Wheel of Needs. A mental well-being fitness scale
I start my day by stepping on the scale; 185 lbs and 24% body fat.
Got it, thanks.
Those numbers don’t reflect my ideal self, so this morning’s breakfast will be more of the same, avocado toast and a healthy chug of green juice to wash down the vitamins. Thanks to the scale I know where I’m at in my progress to my idealized self.
Yet, we lack the mental equivalent of the body weight scale. We lack easy-to-use tools to calibrate our mental well-being.
After giving this some thought, I recall that while I was in EO (Entrepreneur’s Organization), I was introduced to a tool called the “Wheel of Life.” Essentially the tool is represented by a pie, with each slice being a different facet of our life. In most cases, these slices are things like work, spirituality, love, relationships, family, environment, etc.
I’ve always felt the slices were arbitrary, so I wanted to base them on something more scientifically rooted. While reading Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I found many different interpretations of how he constructed his pyramid of needs. While all versions show the physiological needs at the bottom and the Transcendent needs at the top, the middle of the pyramid is more subjective.
For this exercise, I created a radar chart using his 8-level pyramid to create the primary slices. The secondary sub-slices were pulled from the attributes listed under each primary chart. Each circle represents a different level in the chart. The lower the number, the lower the score for that attribute. Higher scores represent needs being addressed or greater fulfillment.
I print out this Wheel of Needs every two or three weeks and fill in the score for each slice. Once done, I compare it with my previous entry to help me quantify my mental well-being and track the direction of my movements. The more smooth or circular the shape, the more consistency and flow you’ll find in your life.
Below is a recent personal example.
Be honest with your assessments. The more vulnerable the better your gauge will be.
While it’s not a perfect analogy to the daily weight scale, it’s a tool I’ve found helpful and I hope you do as well. Please share if you find ways to improve it; I’d love to see what you think.
You can download your own copy of the Wheel of Needs PDF over on my blog at https://gmorris.com/wheel