How Optimizing the 12 Areas of Life Can Lead to Unparalleled Fulfillment

13 minutes read -
Jon and Missy Butcher, founders of Lifebook and trainers of Mindvalley's Lifebook Quest
Table of Contents
Highlights: Life can get chaotic; yours doesn't have to be. Discover how to create a personalized game plan for the 12 areas of life with Jon and Missy Butcher’s Lifebook.
Contents

If you can dream it, you can do it,” Walt Disney once said. While that’s great advice, the reality is, many of us aren’t taught how to dream big in any of the areas of life, let alone do it. 

The motto we follow is far from Walt’s wise words. Rather, it’s more along the lines of “coulda, woulda, shoulda.”

We’re so unwilling to “dream it” because of the inherent fear of failing. So we stay in our comfort zones and allow life to live us (instead of the other way around).

But here’s food for thought: How might life change if you could shift from reacting to actively creating your destiny?

With Lifebook, you can do just that. Created by Jon and Missy Butcher, this program allows you to look at your ideal life from all angles—all 12 of them. And from those angles, you’ll be able to make a foolproof plan for how to achieve your goals for each category.

I believe that each of us has the right to live for our own sake and to enjoy our lives. — Jon Butcher Click To Tweet

The Butchers believe wholeheartedly that nobody should have to compromise on any of their dreams. Because optimizing all 12 life categories isn’t just a luxury. It’s your destiny.

What Are the Areas of Life?

Career, health, and relationships are the more conventional categories of life. However, there are other areas that shape who you are, what you do, and what drives your passion and ambitions. In total, there are 12:

  1. Health and fitness: Your physical well-being
  2. Intellectual life: The growth of your mind and intellect
  3. Emotional life: Handling and understanding emotions
  4. Character: Your intrinsic values and traits
  5. Spirituality: Your connection to the universe or a higher power
  6. Love relationships: Romantic connections and partnerships
  7. Parenting: If applicable, your role and relationship as a parent
  8. Social life: Your relations with friends and community
  9. Financial life: Your relationship with money and assets
  10. Career: Professional pursuits and ambitions
  11. Quality of life: Overall lifestyle quality, including environment
  12. Life vision: Your long-term goals and purpose

Chances are, you’ve felt stuck in life at one point or another. And you’re finding that you’re not feeling fulfilled in one area (or many) of your life.

It happens, though. Even studies show that one of the biggest regrets of those who find themselves at the end of their lives is that they didn’t follow their dreams.

And it’s true that your priorities may shift from time to time. However, the focus and energy you put into understanding and improving different areas of life will be your blueprint for a richer, more rewarding existence.

As Missy explains, “Lifebook is about getting to know yourself. And if you’re going to bullsh*t yourself, then you’re not going to believe yourself.”

Watch Jon Butcher explaining the idea behind Lifebook’s 12 categories:

Create an Extraordinary Life With Lifebook | Jon Butcher

“All About You” Life Categories

Leveling up your life is your personal responsibility, and it all starts with inner work. It’s where you confront your strengths, weaknesses, desires, and fears.

The “All About You” categories focus on this self-reflection. By understanding and nurturing these facets of yourself, you begin to see how your choices shape your reality.

1. Health and fitness

At the heart of your existence is your health. It’s the beat of your heart when you wake up, the strength in your limbs, and the energy propelling you through your day. 

But it’s not simply the absence of disease. Rather, it’s a holistic state of physical, mental, and social well-being. 

Now, you might be familiar with the promises to hit the gym, the resolutions to eat better, and the fleeting motivations. But it’s time to shift the narrative. So make sure you’re:

  • Breathing deep
  • Eating well
  • Staying hydrated
  • Exercising
  • Going for regular health check-ups

The key to your health and fitness is your purpose,” explains Jon. “It’s not the how, it’s the why.”  

Find your “why” and make small, mindful daily doses of improvements. It will have a great impact on your health and fitness in the long run.

Reflect on a scale of 1–10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

Level up with these health and fitness books:

  • The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
  • In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan
  • Aging Backwards: Reverse the Aging Process and Look 10 Years Younger in 30 Minutes a Day by Miranda Esmonde-White

2. Intellectual life

In this digital age, you’re constantly surrounded by information. But knowledge, as they say, is power—and it goes beyond just skimming the surface. True understanding requires you to question and apply that knowledge in every aspect of your daily life. 

Here’s the crux: Your thoughts and beliefs have shaped who you are and your current circumstances. Essentially, your mind crafts your reality. That’s precisely why platforms like Mindvalley emphasize the transformative nature of personal growth.  

So, you may want to set your goals in this category to include: 

  • Daily meditations
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Learning new skills
  • Taking care of your brain health

Thinking is the foundation of achieving your extraordinary life,” says Jon. “The life you get is going to be the result of the choices you make and the actions you take.”

With an extraordinary mind, one that learns, adapts, and works for you (not against you), you’re unstoppable. Not only will a brilliant mind serve you as an individual, but it will also serve the world.

