about how to best make tools available to people, my tendency is to look for a systemic approach in which I can divide ideas into four major distinctions, or four areas of focus.
From the beginning of my training as a Counsellor and Life Coach, I became fascinated with four quadrant approaches, as a framework to organize my ideas, methodologies and techniques, and to gain an overview beyond the various methods I was learning.
A four quadrant approach is useful to
- Organize a systemic perspective
- Holistically look at various focus areas
- Visually explore the interrelation of different key elements
- Create new models and systems
- Enlarge the framework that an idea contains
- Create integrated ways of thinking about change
- Develop the neutral witness
I am interested in a systemic approach to change, because I like to notice various pattern, and find it helpful to look at a visual map of some major distinctions related to a balanced life.
A four quadrant approach is a useful reminder that we are always greater than any focus we may take, and it can provide doorways into a more balanced and holistic life.
4 keys to balanced living
1. Finding your vision & purpose
Consider exploring your unique vision and purpose in your life. This key for life balance is about the question, "For whom" and looks into how we can offer help and contribution to others.
The question: How can I contribute?
The energy: Wisdom
2. Creating goals and intentions
A part of life balance, and a key in maintaining life balance, is being clear on your intentions. After clarifying your vision, you can set goals that align with this vision, and brainstorm possible solutions and steps.
The question: What is my intention?
The energy: Inspiration
3. Being committed and taking action
Life balance is committing to specific steps and taking action that supports intentions and goals. If we don't take action, we waste the potential of our contribution, and cannot serve what we truly love.
The question: What action steps Am I taking?
The energy: Purposeful achievement
4. Discovering resources and aligning to values
When we know what are our values, it is easier to create balance and to stay committed to important action steps. Eliciting values is an important part of life balance because it teaches us to organize our attention focus.
The question: Why is it important?
The energy: Appreciation
So here are the 4 questions...
How can I contribute? What is my intention? What action steps Am I taking? Why is it important?
Using a four quadrant approach to life balance is optimizing, because it gives you a tool to notice areas you are ignoring. Not only that, you can perceive your personal patterns from a wider view point, which facilitates personal growth and clarity. It also serves to find your blind spot, and to engage in learning more about your way of thinking and approaching your own habit systems. So what works, is to observe what key areas or quadrants are more familiar and known to you, and finding the ones that are not easy for you.
In this case you can explore
Where do you experience more ease? What can you learn about life balance and the four keys that can help you facilitate greater clarity and integration?
PS: Four quadrant approaches exist in many different formats, some notable examples are the work of Leslie Temple Thurston, Steven Covey, Dudley Lynch, Ken Wilber, and the teachings I received from Erickson College.