Four Life Burners

May 13 2021

<p>Four Life Burners</p>

I have read a particular article a little shy of a year ago, which has been in the back of my mind for all this time and every day, I ponder and think of what it means.

What is strange that for the last months, I have been noticing and agreeing with it more than ever.

This is the article that James Clear wrote back in 2018.

Back then, I had no idea about most of the things. I was nothing but a little guy that was searching for his life purpose and exploring what the life ahead got stored for me.

Now though, I am a life seeker, where instead of taking a passive approach to life and other areas of my being, I act and seek them myself.

Well, this theory that he talks about is incredible, to say the least.

It explores the downsides of work-life balance and if it can ever even exist.

In the theory, he talks about having 4 burners which are separated into family, friends, health and career.

I feel that there is not a single better representation of modern-day life. The only thing that I would do is switch the career burner with the money burner.

Either way, the whole purpose of this theory is to demonstrate the limitations that we are forced to live with. The way James puts it is also incredibly thought-provoking:

The Four Burners Theory reveals a truth everyone must deal with: nobody likes being told they can't have it all, but everyone has constraints on their time and energy. Every choice has a cost.

life burners

Your life

After reading and understanding the theory that I have presented above, you can have a range of emotions.

For me, after first reading about this, I went from deep anger, to understanding, to realisation, then to sadness and now to a process of trying to maximise my time and decide which burners to keep active.

No matter how we look at it, time is a limited factor in our life that controls what we can do and in what way. Yes, you can optimise and improve your life, but overall you can not make 25 hours in a day.

That is why realising as fast as possible that you are just like everybody else is forced into being in this state of constant adjustment and prioritisation is what most likely will lead you to the success and happiness we all so very much desire.

James talks about that “in order to be successful. You have to cut off one of your burners. And in order to be really successful, you have to cut off two.”

Now think about the statement above. Are you willing or able to do that? Have you promised yourself to be a good father or achieve incredible success in your career? What are you willing to turn off or put on a simmer in order to get to that point?

For me, those are incredibly tough questions, and for now, I have decided that friends are going down to barely working because at the moment, while I am still in my 20s and in my prime, I need to focus on things that will secure my life in the future and friends even though an important part of life, take too much of my time.

The choice of what and the way to do is yours. Just make sure that you make a good one, that aligns with your goals and that you won’t regret in the future.

Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed the piece, share it with others and subscribe to my newsletter, where I share the best nuggets of wisdom that I can find.