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The Four Cups

Written by Alex Delarge on Tuesday, November 30 1999 and posted in Blog
I have the willpower of an immovable force, but the focus of a teenager who just received their first cell phone. On top of all that I am also a master arguer and logician, so sometimes I can trick myself into changing my mind and making myself believe that maybe what I am doing is not the best thing for me.

Some time ago, I started doing a personal philosophy that I called The Four Cups. The problem is that life is a finite beast and we only get a handful of activities to perform in any given day. What I wanted to do was make sure I didn't waste the remaining time in my life on useless endeavors. What I was trying to accomplish was to reduce life and all the essentials into a numbered groups of like-activities and create a subset of activities that I could choose from to do in my life. I asked myself this question, "What are the most important things in life?" My answer, The Four Cups which are: Body, Mind, Social, and Community.

Body encompasses exercise and nutrition.

Mind encompasses learning and recreation (stress relief).

Social is making sure you spend time with your family and friends, making them the best relationships you can.

Community is striving for excellence in your professional life and is a catchall for the kinds of constructive things one does to make life better for everyone in your community.

Think of each pillar as an empty cup and the activities as the "liquid" that fills the cup and depending on your life one cup may be larger than another. For instance, my body cup is larger than my mind cup as I have a lot more work to do on my body than on my mind. The hope is that it promotes moderation in my life. Often when one attempts to focus too much on any one thing everything else suffers for it. The ultimate goal is to construct a set of activities that fill up the cups the most.

For instance, while playing video games alone is a fun activity in which millions of people take part in, the effect on filling the mind cup is minimal and turns out to be a very useless activity. Playing video games with others is an improvement, as it fills the social cup too, however, playing video games with others physically is preferable to online gaming. Another example, volunteering for a charity event is preferable to just giving money or items to charity because it fills up both community and social cups and even the mind cup if you happen to learn anything new.

Here are some vague activities that fill up anyone's cup:

Eating Healthy Foods
Researching proper exercise and proper diet.
Researching just about anything practical that would improve your ability to fill the cups.
Spending time with family and friends.
Spending time teaching young people.

By now you have probably blurted out, "HEY, YOUR "PHILOSOPHY" IS NOTHING BUT THE SIMS!" To some extent you are right, maybe playing video games isn't so useless after all.

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