Establishing principles for optimal life performance in less than a 10-minute read

Nosce te Ipsum (Know Thyself) — Juan Valverde

Photo by John Hult on Unsplash

Nothing is as simple as it seems.

In the past few decades, Nigeria has been hit with a housing shortage.

The BBC has reported a shortage of housing by 17 million units in 2017 with a staggering 500,000 people moving to the capital city of Lagos every year. The country is sited to have the third largest birth rate in 2018, only behind China and India and projected to be the worlds 5th largest population by 2050. This increase in population and economy has demanded a large influx in housing and infrastructure to support this development…and fast.

The country is currently not set up to be able to keep up. At least not with a standard for the long term.

The explosion of the population has not only demanded housing to be built immediately but demanded that supporting structures to house the businesses of this newly found population. Churches, stores, offices, as well as apartments, are all being built at a breakneck pace.

Unfortunately, there are currently not enough engineers, architects, contractors, and appropriate materials to carry out specs that would support safe and sustainable buildings for the economic growth.

Meanwhile (to no surprise), during this same time there has also been a large phenomenon of building collapses in Nigeria. 64, to be exact…from 1975–2011, killing hundreds of people.

Collapses (defined by Websters Dictionary as a structure falling or giving way due to structural weakness) is a mechanical failure of the building having 1 of 2 origins…a natural disaster or errors made during construction.

Unfortunately, none of the mentioned collapses in Nigeria were determined to have origins in natural disasters.

Photo by Mirko Blicke on Unsplash

It turns out that in basic engineering, the foundation is the first and most important step in constructing the structure. Yet it is never visible in the finished product. If it is not inspected thoroughly and audited consistently when the foundation is being built…it can be ignored to a dangerous result.

However, a phenomenon called compounding defects demands that the foundation or base of the building is executed perfectly. A mistake of a fraction of an inch can create errors that multiply into feet as the construction moves upward.

No matter how soon the building deadline, how impatient the investors may be to see the finished product, if a mistake is missed or ignored in the foundation you cannot correct it later when putting up the walls or hide it in the finishes.

In Nigeria, after a long investigation published by the American Journal of Engineering Research, it was found that mistakes made during the foundation construction were a major factor in the majority of these collapses. Compounding defects were present in every instance.

So how is Nigeria and compounding defects relevant to our health?

I choose to believe that life and the construct of who we want to become are very much like building a solid structure, especially when it comes to developing an essential foundation and the notion of compounding effects in our health.

Our personal foundation must be built upon principles that work to support life skills resulting in our definition of health and wellness (whatever that may be for you). Each principle is a structural Pillar that literally stabilizes these skills and allows them to grow stronger and more robust along the progress towards the life that we want and the way we are able to enjoy it.

Congruent with compounding defects, if you do not develop yourself to a minimum standard in all 7 aspects, the likelihood of running into a problems created from stress without balance is imminent. Anxiety, fatigue, pain, weight issues, and even autoimmune disorders can all be developed with a misappropriated focus or development on the pillars.

Each Pillar effects the other. They work together to multiply the effect in our lives and rarely in isolation. Its the reason why you can’t just workout to achieve some progress towards a physical absence of health symptoms. Ignoring your sleep, nutrition, stress, and other aspects can keep you from progress all together…or ensure that the added stress of inappropriate exercise will make things worse.

We all have specific Pillars that we are more apt to be comfortable and skilled, and others where we struggle and hate to deal with. But this is the point. Balance is ideal…above a minimum standard. Even an incredibly high mark in one or two pillars but sub-par in others will result in a compounding defect at some point, somewhere. A recommended grade achieved only auditing yourself on a regular basis will reveal where we need to develop further skills.

The same as is expected in auditing the foundation of a building to ensure that compounding defects will not manifest.

Take a look at these 7 Pillars. Intuitively, where do you feel you are strong? Where do you need to work…to develop new skills? Each Pillar has a set of skills/requisites that we will discuss later. Each requisite requires exercises or drills to practice…which we will create during another post.

For now. Just begin to see and think about how these play a part in your life.

PILLAR 1 — How you Move

PILLAR 2 — How you Eat

PILLAR 3 — How you Sleep

PILLAR 4 — How you Manage Stress

PILLAR 5 — How you Connect with Yourself

PILLAR 6 — How you Connect with Your Community

PILLAR 7 — How you Connect with Nature

Want to explore each Pillar at length? We will explore each piece of the puzzle in a separate post. Follow my page to ensure that you are getting a heads up when we talk about Pillar I, next week.

Until next time…win your day.