I enjoy reading a great deal and was introduced to Matthew Kelly, a Catholic author/speaker, recently. Matthew Kelly is an Australian speaker who has written many books focused on helping each of us become the best versions of ourselves. The one I read most recently, “Rediscovering Catholicism” was excellent in how it covers the various aspects of our lives that need to be addressed and constantly improved upon.
From that, I came up with an acronym that helps keep these aspects in focus…PIES (think of four pieces to a pie, or PIES). The “P” stands for the physical aspect of our lives. This includes our activity level, exercise and diet. How well we’re treating our body will have a great impact on us becoming better at everything else. The “I” stands for the intellectual aspect of our lives. Reading more than just fluff-material, learning new concepts, performing our normal job at work but at a high level, all of these these relate to how well we’re excelling intellectually. The “E” stands for the emotional aspect of our lives. I like to think of this more in terms of relationships and our emotional connection to others. For me, the key here is family and my involvement in my family as a Father and Husband. Finally, the “S” stands for the spiritual aspect of our lives. Our connection with God through prayer as well as our overall level of peace and equanimity are indications of the strength of this aspect.
A good exercise for all of us to use and help keep a balance in these four parts of the PIES is, at regular intervals, score ourselves in each of the four quadrants. You can use whatever scoring/grading you want (whatever motivates you the best). That could be a scale of 1-5 (or 10), a letter grade (A, B, C, D or F) or something else that works for you. The key is to see where you’re lacking at any given moment and to work on that.
The goal, eventually, is to be at the top of each on a regular and continual basis, though that’s probably going to be impossible (as none of us are perfect). Since this is all one big journey on our way to Heaven, think of it like checking the critical parts of your vehicle that’s taking you there (which is your body & soul), similar to checking your tires & oil, filling up the car with gas, etc.