The Concept of the Aspects of Daily Fulfillment
We present a simple self-help strategy to increase one’s feeling of fulfillment in their daily lives.
An Introduction to the Aspects of Daily Fulfillment
The concept is this, we are social beings, who live a society, with a body, mind, and soul to care for.
However, our daily lives can be hectic and not everyone always remembers (or has the time) to focus on their personal (mind and body), interpersonal (relationships), collective (group belonging), and “universal” (spiritual and very large collective) needs.
If we don’t address these areas of our life on a daily basis, then we risk feeling unfulfilled in some way.
And, if we don’t feel fulfilled, we likely won’t feel as happy as we potentially could.
Consider, if we fill our lives with riches, but have no social relationships, we are likely to feel like something is missing.
Likewise, if we focus just on interpersonal relationships, then we may miss the benefits of collectives, spirituality, and personal wellness.
Or, if we focus only on our body and don’t stimulate our mind, or if we only focus on ourselves and don’t think about others, or if we spend all the time pondering philosophy and never take the time to foster social relationships, we are likely not living up to our full potential (and will thus feel some sort of emptiness or depression).
We all want to feel happy and not “empty,” thus, here is a strategy for doing this.
The General Theory
To feel fulfilled, this theory postulates two things:
- That one must take time to focus on the personal, interpersonal, collective, and “universal” each day.
- That we must take time to focus on the physical, mental, ethical (regarding an action and social relations), and metaphysic (including emotional wellness and spirituality) spheres each day. TIP: See “the categories of human understanding” (which are also the categories of human experience) for more on those terms.
By pairing these two concepts, we get a total of 16 combinations .
TIP: There are other keys here, a simple one is switching up between being outside and inside. Another is to ensure that some things you do are active and some are passive. If you have more ideas, drop them in the comments below.
TIP: It might go without saying, but it should be made clear, the theory here is that the focus of each activity should be a positive virtue and not a vice of excess or deficiency. I’m not saying “don’t go out for a drink” as something social, I am only saying that one should focus on the positive as a rule of thumb. It isn’t like there is only one theory behind being happy, in fact there is notably the greatest happiness theory (consider checking that out too). We can argue libertine philosophy vs. moral philosophy and find common ground, but that isn’t the main point of this theory. Generally balance is a virtue, so the philosopher’s PSA is, if you drink, do so with moderation. What is moderation? It is, in this case, that which does not give one a hangover.
The Theory With Examples
It works like this (consider spending at least 15 minutes a day in each “sphere;” so four hours a day total):
- Personal Physical. Doing something to work on yourself physically. Ex. Eating correctly.
- Personal Mental. Doing something to exercise your mind. Ex. Reading.
- Personal Ethical. Doing something to improve your actions and behavior. Ex. Practicing an instrument, practicing techniques of rhetoric, studying self help.
- Personal Metaphysic. Doing something to better your “spirit.” Ex. Prayer, meditation, or reflection on feelings and philosophy (here in terms of the personal).
- Interpersonal Physical. Doing something physical with another person. Ex. Taking a walk with a friend or spending more intimate quality time.
- Interpersonal Mental. Doing something social to exercise your mind. Ex. Having an intellectual conversation with a stranger.
- Interpersonal Ethical. Doing something ethical with another person. Ex. Helping an old lady cross the street.
- Interpersonal Metaphysic. Doing something to better your spirit with a friend. Ex. Sharing emotions, faith-based sentiments, or discussing the philosophy of morality.
A collective is a group, In this sense we are discussing a group in proximity to you, so everything from a dinner party to a festival to a Church. This does not include something done with a large collection of groups (that is more a thing of the universal).
- Collective Physical. Doing something physical with a group. Ex. Cross fit or a Yoga class.
- Collective Mental. Doing something to exercise your mind with a group Ex. Going to a mathematics class or listening to a lecture on science.
- Collective Ethical. Doing something ethical with a group. Ex. Helping out at a homeless shelter.
- Collective Spiritual. Doing something to better your spirit with a group. Ex. Church or AA.
The Universal is simply the opposite of the self and a step bigger than collective. It is the hardest to define, but it can be defined as connecting with a large collective not located in the same physical vicinity (a universal collective). You can understand that as national, or as global, or as a thing that reaches to the bounds of the universe. You can see it as God, as philosophy, as nature, as science, or as an internet chat room. This is all about what works for you in terms of connecting with something bigger than that which is in front of you.
- Universal Physical. Doing something physical in conjunction with a universal collective. Ex. Doing the Ice Bucket challenge, voting, watching the premier of a new show.
- Universal Mental. Doing something to exercise your mind with a universal collective. Ex. Having a conversation about the news of the day on Twitter.
- Universal Ethical. Doing something ethical for a universal collective. Ex. Not littering, or even cleaning up litter, or giving a motivational speech.
- Universal Spiritual. Doing something to better your spirit with a universal collective. Ex. Meditate on the world.
Now consider, there are some actives in any category you can do with a group, with a friend, with a collective, or in some instances with a universal collective.
For example, you can do “Interpersonal Mental Personal” where you and a friend discuss self care and beauty, or you can do “Interpersonal Mental Universal” where you and a friend discuss your relation to the universe (or the world).
Also consider, some activities can be focused on the physical, mental, ethical, or spiritual as a sub-focus, or can be focused on the personal, interpersonal, collective, and universal.
For example, you can do “Interpersonal Mental Physical” where you and a friend discuss workout techniques or right eating, or you can do “Interpersonal Mental Ethical” where you and a friend discuss correct actions.
As you can see, some of these are only subtly different, and for the ones that aren’t it would be absurd to try to hit every single one of these things every day, but if one can pull from each general category in a day, or can do a range of things over a week, it will help to scratch the itch of those hard to reach places of the soul.
Fostering Virtues Through Just Action
As noted above, humans are social beings, and friendship and positive relationships are social virtues. Likewise, with physical health, fitness and physical health are vital physical virtues. Thus it is for mental health, ethics, and metaphysics. Spiritual, ethical, and mental health are also virtues.
When we act correctly (ethics), we foster positive “virtues” (we learn positive behaviors through repetition; see neuroplasticity)
In other words, by exercising the different aspects of our mind, body, and soul, and by working on ourselves and our social relations, we increase not only our daily fulfillment, but we train ourselves to lead fulfilling lives.
When we increase our fulfillment, we increase our breadth of character, add to our social value, open more doors in life, and generally increase our happiness and pathways toward happiness.
There is essentially endless benefits to consciously fostering positive virtues, which is probably why the concept has been written about since the Greeks.