Deep Sauce

The Eight Front War

December 15, 2020

My friend Ben works in the business world and shares with me these fancy business productivity and motivational tools from time to time. One that caught my attention is called the Wheel of Life by Zig Ziglar. It's a multi-spoke wheel, where each spoke represents a core area of life (Mental, Spiritual, Financial, etc). On each spoke, you grade yourself to get an idea of how you're doing overall in life, and review what areas may have room for improvement.

The idea is to account for each area of your life in order to achieve balanced success. It's a good concept, as I think many people tend to pursue growth and achievement in an imbalanced manner. Some guys might focus only on their career and neglect their families, or only on the spiritual and fail to build sufficient finances, or spend all day in the gym and never cultivate their mind.

It's not a bad concept overall, but Ben and I improved it over time and developed the Eight Front War. (There were only seven spokes in the Wheel of Life, but we added an extra front to make it more hardcore.) A wheel is nice and all, but it's too passive and unassuming. War gets the idea across much more effectively as far as the mentality and effort needed to make real change in your life.

The idea of the Eight Front War is that in life, you are fighting a war on eight different fronts simultaneously. Each front represents one of the core domains of life:

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Intellectual
  • Spiritual
  • Financial
  • Career
  • Social
  • Family

The reality is that growth in each of these domains is not a straightforward journey of steady positive movement. You can't just stop working out to focus on developing your intellect: your muscles will atrophy and you'll get fat. You can't attend ten Bible studies every week: you won't have any time to develop yourself. You can't neglect your family to focus on your career: you'll grow apart from your spouse and kids.

Life is a game of tradeoffs. Time spent advancing on one front means losing ground on the others. You have to find a way to maintain progress in each and every front on a regular basis in order to truly achieve excellence in life. And that means you have to make hard choices on how you spend your time.

As Ben puts it, the Eight Front War helps you realize how monumental the task is to kick ass in every area of your life and truly become a great man or woman of God. If it sounds overwhelming, then it's doing its job of waking you up to the immensity of the challenge to truly follow Christ and put on the new man. Becoming the peak of humanity in the flesh is no small task, and demands nothing less than every moment of every day of your life.

Just like the Wheel of Life, the Eight Front War reminds us to strive for a balanced pursuit of excellence. Unlike the Wheel, however, we aren't looking for balance in the sense of being a 5, maybe 6, in most categories. When you're fighting the Eight Front War, you're fighting to win, to get a 10/10 in every single domain of life. Nothing less than the full 80 points is an acceptable victory condition. To be clear, the only guy to ever hit that mark walked on water 2,000 years ago. That means you have to fight this war until the day you go into the ground.

Even if most people can't get to 10 in any category, most people can get to a 7 or 8 in each category to become a well-rounded person. If you're a 7/10 in each of the eight fronts, you're better than 95% of people in the world, considering how few even bother to really try in life. That being said, most people are talented enough to specialize and get a 9 or 10 in a couple of categories. But the idea is to always push yourself in every front to surpass your preconceived limits and truly become what God has called you to be.

Ultimately, the Eight Front War is a great overarching concept to get a big-picture idea of what personal growth will look like. But to move beyond fiery sentiments and actually advance in each front, you'll need to set and clear SMART goals, which is a subject for another post.