6 Steps to Recognizing and Developing the Building Blocks of Life

Written By The Thrillionaires Published April 12th, 2010

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By Dr. Dallas Humble

Life is made up of many different parts. In each of these parts, we find a piece of our life that if left unrecognized will leave us unbalanced, underdeveloped and unfulfilled. However you define success, there are approximately six areas of your life that you need to recognize to achieve it. Our life is made up of these separate and distinct parts that make us who we are. These building blocks lay the foundation for achieving success. What we do with them makes us what we are.

When our life is not balanced, it doesn’t flow but instead bounces and jars us around much like an unbalanced wheel on a vehicle. When balanced, it smoothes out, bouncing only slightly with the occasional bump. Those bumps are the ups and downs that make up our life here on earth. Regardless of how developed your life’s building blocks are or how successful you are in attaining your dreams, they are still present. I’m convinced though, that if we are diligent in prioritizing and working on these areas of our life, we will encounter smaller, less frequent, bumps than we would otherwise.

Although you are ultimately the one that decides what success is to you, it is important that you confront each of these categories of life, opening the door to finding the success you are looking for. By doing so you will also be forced to develop your gifts or talents that, in turn, assists you more accurately in planning for your future. As we look at each of these building blocks, understand that they are in no particular priority, with the exception of the first two. I believe that experiencing life-long success may depend in taking each step in order.

Do not be hard on yourself or be fanatical in trying to be perfect in all areas. Our lives always need work and we all lack in one or more of the following six building blocks. You will never be fully developed in your life and you will never be perfect. You can, however, strive to be the best you can be constantly looking for ways to improve yourself.

Let’s begin with the first of the six steps or building blocks. I believe this to be most important.

Step #1: The Spiritual Building Block

This is the part of your life that makes you who you are and ultimately what you are. It is the very being of your identity. If spiritually you are not fulfilled within, other aspects of your life will suffer.
Look around you. If you see someone that has success financially, but spiritually they are lost and their family values are less than desired, does that individual really have the kind of success you want?

I have met countless people that had the money and recognition so many of us pursue. However when asked if happy, they usually answer no. Why is this? Is it because money makes you unhappy, or is it the fact that their lives are unfulfilled, or without meaning. I’m not talking about the happy front that many people put on only to change behind closed doors. I’m talking about the real you, the you very few, if any, really ever see.

If we were to place what I am saying in question form, I believe it would be asked in the following way: Who are you when no one is looking? Other than when letting your hair down, relaxing, etc., are you at peace with yourself, at home as well as in public? In all of the goals you pursue in life, does the fact that death is the ultimate end of life as we know it here on earth ever enter your mind? And most importantly, if you were to die tomorrow, would you be ready spiritually for what awaits you?

I once heard Zig Ziglar put it in terms we all can relate to in talking about the importance of having our spiritual house in order. He said, “You’re going to be dead a lot longer than you’re going to be alive.” How true this is. Looking around you, however, you would never know it. People are working diligently all of their lives so that they do not have to work their later years. Sadly, many of these people do not place any time or importance in their spiritual life.

If you can’t see it, feel it, hear it or smell it, then it doesn’t matter. This is much the philosophy today. I’m not saying that this life isn’t important. Life is the most precious possession we have. In order to stay fulfilled, however, we need to stay spiritually alert, pray regularly and worship at the place of our choice.
We need to place emphasis on the real us within this shell called a body. Our spiritual self is, in all reality’s sake, what makes us alive. Some of the most successful people on this earth recognize where true success comes from. On the other hand, there are those who have everything from money to physical fitness to being liked by everyone (social acceptance) that never find true joy and happiness.

I have yet to find an individual that is spiritually fulfilled and doesn’t have true joy and meaning in their life regardless of their possessions. I see so many people in this fast paced world worrying about what they will have tomorrow, how accepted they will be or how high they can go, never giving a minute’s thought of where they are spiritually. What a tragedy this is.

I remember watching an interview with a body builder on television sometime ago. When asked about his use of steroids, he responded, “I would rather die at 30 and look good, than to live a long life without the physique I desire to have.” When death faces this individual squarely in the eyes, I wonder if he will regret what he said. The bible in Mark 8:36 says, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” No matter how many possessions you accumulate if you loose your soul, you really haven’t gained anything. You have actually lost the most important possession you have, yourself!

