The other night I found myself sipping over-priced cocktails with a group of friends discussing the usual work, relationships, the weather, when one of the guys mentioned a life coaching exercise his boss has sent him to fill out.
"It's called the wheel of life, and it's actually pretty good," he said. "It's made me think about the aspects of my life I could improve."
I should probably mention this guy (along with the rest of the group) is far more successful and grown-up than me. He runs marathons for charity and owns a Porsche.
"You divide your life into sections, career, health, relationships, spirituality, family and so on, and mark each out of 10," he explained. "The point is to find a balance where your 'wheel' is fairly even."
By this point I'm pretty boozy and convinced "unagi" and drawing circles on a piece of paper is the solution to all the problems I didn't even know I had.
The next day, as I'm nursing a pretty sore head, I decide to sit down and draw my wheel of life. Okay, okay while I'm being all honest with you. I couldn't be bothered to actually draw it so I found one you could fill in online. Cheers Google.
In my post-drunk stupor the site's instructions struck a chord. "It's time to take a 'helicopter view' of your life so that you can bring things back into balance." Hell yeah.
First thing's first, home life. Well I still live with my mum so that's not exactly ideal. I mark that a three. Next, relationship. I'm seeing someone and it's all gravy, let's be positive and give that a nine. Health. Should probably go to the gym. Five.
How about my growth? I'm not really sure what that means so let's go four. Career? Seven, I love my job but there's always room for improvement. Money? Two. Need to start checking my bank balance! Friends? Eight. The list goes on.
I hit "See My Wheel" and a horrendous reality pops up before my eyes.
That, my friends, is my life. Doesn't it look totally shit? I'm not even sure why it looks shit, but it does. And d'you know what? It makes me FEEL shit. And here's why:
Is scoring fours all round good because at least then you've a proper wheel? I thought it wasn't possible to "have it all".
I'd rather be having 10/10 fun than scoring as high in terms of money. Money moves up the scale and fun moves down. Who wants that? Plus, what's this ranking stuff reminds me of being at school and deciding whether I agreed or strongly agreed with a statement. I don't know. This is too stressful.
2. Obsolete categories
I didn't realise I had to define myself in terms of spirituality and environment. I don't even understand what they mean. But now, now I'm worried about them.
3. What's the solution?
Now I've worked out what's wrong in my life how am I meant to fix it. I know it's meant to be up to me wheel, but you can't just leave me out here in the cold. Is there some kind of secondary wheel or flow chart to help me figure out the next steps?
In conclusion I've decided to tear up my wheel and sweep all my "problems" under the rug for now. What does the wheel of life know anyway?