The Three Pillars of Sanity

Good days, bad days. We all have them, we swing between them. Some swing more, some less. There’s constant movement and that’s totally normal. Sometimes these days stretch over weeks and become longer periods.

Did you ever ask yourself: why?

Often people tend to look for external events explaining their current situation. And sure, these events have an effect on you. But in my experience your inner state has much more impact on this. And your inner state is greatly influenced by your energy level. Energy is the fuel which allows you to cope with life.

The Three Pillars Theory helped me a lot in understanding this and I’m happy to share it. I had my fair share of mental topics in the last years. Through that I developed a big interest in all things mood and mental-hygene.

Three Pillars Theory

three pillars of sanity

There are three main areas in your life – your pillars:

  1. what you do – often this is your job and/or hobby,
  2. your family and romatic relationship
  3. and your friends and environment

Each of this areas can give or cost you energy. Rate each area on a skale of 10, while 5 is neutral and everything above gives you energy, everything below costs you energy. Then calculate the average across your pillars. You can actually visualize your energy level and mood. 5 and above – ok to super. 4 to 0 – from okay-ish to … you get the point.

Some people tend to cultivate a monoculture in their pillars. Overly investing in one the pillars makes you strong in that area. But as everything in life, it’s all about the balance.
I tend to have a strong bias for my work pillar. It made me successful – professionally speaking – in relatively short time, but created lack of investment on the other pillars.

As every extreme that’s not the most healthiest thing to do. If one pillar is attacked by whatever event or change, you drop below 5 and the spiral starts. It’s like standing on one leg. It only works as long the leg is strong. Every leg gets tired eventually. So you should have a high interest to balance your pillars. At least have two strong ones.

This approach helped me, and other people in my environment, to actually visualize one’s  actual state. Once you have this transparency it makes it easier to act and to reinvest your time on one of the levers.

As in every investment game, it’s your choice how to procede. Short-term monoculture can be beneficial if you need this to reach your goals. In general however, try to find a balance. Plus, if your energy is up, it’s easier to get more energy. If it’s down, it tends to go down.

Either way, never forget: You are in control and it’s all just a big mind-game – called: life. 🙂


As usual I picked up this topic somewhere. It’s a known concept and there’s a lot of literature and science behind it.

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