Focus on becoming all you can be spiritually and watch your life change for the better before your eyes. Will it alleviate all of life’s problems? Of course not! What it will do is allow you to place things in perspective, put your faith where it belongs and make life’s problems appear smaller than before, just the way they should. You may have to be brought to your knees before you are humbled, but remember many people have to be brought lower than others before they look up. Eventually, however, the only direction you can see is up. It’s our choice whether we decide to focus our eyes and hearts in that direction or briefly look and allow pride (your ultimate destroyer) to bring you a life of chaos, defeat and ultimate destruction.

By placing the spiritual part of your life first, you are laying down a foundation made of rock in which to build your life on. Life may huff and puff and blow on your house, but you will remain standing because your life is anchored and built on a foundation of rock.

Step #2: The Family Building Block

I placed this second because I believe it is just below our spirituality in importance. The family unit is the very fiber of our development and stability in life. I know we all have heard of family values over the years and their importance in our lives.

Politicians have even grasped their importance. Regardless of how structured our government is or how good the people are running it, the family and its values are what separates a moral, God-loving, law-abiding country from another. We can build more jails, have stiffer laws and penalties for criminals, but without proper family teachings from childhood on up, the chances are slim for an individual to be a God fearing, law abiding, and productive citizen.

So exactly what are these family values we hear so much about? According to Webster’s Dictionary (21st Century Edition), a value is defined as a relative worth or a basic principle. I think of it as learning right from wrong.

A family, whether it be a single parent, one child or many children is the most beautiful gift we have ever been given the privilege of having. It is up to us to teach the younger generation the values that we have had instilled in us from childhood.

Some call me old fashioned in the things I am about to share with you. If they make me old fashioned, then I can’t think of any other way I would rather be. The following are my personal beliefs on how children should be taught and reared in the home. You may not agree with all of them, but please understand this is how I was reared, it’s how my parents were reared and it’s how I am rearing my children. I hope they assist you with your family.

1. I BELIEVE IN CHILDREN BEING TAUGHT TO RESPECT THEIR ELDERS AND ALWAYS ANSWERING WITH YES MA’AM, NO MA’AM, YES SIR OR NO SIR.

2. I BELIEVE IN DISCIPLINE (NOT PUNISHMENT), WHEN NECESSARY. I BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD TEACH OUR CHILDREN THAT IF THEY DO NOT FOLLOW ORDERS THEY WILL HAVE TO PAY THE CONSEQUENCES.

Many children are told not to do something and when continuing to do it, no discipline is administered. I never believed the saying, “this is going to hurt you a lot more than it is me” until I had children of my own. I further believe that after disciplining our children we should love them and even hold them until all is okay. This way they realize your love for them and the fact that you are not disciplining them because you are angry.

3. I BELIEVE IN SAYING I LOVE YOU TO YOUR CHILDREN AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.

4. I BELIEVE IN HUGGING YOUR CHILDREN AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.

5. I BELIEVE IN HAVING AT LEAST ONE SIT DOWN MEAL TOGETHER EACH WEEK TO DEVELOP THE BONDING THAT IS LOST BECAUSE OF THIS FAST PACED SOCIETY.

6. I BELIEVE IN COMING HOME EVERY NIGHT, UNLESS CIRCUMSTANCES ABSOLUTELY PROHIBIT IT. THERE ARE LEGITIMATE JOBS THAT DO NO ALLOW THIS, BUT IN MANY CASES IT’S BECAUSE THE FATHER OR MOTHER FOR THAT MATTER DO NOT PLACE COMING HOME AS A PRIORITY.

My children know that if at all possible their dad is walking through the door in the evening to see them. Countless times I have been asked to dinner for business when I refused. There were times when I needed to be somewhere early the next day and although it would be more convenient to spend the night, I chose to stay home. This develops a stability that can’t be undervalued.

7. I BELIEVE IN BEING A BEST FRIEND TO YOUR CHILDREN, BUT REMAINING THEIR PARENT. I AM DAD AND THEIR MOTHER IS MOM. THEY DO NOT CALL US BY OUR FIRST NAME.

8. I BELIEVE IN HAVING SOMEONE HOME FOR YOUR CHILDREN WHEN THEY LEAVE SCHOOL. I KNOW THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE IN ALL CASES BECAUSE OF WORK, ETC., BUT IT IS IMPORTANT.

9. I BELIEVE IN OPENLY DISCUSSING ISSUES SUCH AS SEX WITH YOUR CHILDREN. THIS IS WHERE I MAY DIFFER FROM A LOT OF PEOPLE, BUT REMEMBER IF YOU DON’T TALK TO THEM ABOUT IT, SOMEONE ELSE WILL. IT’S YOUR CHOICE.

10. I BELIEVE IN PRAYING TOGETHER. I’LL MAKE THIS BRIEF. A FAMILY THAT PRAYS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER.