Reflect on a scale of 1–10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

Level up with these books on intellectualism:

  • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
  • Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

3. Emotional life

Emotions are “body wisdom,” as Jon calls them; they’re your body’s way of communicating with you. They can be overwhelming, confusing, and even intimidating.

But emotional agility—the ability to understand and navigate those emotions—is the key to a balanced life. And learning to manage and express them in a healthy way can lead to deeper connections with others and a more profound understanding of yourself. 

Here are a few suggestions on how you can do so:

  • Forge a blissipline practice
  • Laugh more
  • Spend time with those who pull the magic out of you, not the madness
  • Write what you’re grateful for on small notes and stick them in a gratitude jar
  • Love from your overflow
  • Do things that make you happy 

And keep in mind the wise words of Abraham Lincoln: “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Reflect on a scale of 1–10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

Level up with these books about emotions:

  • Taming Your Dragons: Making Peace with Your Emotions by Sue-Anne MacGregor & David Barnes
  • How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
  • The Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson

4. Character

Do you know your true character? Are there any parts of you that you’re suppressing or are afraid to step into? Are you afraid to shine your light too brightly or that you may be rejected if you step into your authentic self?

According to Vishen, the founder and CEO of Mindvalely, sometimes in life, “you have to destroy what is merely good to allow what is truly great to come in.”

And for you to grow into who you are and feel good about yourself, it’s time to find out who you truly are:

  • Sit down and journal about all the character traits that make you who you are
  • Then, list all the traits of who you’d love to be

Despite what the “brules” (a.k.a., “bullsh*t rules of society) are, it’s never too late.

Reflect on a scale of 1–10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

Level up with these books on character:

  • Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant
  • The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt
  • Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

5. Spirituality

Regardless of religious beliefs, spirituality is about finding meaning in life and your connection to the larger universe. 

True spirituality leads to a sense of inner peace, a feeling of contentment, wholeness, completeness within yourself,” Jon points out. “Cultivating the ability to stay centered in your highest self can bring a sense of fulfillment to your life. The experience of being filled up as a person.”

Here are a few suggestions to get you started: 

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Light reading about spirituality

Tapping into this premise can offer a sense of purpose and direction, especially in uncertain times. And if you’re new to spirituality and don’t have any prior beliefs, don’t fret. Put the feelers out and explore which ideologies work for you. 

Reflect on a scale of 1–10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

Level up with these spirituality books:

  • You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
  • The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

“You and Others” Life Categories

The relationships you foster, whether they’re platonic, familial, or romantic, play a significant role in your well-being. These interactions teach you all about empathy, patience, and the value of deep connections. 

The “You and Others” categories go deep into the dynamics between you and those around you. And it puts a major emphasis on nurturing these bonds.

6. Love relationship

Love is a fundamental human experience. It brings joy, growth, and sometimes, challenges. 

Missy and I learned a long time ago that true love is way more than just experiencing emotion for a while,” Jon says. “We’ve got to cultivate the ability to love as an action.”

So design your love life by:

  • Making a conscious decision to have an incredible love life
  • Finding and being an extraordinary partner
  • Making your relationship your life’s foundation
  • Keeping the spark alive

According to Jon, don’t forget about the single most important relationship in your entire life: self-love. It’s the complete acceptance of who and what you are. Like icing on a cake, without that love for yourself, there can be no true happiness.

Reflect on a scale of 1–10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

Level up with these love relationship books:

  • Calling in “The One” by Kathrine Woodward Thomas
  • Comes As You Are by Emily Nagoski, PhD
  • The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

7. Parenting

As a parent, you are not just raising children; you’re raising the future. And doing your bit to raise children to be mindful members of society is some of the most valuable work you can ever do.

Our primary job as parents is to make sure that our kids can get along without us. We got to get them to the point where they can function properly in our absence, and the sooner the better. — Jon Butcher Click To Tweet

So whether you’re a mother, father, aunt, uncle, cousin, teacher, or friend to a little human, make it your utmost priority to connect with them. Here are a few ways:

  • Play games with them
  • Talk to them
  • Listen to them
  • Be kind to them in the toughest times
  • Teach them self-regulation

The little ones in your life may well hold the key to the deepest levels of happiness possible.

Reflect on a scale of 1–10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

Level up with these parenting books:

  • The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Dr. Shefali Tsabary
  • Free to Learn by Peter Gray
  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish

8. Social life

We are inherently social beings. The friendships and communities we immerse ourselves in shaping our experiences, beliefs, and overall perspective. 

As Jon points out, “Most people don’t give a whole lot of thought to what they actually want and need out of the relationships or what they need to bring to the table in order to have great relationships. But high-quality relationships are really, really important to living a complete, fulfilled life.”

So find ways to not be socially awkward, like:

  • Cultivate your self-awareness
  • Pay attention to your body language
  • Embrace your charisma

One important thing to note: The only way to have good friends is to be one yourself. And when you create quality experiences for yourself and invite others to share them with you, it’s one of the best things in life.

Reflect on a scale of 1–10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

Level up with these books about socializing:

  • How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
  • Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
  • Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg

“You and the World” Life Categories

The areas of life aren’t limited to personal experiences or close relationships. They also extend to the broader environment.

