Functional Four Pillars

TL:DR | Taking a more logical approach to the Four Pillars self-development. A functional post about how to get started on your growth.

4 min read
Functional Four Pillars

I've talked a lot on this blog about the Four Pillars Philosophy, and about how they are theoretically/philosophically. However there is not so much on how to practically imbue them into your daily lives.

I am aiming for this post to be for that aspect. The philosophy is meant to be a modernization of ancient teachings, and a simple way of looking at your life holistically. Meaning that in order to use it practically, then you need to think in a macro view. Only then will the micro-focus come into play.

Taking a look over them all gives you the connections between them. For example if you are an intellectually driven person, then for you to approach the other Pillars you will need to find strategies and experiments to work on. Conversely, if you are more of a freedom thinker/head in the clouds, then you will have to cling onto the WHY behind the Pillars. Understanding where you come from, and then how to take that background into your endeavors.

Start with How or Why

Considering this blog's affinity towards Simon Sinek's Start with Why, you would think we would always choose the latter. However not everyone thinks that way, as in his speech talks about how as humans we are ALL pulled towards that WHY behind the actions. To a degree that is completely true, for it is how our brains our wired. However as we know, not all humans are alike, and despite the why being important for everyone, some people will not take action unless they have a logical explanation.

Today I will attempt to try to appeal to both, but with a leaning towards the logical since most of my other posts are ideological.

When you look at various Pillars it helps to imagine them at certain percentages of progress. Without context I understand that may be difficult, but in this case it is just an estimate. i.e. if you are a scientist, and spend all of your time in the lab; One could think that your Spirit and Body Pillars are rather neglected.

However, since you are a scientist you could assume your Mind Pillar is quite developed (still needs work though!), and that your Emotions Pillar may actually suppressed. Most sciences you can't look at them from an emotional lens, well at least that is what most people believe (Note: This is a generalization).

Start with how you can improve those other three Pillars, as we are assuming you are starting with a Mind Pillar as your Originator.

Originators and Starting Points

No matter where you start from, there is always some Pillar you have naturally built up over your life from what I can tell. For example a scientist would likely be book smart, have good grades, and have developed their mental prowess over their schooling. For me I've strived to work on all Four since I love Self-Development, but I still originated from the Body Pillar. This is because my first steps into Dev. I would pursue exercise, and my day job ended up being centered around fitness and personal training.

My "Originator" has been the Body Pillar, meaning that my lens comes from that perspective. That is neither good or bad, for because of the basis it can lead into intersections between Pillars. I.e. the Mind-Body connection, physical exercise grit to meditation patience, emotional releases through exercise, etc.

However since I look through a Body Pillar Lens naturally, that could lead to weak points. This goes for ANY Pillar, as any originator is going to become your bias, and that is natural. It is just we need to account for that, and train ourselves to look outside of our normal lens.

Like with any habit you need to start with one thing then snowball it. Over time things will compound, you can create systems, and develop multiple habits at once (check out the page on Self-Improvement). Meaning start with one Pillar, often times this is the Originator, then you move onto the most exciting one for you. If you think developing your Spirit Pillar is most exiciting, or perhaps you want to have more Emotional Intelligence (Emotions Pillar), or whatever draws you in the most.

Locked In Focus

The great thing about an analytical mind is the deep focus one can have, and then spend your time on that new endeavor. Often times the "newbie gains" (as we say in the fitness world), are quite rapid in growth. Meaning the first year or so of progress are quite exponential, that is until you hit your first real plateau. Then you have to have the grit to surpass that difficulty.

This happens for any skill, or any endeavor, but with the Pillars it can be quite emotionally draining so keep that in mind. Take care of yourself, and don't burn out.

Here is a quick run down on how to start each Pillar, for more information check out other blog posts on this site.


Self-education is the key here, in any form, and trying to learn new skills. Reaching some sort of goal that is practical.

Strive for something that gets your brain working hard, and makes brand new connections. #stimuli


The body is something everyone often knows they need to work on, more so than some of the other Pillars, but people don't know where to start. In practice exercise is often the easiest. Even if you can't do a push up, there are some sort of exercises that will get you started. The goal should be to do three perfect reps, and then you will know how to progress from there. #datapoints


Despite my philosophical background I often look at spirituality from the lens of science. Meaning my personal interpretation of the Spirit Pillar is the connection between the higher brain and lower brain. The conscious mind and the sub-conscious mind. #neuroplasticity


EQ is often toted as an important factor in workplace dynamics, but it goes far further than that. You need it in every area of life, from making friends with cashier or door person, to the understanding of how you feel.

No matter how smart you are, the primitive brain will take over you through your emotions. If you are not aware of when this happens, then you will not have control over your actions. #intrapersonal

Take the Chance

Regardless if you look at things from an analytical point of view, or philosophical, neither one is better than the other. In fact you lose half of the wisdom/knowledge if you do not learn from BOTH. This plays into my life principle of balance, there must be a balance in your learning of your own Pillars.

Just as there must be a balance between each of the Four Pillars.

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