Monthly Archives :

August 2019

Emotions Wheel

Use the Wheel of Emotions to enrich your emotional vocabulary!

Use the Wheel of Emotions to enrich your emotional vocabulary!34082381Manolis Stratakis

The Wheel of Emotions

Robert Plutchik, with his excellent work on the wheel of emotions, has produced this great diagram. It depicts brilliantly some of the interrelationships among them:

Exercise: Study the wheel of emotions

Spend some time to study the above diagram. Then, try to understand how the emotions interact and interrelate. This will increase dramatically your emotional vocabulary and give you lots of self-awareness!

The eight Basic Emotions

Let’s attempt to understand the basic emotions. These are the primary colors of our mind.

The following eight are considered to be the very basic ones, from which all others are produced:

  • Joy
  • Trust
  • Fear
  • Surprise
  • Sadness
  • Disgust
  • Anger
  • Anticipation

Check which are positive and which are negative ones.

Secondary and tertiary emotions

As specific emotions mix together, new secondary and tertiary emotions emerge:



Building up a robust emotional vocabulary, is crucial in understanding how we feel. When we are aware of the emotions we experience, we are much more capable for controlling them. Self-control is one of the most important Emotional Intelligence skills. It is absolutely essential for the well-being of our mind. Above all, it determines our relationships, family and workplace.

Learning about our emotions leads to better understanding. Moreover, better understanding leads to controlling. Therefore, being aware of the exact emotions we feel, allows us to regulate them. On the other hand, lack of emotional awareness, results in us being manipulated by our feelings.

Negative emotions

Obviously, nobody likes negative emotions. However, they are as important as positive ones. Their purpose is to protect us from danger. And they work well. But, sometimes they overdo it. They send us false alarms. Nevertheless, with time and experience, we learn to filter out and regulate all those emotions that are too sensitive.

It’s ok.. not to be ok

To sum up, there is a superpower. And we can all have it. It is the ability to feel well, even when we don’t feel well. It might sound counterintuitive, but it is not. Of course, it requires a lot of effort. But, by the moment we start enriching our emotional vocabulary, we are already into the path that leads to self-control and self-regulation.


See also our article on: Learn about how.. you learn!

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Ikigai: Find the real reason you exist in life!

Ikigai: Find the real reason you exist in life!25601784Manolis Stratakis

The reason for being

Ikigai is a Japanese concept, meaning the reason for being. It’s a great tool to provide us with the desired clarity in order to understand what we want to do in life, what exactly is our right place in the society. It takes a while, but it surely works!

How do I find my own ikigai? Start by making four lists with what:

  1. you love to do
  2. you are good at
  3. can bring you money
  4. people need


Let’s dive in

Now, let’s check the intersections:


1+2 is what you love doing and you are good at it. That’s your passion.


2+3 is what you are good at and it can bring money. This can be your profession.


3+4 is what can bring money and people need it. This can be a vocation.


4+1 is what people need and you love to do it. That’s your mission.

Let’s now look at it in a bit more depth

1+2+3: You are good at it, you love it, it brings money but the world doesn’t really need it. You receive a lot of satisfaction but you also get a feeling of uselessness.

2+3+4: You are good at it, it brings money, people need it, but you don’t really love it. You are comfortable doing it, but you get a feeling of emptiness.

3+4+1: It brings money, people need it, you love it, but your skills are not yet developed at an adequate level, so you are not good at it. You feel excitement and complacency but you also feel some uncertainty.

4+1+2: The world needs what you are doing, you are good at it and you love it, but it doesn’t bring enough money. You feel delight and fullness but there is no wealth.

1+2+3+4: Ikigai. Here is your sweet spot. Even if you have only one thing common in all your 4 lists, then that’s your ikigai, your reason for being. That’s your ideal place in life!

Self-reflection questions

If you have not found your ikigai yet, do not worry! There is still hope. You just need to do a little more work:

  1. Locate where you stand right now
  2. What is missing?
  3. Which direction do you need to move?
  4. What do you need to do in order to get there?
  5. What obstacles stand in your way?
  6. How can you overcome them?

By answering the questions above, you will probably get enough clarity in order to be able to move towards the center of the diagram soon and identify your ideal place in life. If you fail the first time, don’t quit. Just try it for a few more times until you succeed!