These are ten personal beliefs I believe to be basic values a family needs to develop into all it can be and stay close throughout life. If you don’t agree with all of them, that’s okay. A few of them would go along way toward helping this world’s families today. One last thing to Fathers, the best thing you can do for your children is to love their Mother. Let them see it. You are the example of what they will become.

If you are single and do not have a family, perhaps you have friends that you can develop close relationships with. Regardless of whom, you can have all the money in the world, but loneliness knows no barriers.

Step #3: The Social Building Block

We have all met people we don’t want to be around for various reasons. Let me fill you in on a fact. If you can’t get along with people, finding success in life is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Your ability to communicate, like and be liked weighs heavily on your ability to climb the ladder of success.

Count the friends you have in life. If you are stuck on the number zero, then perhaps you need to look in the mirror at yourself. It’s been said that you can tell a lot about a person by the friends he or she has.

If you died today, would your name be socially acceptable to pass along to your children? The answer to that question will summarize how your social life measures up on the ladder of success.

Step #4: The Physical Building Block

I once heard a definition of irony that I will never forget related to our health. It said, “Irony is working all your life and sacrificing your health to achieve financial success only to be willing to spend all of your financial gain to buy back the health you sacrificed along the way.” You can’t buy health. I remember as a young man watching a gentleman that was known for his wealth in life. Basically there wasn’t anything that he couldn’t purchase. At least nothing that was purchasable. As this individual walked with several other men through a country fair, I could see sadness written all over his face. It was less than one year after that point I came to find out that he had died from cancer. He knew he was terminal when I saw him and no matter what excitement surrounded him, regardless of how much money he had, he was dying and there was nothing he could do about it.

So what’s the point of this short story? Without your health materialistic possessions in life are meaningless. Take care of your body. It’s the only one you will have. You may not be able to circumvent every illness that comes your way, but you can certainly add quality to the time you have here on earth. Exercise regularly, eat right and yes, you can splurge now and then. Seek out alternative health care providers such as chiropractic and acupuncture for your health needs. Limit caffeine intake and take proper whole food nutritional supplements on a daily basis.

Sounds easy doesn’t it? In essence, it is. Don’t overindulge regularly and don’t deprive yourself of the things you enjoy eating without enjoying them once and a while. Remember that success in life is worthless if you are not here to enjoy it. The key is moderation.

Step #5: The Mental Building Block

The mind is like a muscle in the body. It can be developed if we are willing to spend the time doing so. The world is full of people that have chosen to expand their mind and become knowledgeable in specific areas. Don’t believe just because you may lack formal education in a certain subject that you can’t learn about it. Success stories abound concerning those that have developed their mind as a bodybuilder does his body. God favors no one. If you believe that, and you should, you will realize that you can become and do what you desire if you have the mindset to do so. In short, read and learn. The mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Step #6: The Financial Building block

We need to face the fact that as important as they are, finances are still only one-sixth of your overall success in this life. Remember money is only good for what it buys. It’s enjoyable to be able to purchase the things you want and desire and live the lifestyle you have always dreamed of, however, happiness is a byproduct of living life to its fullest. Money, on the other hand, is a byproduct of the service you render while living. I once heard a scenario concerning what money could buy that I thought explained its power and most importantly, its limitations. It went something like this:

Money can buy you a house, but it can’t buy you a home.

Money can buy you a companion, but it can’t buy you a friend.

Money can buy you free time, but it can’t buy you freedom.

Money can buy you a good time, but it can’t buy you happiness.

In essence, money with all of its power is equally balanced by its limitations. So what exactly do we do to develop this building block of our life? Realize the limitations of money while at the same time respecting its power. Follow proper, sound financial guidelines while saving on a regular basis. And last but not least, be willing to give on a regular basis preventing us from becoming greedy.

These are the building blocks of life. Look at each area of your life and attempt to maintain the balance that is so important for living. Understand you and I will never be perfect. We are just striving to be all we can be.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Dallas Humble is an author, speaker and business coach. He has written numerous articles published in professional journals worldwide as well as authored numerous books on business management and success principles. Dr. Humble has spoken to and consulted with thousands of his colleagues and individuals and on inspiration, personal development, motivation, leadership and business management. He is also featured in the movie, The Journey, an inspirational film about life and the pursuit of success with Brian Tracy and Bob Procter. Often known for his Make It Happen Strategies, his positive messages have created hope, belief and a winning attitude in people from around the globe and have placed him among the top speakers in America today. For more information on his services, products, events or speaking engagements visit his web site at www.makeithappennetwork.com or email him at support@makeithappennetwork.com


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