This “You and the World” section dives into how you fit into the wider world. It highlights the importance of being a global citizen and recognizing that your actions can leave a lasting impact.

By aligning your goals with the needs of the world, you can contribute meaningfully while also finding a greater purpose.

9. Financial life

Money can’t buy love or a sense of lasting fulfillment. That said, it sure can help, especially if you know how to set sustainable financial goals.

Wealth is everywhere. There is no end to wealth because there's no end to the value that human beings can create. — Jon Butcher Click To Tweet

The common goal of being financially abundant is one thing. But when you design your financial life, also consider the beliefs you hold about money.

So here are a few key points to keep in mind when you look at this category:

  • Heal your money wounds
  • Strike a balance between saving and spending
  • Put your finances in order

Believe it or not, money can also be your friend. And when you learn to flip your money script, you’ll find the journey to abundance much easier.

Reflect on a scale of 1–10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

Level up with these financial books:

  • Multiple Streams of Income: How to Generate a Lifetime of Unlimited Wealth! by Robert G. Allen
  • Happy Money by Ken Honda
  • The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles

10. Career

This is one of the areas of life where you spend a significant portion of your life. So it should play a pivotal role in your sense of fulfillment and purpose.

Instead of looking at it as a means to an end, look at it as a source of joy and meaning. Are you passionate about what you do? Does your job align with your personal values and long-term goals? 

We all want to feel like we’re valuable members of a community. So here are two things you can do:

  • Make yourself irreplaceable by solidifying your expertise in the field of your choice
  • If you’re yet to find your career path, sit down and ask yourself what you really wish to contribute to humanity

The life you get is going to be the result of the choices you make and the actions you take,” explains Jon. So, whatever you feel will positively help those around you, just go for it.

Reflect on a scale of 1–10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

Level up with these career books:

  • The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin
  • Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss
  • How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams

11. Quality of life

When your time comes to leave this world behind, make like Frank Sinatra and do it your way.

Live a life so great that when you look back, you feel good about its quality. And we’re talking about the way you…

  • Eat
  • Take care of yourself
  • Explore the world
  • Love
  • Spend time with your tribe
  • Contribute to humanity

All of it—it’s the fruit of your labor. It’s the outcome of how much effort you put into the previous 10 life categories.

There is a powerful correlation between the warmth of your friendships, health, happiness, financial success, and the length of your life,” says Jon.

So what can you do today to symbolize your high quality of life?

Reflect on a scale of 1–10: How satisfied are you with this category? What would it take to move up to the next level?

Level up with these books on improving the quality of life:

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
  • Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fck* by Mark Manson

12. Life vision

Life vision—it’s the final and most crucial area among the areas of life to set goals in. It sums up all that you’re aiming for in the previous 11 areas of your life, painting the grand picture you have of yourself with your aspirations, dreams, and the legacy you wish to leave behind.

Crafting a clear life vision can act as a compass, guiding your decisions and actions towards a fulfilling future. As with all areas of life where goals are set, your life vision is dynamic; it evolves as you grow, so don’t be afraid to dream big and adjust when necessary.

Reflect:Connect deeply with your life vision on an ongoing basis,” says Jon. “Read this whole chapter every now and then. Let it wash over you, and allow your ideal future to create itself through you.”

Level up with these books on improving the quality of life:

  • Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want—And Getting It! by Henriette Anne Klauser
  • The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy
  • The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol

Epic Things Start With Lifebook

Navigating the many areas of life can sometimes feel overwhelming. However, gaining clarity and understanding about your path can make all the difference. 

Want more guidance on this? Why not take advantage of a FREE opportunity? The Lifebook Masterclass at Mindvalley, hosted by Jon and Missy Butcher, offers a clear, straight-talk approach to personal growth.

In it, you’ll: 

  • Discover how close you are to living your best life.
  • Identify what might be holding you back from your goals and aspirations.
  • Decode the mystery of who you are, what you want, and how to achieve it.
  • Gain strategies to make decisions that align with your values and desires.
  • Get instant answers and clarity on your life’s purpose.
  • Eliminate uncertainty with tools and insights to navigate life with confidence.

As Missy says, “If you don’t even know where to start, trust the process.” So consider this a nudge to truly get to know yourself and become the author of your greatest life. 

Welcome in.

Recommended Free Masterclass For You

Design a Life So Amazing, You’ll Want to Live It Over and Over and Over Again

Discover the 12 categories of the Lifebook system and the four critical questions to ask yourself. Join Jon and Missy Butcher in this free masterclass so you can begin moving towards your dream life.Reserve My Free Spot Now

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is an SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
Written by

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is an SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
Jon & Missy Butcher
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Jon and Missy Butcher are the founders and trainers of Lifebook. They’re serial entrepreneurs, lovers, and adventurers with a life most people would call “impossible.” Coming from a life of financial and emotional hardship in their youth, Jon and Missy have now founded 19 companies together and co-own the Precious Moments family of companies, which has made over $10 billion in sales.

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Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.

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Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. 

We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. 

The Mindvalley fact-checking guidelines are based on:

To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.