See also our article on: Learn about how.. you learn!

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life quality

Improve your Life Quality starting with the Cantril Ladder tool!

Improve your Life Quality starting with the Cantril Ladder tool!16141125Manolis Stratakis

Cantril Ladder

A first step towards improving drastically your life quality

The quality of our life and therefore our happiness level, can actually be measured! One simple and easy way for this is using the Cantril Ladder.

Imagine a ladder with steps numbered from zero at the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder do you feel you stand right now? Check the respective colored disk on the left column on the diagram (Present).

It is important to understand that our life is dynamic, it is always changing. It may change faster or slower, but it is changing. The question is: which direction will it take next? Will it change to better or to worse? Here, our active commitment comes into play!

Believing in change is the first prerequisite to trigger the actual change. The second is setting up a goal. A right goal should be specific, meaningful and feasible.

So, let’s try to place a realistic life-changing goal for the near future.


On which step do you want to stand in five years from now? (Please take into account how feasible is your choice). Check the respective colored disk on the right column on the diagram (In 5 years).

Congratulations! You have just made a good step towards realizing you present situation and set up a realistic goal for improving it. Just by placing your goal in the radar, you increase the odds for achieving it. Now, hold on to your seat while you are getting there!

Also, check out the article: Wheel of Life: The big picture of your life


The characteristics for each group (as set by the Gallup Organization, with some modifications by us) are described below:

Thriving (9-6) — wellbeing that is strong, consistent, and progressing. Respondents have positive views of their present life situation and have positive views of the next five years. They report significantly fewer health problems, fewer sick days, less worry, stress, sadness, anger, and more happiness, enjoyment, interest, and respect.

Struggling (5-3) — wellbeing that is moderate or inconsistent. These respondents have moderate views of their present life situation OR moderate OR negative views of their future. They are either struggling in the present, or expect to struggle in the future. Usually, they report more daily stress and worry about money than the “thriving” respondents, and more than double the amount of sick days. Also, they are more likely to smoke, and are less likely to eat healthy.

Suffering (2-0) — wellbeing that is at high risk. These respondents have poor ratings of their current life situation AND negative views of the next five years. They are more likely to report lacking the basics of food and shelter, more likely to have physical pain, a lot of stress, worry, sadness, and anger. They have less access to health insurance and care, and more than double the disease burden, in comparison to “thriving” respondents.

These characteristics are only useful to give you an idea and help you see if you have made a good guess. Sharpening our awareness is critical in understanding where we stand and where we want to go!


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life wheel eng example

Wheel of Life: The big picture of your life!

Wheel of Life: The big picture of your life!25601789Manolis Stratakis

Wheel of Life

The Wheel of Life is a powerful coaching tool. It provides an effective way to see the big picture of your life. It helps us to visualize how we spend our energy and time across its most important areas. We often focus too intensely in one area and overlook some of the others. But in order to be happy, we need to have a satisfactory overall performance.

The Life Wheel is shown below. It is a pizza-shaped graph, with each of its eight segments representing one major area of life:

life wheel eng

Fig: Wheel of Life

Major areas of life

The wheel contains eight areas of life, which are considered quite important. However, feel free to change any of them, in a way that suits you best.

  • Career
  • Finance
  • Health
  • Family and friends
  • Romance
  • Personal development
  • Free time and interests
  • Social contribution

Life Wheel Exercise

  1. Take some time to think and evaluate how well you do in each different area. How satisfied you are.
  2. Mark your satisfaction from 1 to 10. Don’t try very hard to be very accurate. Just provide the answer that first comes to your mind.
  3. When you are done with your evaluation and marking, take another moment to think how important each of these areas are to you at present. Then, mark their importance from 1-10.


Your wheel should look like the following arbitrary example:

life wheel eng example

Time for self-reflection

That’s it, almost finished! Now, prepare a drink, sit in a relaxed posture and do some reflection. Above all, it will give you important awareness about what these results actually mean to you.

Check how effective your wheel is. Is it round or bumpy? Does it roll smoothly? Look at the areas where you feel there is room for improvement.

Finally, set some specific goals about what you can improve in the areas you have picked.


See also our article: Cantril Ladder: improve the Quality of your Life!

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