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The 7 Ports of Life

I was recently in a coaching education environment and during one of the classroom sessions, our instructor introduced us to the 7 ports of life*.

The idea being, you are a ship, you are either in port, or traveling to port.

You can only really be focused on the port that you are in.

With that said, grab a blank piece of paper and a pen.

Write your name in the middle, and around the outside write the following words:




Self Development




Take a moment to consider what each one means to you. For me it was:

Job - coaching, day Job, interruptions from email / calls, and attention to work matters.

Family - Quality time with my spouse, time spent connecting with long distance family, and visiting with in-law family.

Health - Meal planning, meal prep, gym, stretching, learning about 'health' and what it means for me.

Self Development - Listening / watching / reading / discussing personal or professional development podcasts, books, social media.

Recreational - Traveling in my VW bus, or to new places / favorite places, social gatherings, time I purposefully put into other relationships or spaces away from work.

Civic - Aside from my civic duties of being a good person, how much do I get involved with community events, organizations, or use my time in this space.

Spiritual - Meditation and self talk are my spirituality.

Then draw circles around the 'ports' in relation to the amount of time you spend in them.

Step back and look.

If you are like most people in the room when I did this for the first, most laughed at the disproportionate time they spend in certain ports. You can guess those ports. You might also be the same.

To make it real. Ask your spouse / partner / best friend to do the same task for you. Then ask how they feel about those circles. It's going to get deep, hopefully, but chances are it will be a phenomenal conversation that might just help you adjust your focus, from A-B. If even by a degree (sticking with the shipping theme) imagine the distance between A-B after a month, a season, a year...

Here is mine, having gone through that very conversation with my wife just over a year ago. We also did hers, in Blue, which was valuable for us to not only see where our priorities lie (of course we knew it already), but in a comparison. Now we work to close those gaps.


*original source difficult to find with an internet search, but it is a really valuable depiction of where you spend your life.


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