“That which is not good for the swarm, neither is it good for the bee.”Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
I got this wonderful idea from American athlete and writer, Joe Holder. The Ocho System is a powerful framework based on the principle:
One helps others. Others help one.
Improving one area will prove all of the areas. Holder presents these areas in the context of wellness and fitness, but I can see this being a broader life philosophy.
Part of what makes this so powerful is taking on the possibility that:
None of them are well, until all of them are well.
Like I said earlier, this can apply broadly across life. So this can apply to our families, communities, and different parts of ourselves.
I had a few experiences in college and shortly afterward that helped me see the world in a different light. I personally discovered the interconnectedness of everything and it’s had a profound impact on me. If my actions affect everything around me, then my actions matter. Suddenly, everything became meaningful and important. As opposed to my semi-nihilistic worldview before — everything isn’t connected and some things don’t matter at all.
Holder has integrated the fact that everything is interconnected with The Ocho System.
There is no one, there is just all.
It is impossible to ignore the effects of one thing on another.
Holder said that The Ocho System is about taking control of physical health and allowing that to bleed into other areas of our lives.
Personally, I think this goes much deeper than our physical health, but the physical is a nontrivial aspect.
It plays off the number 8 and is designed to create an infinite feedback loop of wellness and gratitude. Working on The 8 makes us well, which makes gratitude easier, which makes being well easier. It’s a great way of creating a success spiral.
8 Core Components
These are developed in the context of our bigger life purpose. Simply working on these parts of our lives isn’t enough, they have to be developed in service to something bigger.
How do we know what the context is?
Just ask why.
Why develop physical health?
Why develop emotional health?
Why develop intellectual health? And so on, and so on…
Answering why will help us when we’re not feeling as motivated to keep up the work.
Developing each of these areas takes time, effort, commitment, discipline, and drive. However, it gets easier the longer we work on them. Like I said earlier, working on these areas creates an infinite feedback loop of wellness and gratitude which makes upkeep much easier too.
I recommend writing down the goals that improve each component. People who write their goals down tend to accomplish their goals more often than people who don’t. Writing down our goals provides a smaller scale clearly articulated purpose.
For me personally, I try to do something every day that benefits each of these areas. I have daily goals that, if met, would improve or maintain my current levels.
A few of these goals are as follows:
Running and Kettlebell Swings for Physical Health
Journaling and Creating Music for Emotional Health
Reading and Writing for Intellectual Health
Cleaning and Responsible Networking for Environmental Health
Meditation, Reading, and Writing for Spiritual Health
Working on my Businesses for Occupational Health
These are just the things I try to do every day. I also try to keep these areas in mind when I’m doing most things. I want the actions I take in the day to benefit me in the best way possible and I can do that by ensuring my actions benefit one of the 8 areas.
I also want to include another way of looking at the “one helps others, others help one” principle. The Ocho System can be applied broadly and works well for health, but if you really want to zero in on improving your physical health check our the Five Core Biomotor Skills.
5 Core Biomotor Skills
Improving one of these will improve the other 4. This is a great framework for starting to take control of your physical health. Just focus on improving one of these things a day and in time you will transform yourself.