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The 8x8x8 Rule for Living a Full Life

Let’s face it, no matter how we look at it, life is all about chasing the paper – making money so that you can just LIVE. When you meet somebody for the very first time, within a few back-and-forth exchanges the topic of what each of you does for a living will inevitably come up, which subconsciously also has us classing each other. It may not be an ideal situation we find ourselves in as one of the main drivers of the evolution of our society, but it is what it is.

Here’s where it gets interesting though and perhaps a bit sad as well, depending on how you look at it and depending on how it applies to you. As much as our lives revolve around earning a living, the people who are most satisfied with their lives are those who have managed to get as close to striking a three-way balance as possible, whether knowingly and purposefully or otherwise.

This brings into focus the 8x8x8 rule for living a full life, also known as the 8-cubed rule. Basically what it entails is trying to strike a balance between three areas of your life, one being your career (or how you earn your living), another being everything represented by sleeping (health, rest, regeneration, growth, etc), and the other being catering to what makes you happy in life – your entertainment.

Conceptually it’s as simple as catering to the three mentioned pillars of a full life by allocating eight hours to each over the 24-hour day.

By no means do we ever want to come across as if we’re promoting civil obedience here – I’m all for lateral and critical thinking, but there was definitely something to the cookie-cutter template of a life the previous two generations were trained to want to live, which pretty much provided the balance required for a full and happy life as a standard.

With the effects of globalisation though, things changed a bit, but it’s largely still pretty much the same. You will find that the typical life of an economically active adult is modelled around the 8x8x8 rule, with weekends and holidays coming into play to balance things out when one of these pillars of striving for a full and balanced life takes away the time of the other two. Of course I’m talking about your work…That’s why some people enjoy “a cold one” or a few when the weekend comes, in addition to perhaps “catching up on some sleep” and that’s definitely why many of us truly let ourselves go and give in to the true holiday spirit when we’re off on our annual holiday.

Merely taking part in something like a yacht charter holiday on what is effectively a ritualistic level probably doesn’t balance things out when you consider the actual amount of time spent enjoying such an activity as a means through which to unwind. However, the effect more than makes up for the time that is otherwise disproportionately allocated to your work.

Basically over a certain period of time, things should even-out to 8 hours sleeping, 8 hours working, and 8 hours playing and having fun!