John has completely re-written and updated this book as of June 2017, in order to offer his most recent thinking and action steps in the context of current business and societal challenges. He’s been blogging about these “spheres” for nearly a decade, and is more convinced than ever that consistent, mindful practice of these spheres gives us the capacity and energy to stay focused and resilient, while going after the goals that are crucial to our most personal values and help to foster a more collaborative, sustainable planet:
Physical: The people we know who are most successful in their personal and professional lives also happen to take care of themselves, to the best of their abilities. This opening section offers a simple, sustainable nutritional approach that’s better than any dietary “fad”; three core behaviors that equip a person to be physically fit for as long as possible; and how to prioritize rest and play to enhance overall physical health.
Intellectual: In Zen practice, the “beginner’s mind” is highly praised as an ongoing disposition toward staying humble and curious, never believing that one has topped out in their expertise. This section offers strategies for multi-disciplinary, lifelong learning and its benefits to the human brain; a careful examination of several forms of quality thinking, combined within an actionable framework; tips for ensuring effective communication and a strong personal brand; and leadership defined and examined through the timeless framework of the “Hero’s Journey.”
Emotional: Here, John offers powerful tools for continually building emotional strength and perseverance; a guide to developing the stamina, agility, and influence needed in a world of constant flux; steps for transforming one’s artistic yearnings into tangible and joyful expressions; and insights for fostering mutual intimacy and support within our most important relationships.
Spiritual: This last section of the book offers challenges to help you ensure you’re spending most of your time doing meaningful work; coaching on how to practice progressive mindfulness; and suggestions on caring for yourself, your resources, and those in your community.
Everything connects and reinforces across the four spheres, in all directions; nothing worth doing happens in a vacuum. Muscles either grow or atrophy. Intentional behaviors are muscles in their own right, and they must constantly be exercised.
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