How to Hack Your Weaknesses to Bypass Failure

Zig Ziglar, one of the world's greatest career and personal development coaches, was known for what he called, "The Wheel of Life." It was a 7-piece pie chart made up of: Career, Financial, Social, Spiritual, Family, Physical and Intellectual. According to Zig, to truly thrive you had to take care of each area of your life. If one area suffered, they all suffered.

It probably won't come as any surprise that everyone struggles with at least one slice of this pie. In fact, you're probably zeroing in on that one piece now. For me it's the physical side. I really have a hard time getting to the gym or going for a run on a regular basis. I wish I had a count of how many times I started an exercise routine only to miss a day and have it all fall apart.

But I realize that taking care of your body is an important piece of the puzzle — if your body is fit, strong and receiving the nutrients it needs, your mind will tend to function better, you'll tend to be more focused in your work, you'll tend to be happier, and you'll tend to carry yourself with more confidence which helps both your career and social life. The impact of one area of your life has a trickle effect to all of the other areas of your life. Whether that's a healthy or unhealthy impact is up to you.

If you're like me and struggle to get to the gym a couple times each week, you might want to try joining a community sports team, a martial arts gym or a community garden. In each scenario, you're doing a few things to increase your odds that you'll get exercise:

  1. Community — Surrounding yourself with accountability through community — people are expecting you to show up.
  2. Results — Rather than leaving the gym worn out with little visible progress to show for your efforts, these options give you a more visible/tangible takeaway from the experience such as a trophy, a practical skill or veggies.
  3. Enjoyment — The exercise is disguised as something enjoyable that you WANT to do not something you HAVE to do. I know for some people lifting weights is super fun (I wish I were you). But in this instance, I'm talking to the people like me who kind of cringe at the thought of it.

To kick my butt into gear, I joined a Krav Maga gym. If you aren't familiar with Krav Maga, it's the Israeli army's hand-to-hand combat system. I go a couple times a week right after work, punch a few things, sweat a lot, learn how to defend myself and, in the process, get my exercise in.

If the physical area of your life isn't what you struggle with, the thought behind giving your weak area its due diligence remains the same: reframe that area in a way that removes the mental barriers.

  1. Finance — if you struggle with saving, set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account to your savings account every pay day.
  2. Family — if you struggle to spend time with your family, start a family tradition like "Thursday Nights = Pizza, Games & Blanket Forts."
  3. Intellectual — if your career is a drag and doesn't challenge you intellectually, use your commute to listen to audio books or podcasts.

You can find ways to help yourself out by eliminating, automating and delegating the difficult or stressful parts to help you consistently invest in each area of your life.