Before I get into the top five pillars of life, let me clear something up about the order and importance. The pillars of life work synergistically with each other. I’ll give examples of this as I move through each one. Since these five pillars of life are synergistic, there isn’t really an exact order of importance.
However, some are more important than others, but can’t be sustained with each others.
Money is the absolute dictator of our society and is arguably the most important of the pillars of life. We live in a monetary system and all our life necessities are controlled by it. Food, water, shelter, hygiene, and relationships (yes, over 50% of marriages end over monetary dispute!).
Being broke is the root of all evil. In our society, money equals abundance and abundance equals peace. Scarcity means fighting for survival. When people are broke, they have low value in society. They’re more likely to sell drugs, steal, and end up in quarrels over respect.
Respect is also scarce when money is scarce so people who have very little money are sensitive to being disrespected. Money is options. The more options we have in our lives, the more likely we are to improve the quality of our lives. Now, we have access to organic foods, the top gyms, safer and more convenient transportation, access to better education, access to the best medical care, etc.
Without proper problem solving skills, management is difficult and money is wasted. There are definitely those out there who spend so much money on entertainment (often to cover up their lack of goals) that they end up with no money in the later parts of their life. Having a lot of money is half the battle, managing it is the second half.
Being healthy gives us a chance to enjoy life and actually maintain it in the literal sense. Without money however, all our life options are limited. We can’t get the best healthcare, best food or access the best exercise facilities.
Problem solving yet again ties into help because there’s just so much information out there. Knowing how to analyze data, dissect it and create a health plan for yourself is one of the hardest parts. After that, managing it by manipulating the environment around you is the second half of that hardship.
Imagine having a weak immune system, needing to take insulin daily or even being on dialysis? Other chronic health problems like acne or eczema are not fun to deal with either. On top of all that, physical appearance is very closely linked with health. Weight loss, skin problems and dental problems all have to do with health.
Just like money, the quality of our lives is greatly diminished if we have to manage a chronic illness or an ongoing condition. Health and wealth need each other, but health is so much harder to attain and maintain without wealth. Wealth is not enjoyable without great health.
Without proper problem solving skills, it’s really hard to be effective in the other pillars of life. Problem solving can get you into properly managing your health and money. Without great problem solving skills, it would be hard to sort through the data and effectively get on a proper diet. Time management is important, but not large enough to put in a category on it’s own. Management in general goes under problem solving.
Problem solving tools are also limited without money because your options are limited. If you want to build a house, but cant afford the raw material, you have a lot against you solving that problem. The biggest problem people have solving problems are emotional. People tend to reflect upon their values and personal, bias processes to come to conclusions. Proper problem solving is as far away from those methods as possible. Emotions literally have no place in problem solving. Only math and science do. unfortunately, leaning towards popular or trending patterns isn’t the answer. It’s easier to accept answers that complement our values, but in the long run, our faulty problem solving skills will cause us more problems.
For example, let’s say we want to get healthier and decide to go Vegan. It sounds very beautiful and “worldly”, but unfortunately it’s not an effective diet. I used my emotions to solve that problem and in the long run I run the risk of being anemic, deficient in B12, muscle atrophy and brain issues. That’s all because my methods of problem solving were ineffective.
We are always told not to judge a book by its over. Unfortunately, that’s how books are judged. It doesn’t matter what they tell us about judging because it’s not in our control. It’s automatic. Who’s going to read a book that they’ve heard nothing about, but don’t like the cover. When a book has an interesting cover, I pick it up and read the back. If it interests me further, I’ll look into it. If the book has a cover that doesn’t grab my attention, I’m more likely to ignore it and I won’t have a chance, to give it a chance. Unfortunately, that’s how it works with people. Someone can be the nicest person in the world, but if their first impression to me isn’t attractive, there’s a high possibility I’m going to pass. First impressions and your responsibility to maintain an attractive behavior is extremely advantageous.
As unattractive as it may sound, beauty is not in the eyes of the beholder, it’s in the eyes of the masses. Beauty, just like any other taste is acquired by our culture and current fashion paradigm. That’s why with style changes over time and what is deemed as beautiful also changes. A good lesson I learned in school is that fitting in and being accepted by my peers made me no longer feel neglected. Focusing on my weight and the clothing I wore, I was able to gain value in the eyes of those around me. It’s nice to say “the world should accept me for who I am. I shouldn’t have to change for anyone!”. Maybe it should, but it doesn’t. And if you pace around your house hating the world because of it, nothing is going to change.
As superficial as this sounds, it’s just the state of things. Being able to swallow reality and adapt is the difference between being effective in society and constantly struggling. Small, ignorant sub cultures like “fat pride” and odd styles of fashion might be valuable within that small sub culture or group, but it holds little value in the real world. That’s a reality some people have to face. We need to do are best to display acceptable physical appearance.
Physical appearance usually goes hand in hand with good health. Nice healthy skin, healthy weight and a nice set of teeth go a long way. However, none of the pillars of life escape the influence of money. Money still plays an important role in physical appearance. The clothing you buy, the make up, the salon/barber you go to, the shoes you get and the gym you sign up to are all influenced by money.
The world around us is all about other people. Without people to run home and call, watching movies, sports or even accomplishing goals aren’t worth it. We live our lives to impress and interact with other people. The principles behind human behavior is crucial in our success with people. Principles like scarcity and respect. Understanding that when people feel inferior or disrespected, they will often resort to irrationality. Scarcity creates value, so when a friend keeps calling you non stop, it might be because you’re their only friend. Once we understand human behavior, we start to understand people, rather than get mad at them. That’s really important if we plan on being successful in our relationships.
The secret is that people just want to be understood. Everyone from a murderer to a priest. People can’t understand each other unless they’ve been in similar circumstances and that’s okay, but we also must understand that we can’t conclude judgement because we don’t have any data (experience) that relate to the person.
People are products of their environment. From the clothing we wear to the language we speak, we all are shaped by our environment. If we grow up in a scarce, low income environment, we are more likely to be very competitive for things. If we are raised in a wealthy, abundant environment, we’re more likely to be a lot less competitive because we have this inner feeling of “there’s enough for everyone”. Knowing what forces drive people to act a certain way can help us avoid problems and teach us to approach people differently.
Without this level of understanding in human behavior. There will always be constant struggling and finger pointing in our relationships with friends and loved ones.