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Spokes of Life Print
February 2012
elements.JPGFirst posted in February 2012

The Management magazine of the Institution of Electrical Engineers based in London published in August 2005 has an article on the 8 spokes of life.  Professionals and all people should pay attention to the 8 spokes and assess individual requirements and the current state of attainment.  No doubt different people have different desires, requirements and attainment states and the wheel of spokes would look different.  The 8 spokes are (not in any sequence of importance): health, family/friends, career, relationship, personal development, finance, physical environment, and fun/recreation.  It is really up to us individuals to define what we need and if we should put in some effort to satisfy our needs.  These 8 spokes provide a good framework to do so.

Abraham Maslow, a well known psychologist, has published a 5-step ladder of human desires which is also known as the hierarchy of needs.  These 5 levels are (in sequence from the bottom): physiological such as food and body warmth, safety, love, esteem, and personal actualization.  We have noted that New Zealand people are well covered for the first 2 steps and are more concerned with love and esteem than people in poorer countries.  This observation does provide some hints for people engaged in business and marketing. 

How many people chase the top step of personal actualization?  According to a well known academic Professor Ken Robinson, people who have aligned their talents and passions are eligible for personal actualization.  One good example is given by the movie Iron Lady in which Margaret Thatcher (played by Academy Award winner Meryl Streep) showed her talents and passions in her early years in solving problems being faced by England.  Her talents and passions were not for her personal gains but for her fellow country people.  She became the first female member of the parliament and went on to become the prime minister of England.  Through her endless talents and passions, she reversed the fortunes of her country over 11 years of reign.  This example is not meant to be political oriented and is intended to illustrate what personal actualization is.

Confucius of China circa BC300 prescribed a path for us to reach personal actualization.   He said one should focus in studying at the age of 15 and aim to be intellectually independent by 30.  He believed that the person would reach intellectual maturity by 40 and would have known which level of achievement he could attain by 50.  The person should learn to listen free of any baggage over the next 10 years.  Such a person would be in a position to turn wishes into reality. 

Not all people are born and brought up equal.  At any point in time, a person would display a set of behavior that is based on intelligence, emotion, physical fitness and spiritual attainment.  We call this set the 4 quotients of people being IQ, EQ, PQ and SQ.  Whilst these 4 quotients may prescribe the areas for developments, we do not have a complete understanding of them.   For example, would we believe a child diagnosed as having intellectual disabilities be able to lead a national orchestra?  Zhou Zhou of China is such a person.  He is in his thirties by now.  Most IQ tests are limited to mathematical, logical and pattern recognition capabilities.  There are more aspects of our intelligence not yet covered or measurable.  Similarly, professionals engaged in couching people behaviors have not agreed unanimously on the best response to certain scenarios involving human emotion.  We can get a rough idea of our EQ and have to be very careful in interpreting any EQ test results. 

The above content is the first half of the seminar session held in Feb 2012.

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