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Six Domains of Life


Enda Goodwin
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Senior Operative

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People live their lives in at least six domains:

  • Family Life: spouse/partner, children, relatives
  • Community Life: local, national, global
  • Personal Life: education, avocations, health, solo recreation
  • Social Life: enjoying the company of others, group recreation
  • Spiritual Life: religion, renewal of the spirit
  • Work Life: paid or unpaid constructive effort to improve things

Using these six domains can be a way of testing a tentative life plan or a way of creating one. In working on this kind of visioning or planning, talking to people can be a very useful complement to reflection. Talking to a career consultant will often speed the process. Talking to people you are close to is essential.

Use the Six Domains To See If You Have the Balance Between Them That You Would Like To Have.

Below, we have included some questions you may wish to consider for each of the six domains of life.

Family life

The vast majority of us live our lives as part of a family unit of some kind. It may be the traditional two-parents-plus-children family, a single parent with children or a life partnership. It may be self-defined, consisting of an extended family of relatives and friends.

  • How do you envision your family life going forward?
  • Have your attitudes and values in this area changed over the years? If so, how?
  • What activities would you like to add, drop or change?

Community life

Most of us also live our lives as part of a community of some kind. Larger than the family group, your community may be local, national or global. It may be defined geographically or by some common interest. Your company, work team and colleagues can be considered a community.

  • Which communities are you now a part of? How do you contribute to them?
  • Are there some communities you would like to join or become more active in?
  • Are you a member of any communities you would like to leave, or will have to leave, such as a company?
  • What community activities do you want to have in the future?

Personal life

This is a domain that involves you alone - things you do for yourself and possibly by yourself. It includes educational and personal development activities, avocations, personal grooming and healthcare, solo recreation activities and anything else you do for yourself alone.

  • What activities do you include in this area?
  • Are you satisfied with your activities in this area?
  • What activities would you change?
  • Have your needs here changed over the past 5-10 years?

Social life

This domain includes activities primarily for the purpose of enjoying the company of others. It can include parties, group recreational activities or membership in organizations. Social activities often happen with members of your family or community, and may have connections to your work life or spiritual life as well.

  • Are there changes you would like to make in your social group?
  • Would you prefer more or less social life than you have had in the past?
  • How has your social life changed in the last 5-10 years?
  • Are there new activities you would like to undertake?

Spiritual life

Your spiritual life could include membership in a formal religion, which would mean that it makes you part of a local and possibly global spiritual community as well. Or it could involve activities undertaken alone, unconnected to any religion, such as prayer, meditation, listening to uplifting music or communing with nature.

  • Are you satisfied with your activities in this area?
  • Are there changes you would like to make in your spiritual life?
  • How has your spiritual life changed in the last 5-10 years?
  • If you wanted to explore new possibilities in this domain, how would you do that?

Work life

Work is a constructive effort to produce or accomplish things that improve the physical world or benefit society or individuals. It can be paid or unpaid, alone or with others, physical or mental.

  • Will your work be similar to your past work or very different?
  • Will you do unpaid volunteer work? If so, what kind?
  • How will it affect what you do in the preceding five categories?
  • Will you plan to work at all?
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