One of the great achievements of Steven Covey was the coining of the phrase “To Live, To Love, To Learn, To Leave a Legacy”. Beyond the beautiful wording, it taught that a fulfilling life requires recognizing the existence, importance and differences of the four human dimensions.
The first dimension is the the physical dimension. It is the world of action, the world of survival, the world of physical pleasure. It’s easy to access this dimension through an activity like eating, but the pleasure is short-lived and ends shortly after the last bite.
Next up is the emotional dimension. It’s the world of belonging, caring, connecting and loving. It takes more work to properly access this dimension because it involves other people. The pleasure is much deeper and more meaningful than the physical. A litmus test is that one would not trade the true love of a spouse or a child for even $1billion, which can buy a lot of physical pleasure.
Higher up is the mental dimension. It’s the world of learning, understanding and creating. These activities require more time, thought and effort than emotional activities. They are the activities at the root of self-actualization and they help us keep our emotional and physical activities within the proper measure. It is the dimension that powers the political, business and altruistic worlds in which people often sacrifice their emotional relationship in pursuit of solutions to big problems.
The highest dimension is the spiritual dimension. It goes beyond self-actualization to self-transcendence, higher purpose and leaving a legacy. It is the realm of belief and dedication to a Higher Power. It is all the dimension of free will and doing the intrinsically right thing
When a person is actively cognizant and living within these four human dimensions he is functioning at a higher level. Understanding them is a key component of health, happiness, meaning and beyond. In future articles we will delve deeper into these dimensions.