4 Walls To A Life Well Lived

It was cold.

He was motionless.

Just that morning I was talking to him about how he likes his coffee.


John had died.

He was the 7th or 8th person I had to “wash up” to get ready for family visits since working there.

I worked in nursing homes and hospitals before getting into the fitness space, and I mostly dealt with Alzheimers & Dementia patients down in Massachusetts, with a brief time up in Bangor working with people who had suffered Traumatic Brain Injuries.

The short of it is, I worked with people who had just nearly faced death or those who were about to face death.

Humbling to say the least.

What does it mean to be you?

Ten years from now is the world better because of you?

What does it mean to have a life well lived?

In my short time on earth, I’ve summarized it to these 4 things…

1. Awareness: Know who you are

This is the first wall that must be built and is the most important. 


The ability to know who you are, what makes you tick, what your values are, what makes you happy, etc. 

This wall, like the others, is never ending, but it must be started. 

Self-awareness is one of the largest skills we can develop if we want to live a more fulfilling and happier life.

It takes time but can be done through meditation, journaling, and just really taking the time to ask yourself deep questions about what's important to you, what's your character, and what are your motives and desires. 

2. Vision: Knowing what you want

Although I think self-awareness is the most important, this one is my favorite. 

Your vision. 

Why do you exist?

What are you trying to accomplish in your short time here?

Where do you want to go?

What do you want to do?

Ten years from now we’re sitting together over a glass of wine, what did it mean to be you?

What difference did you make in the world?

Or did we just go through the motions, complaining about whatever we saw on our News Feed that morning?

The answers to those questions and more are all a part of your vision. 

Just like it's important for a company to have a strong vision, I think it's vital for each of us to have a really clear vision. 

A vision creates two things:

Clarity and Drive. 

With a clear vision, you'll have an enormous amount of drive towards something that is bigger than yourself. 

3. Achievement: Know how to get it.

So the first two walls are the most important, but they're kind of "fluffy." 

They're not concrete and may be difficult to put on a paper, but the achievement is very tactical. 

Achievement is where you start learning how to go after your vision.


A Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement. 

1% Better. 

Become a lifelong learner. 

Find something in your vision, learn it, and be the best at it. 

What are you the best in the world at?

There's an extreme amount of fulfillment in learning how to do something. 

We had to learn how to walk, we had to learn how to read, we had to learn how to be a good spouse, a good parent, etc. 

It's the things that we must learn that keep us fulfilled and happy. 

So whether it's learning a new career, learning how to be a dad, or learning how to squat properly, achievement is an essential part of a well-lived life. 

4. Fulfillment: Know how to enjoy it

Alright, let's back up for a second. 

You know who you are, self-awareness.

You know where you want to go, vision.

You know how to do it, achievement. 

Now it's time to enjoy it. 

Fulfillment is about finding the things that are a part of your vision, that you learn how to do, and now need to find a way to enjoy it. 

Let's talk through a couple examples.

When I first started the business I had to learn how to do it, the specific skills like finances, marketing, leadership, etc. 

Now, in order to truly live our vision, I had to learn how to enjoy it. 

That meant finding the things that I really enjoy doing the most.

Another easy example...being a dad. 

Right now I'm building the wall of achievement. 

I'm learning the skills, and eventually, once the skills are developed, I'll learn fulfillment, the aspects of being a dad that is most rewarding, which comes from a continuous improvement of my self-awareness. 

Living in the moment and enjoy everything that is so fulfilling to us.

I always go back to my days in the nursing home.

They taught me a lot.

But most importantly…

The challenged me to constantly ask the question…

What does it mean to be me, and what does it mean to have a life well lived?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling