The Whole Person Perspective: The Four Vital Human Life & Career Dimensions – Part 3 

By Paul Waugh, Head Mentor, Lighthouse International

In part 1 and part 2 of this life and career development series we explored how important it is to examine ourselves and what’s important in our lives in order to build the careers that we want.

In this article, we will go deeper into the four core dimensions that fuel the meaning and purpose in our lives. Without developing these four areas, we are like a car running on flat tyres, struggling to get anywhere.

Read part 1 and part 2 in this life and career series here.


Most of us treat ourselves as things and therefore do not live our lives with much meaning and purpose. We mostly see ourselves as a body and mind and because we do not develop our heart and spirit…

Because of this, we miss out on developing meaningful relationships with ourselves and others which is the biggest reason for our failures in life. Furthermore, by not developing the spiritual dimension of ourselves we do not have a compass to guide us to living the optimal and maximal life that we want which requires incredibly high levels of character and competence to achieve.

Why do we need to become a whole person to maximise our lives?

What is the whole person – perspective or paradigm? Why is it important that you have an accurate understanding of it? This understanding is important because when you start to see yourself as a whole person, then you have the choice to become a whole person. Until you become a whole person you cannot maximise your experience of life. The whole person understands that people are whole beings. People who lack the understanding of this salient fact treat themselves and others like things. Things do not live life with meaning and purpose. 

Whole people also understand that they have a responsibility to nurture and develop these vital areas of their wholeness. They also understand that they have many needs that fall into the four main areas or functions of their lives…

Body, Heart, Mind and Spirit


What impact does our body have on our experience of life?

Whole people understand that the body is the first step or portal to living a life of genuine meaning and purpose. It is where a lot of their life energy is stored and if this isn’t properly maintained and sustained through a process of healthy eating, training and living then the rest i.e. heart, mind and spirit will suffer proportionately. Body also includes anything material like what kind of career or business they want to create. 

Whole people also know that if they have not found the wherewithal to look after their bodies then how will they be able to look after and develop the areas of their lives that are less tangible and therefore harder to work with? Additionally the body, in this perspective, involves all material (tangible) things in life e.g. career, houses, money.


Why is being unable to have a good relationship with ourselves the biggest reason for failure in life?

Whole people understand the importance of developing their emotional intelligence and maturity levels. Without this emotional growth, there is emotional rot.

This means that you are unable to have a good relationship with yourself, which by extension means that you are unable to have good meaningful relationships with other people. This area of underdevelopment is the biggest reason for failure in life, more so than any of the others combined. 


How do the body and heart lead to our minds increasing our meaning and purpose?

Whole people understand that now that the body and the heart are being nurtured and developed – that their true personal computer, their mind, can make things happen for them for maximum meaning and purpose in their lives.


Why is the spirit our true compass in life?

Whole people understand that without direction, without a compass, that they can be as efficient as they like with their mind… But that they will never really be ultimately fulfilled with a life consisting of real meaning and purpose and effectiveness.

In conclusion, the whole person perspective as well as a development program that is congruent with it, is critically effective to becoming whole yourself. What is important to remember about all of this is that whole people are whole. They are not half-people or half-wits for that matter.

They are people with a strong moral compass, centred on a foundation of correct principle-centred values and behaviours. Whole people know how to see clearly; they know who they are, what they want to do and who they want to develop relationships with. They have developed a strong sense of independent will, resulting in the strength of character and competence required to create what they want in their lives.

Here are a few questions for you to think about that may help with your own whole person goals…

1. Body – Thinking ahead a year from now, where would you ideally like to be in your career?

2. Heart – What kind of relationships and network do you want around you in a years time? 

3. Mind – What do you want to learn in order to get to where you want to go in a years time? 

4. Spirit – What would be most meaningful for you to be doing with your life in a years time?  

If you’d like any support with applying the questions above. Just contact a life and career mentorship coach below…

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