#OneLife — A guide to living a happy, successful and fulfilling life

Rajiv Srivatsa @telljeeves
13 min readSep 12, 2019


This is the second part of a 3 part series covering my philosophy to living a happy, successful and fulfilling life.

Part 1 — https://medium.com/@telljeeves/onelife-the-5-underlying-philosophies-to-life-f5bdfefc7a3a

Part 3— https://medium.com/@telljeeves/onelife-the-100-hour-rule-daedeb671994

Once you internalise the 5 underlying philosophies of life, then you can look at different aspects / modes of living this #OneLife consciously.

At a fundamental level, all humans have 4 aspects of life that they live —

  1. Self (Health)
  2. Social (Relationships)
  3. Senses (Pleasures)
  4. Service (Work)

Based on the 5 underlying philosophies, the question is — how do you live these aspects without any regrets / to your full potential. Which options are you exploring / going wide, and which are the ones you are committing and going deep. Are you ready to live through these experiences — happy and sad, and build your own story? The story of my own life has become two fold — living my own #OneLife and spread it across millions to help them live theirs.

Yes of course — this is not rocket science or something completely new! :) These 4 aspects can be further sub-divided into 10 categories for us to monitor our life and live it to the fullest. This article does not go in-depth into any one aspect / nor does it give personal examples but you can get a feeler for what these aspects are. In future posts, I will break down each of the 10 categories / 30 micro-categories, provide personal experiences and examples, and also provide a questionnaire to assess how well you are really doing.

If you are already living a good life on a particular aspect, you could skip sections.

The 4S / 10 point framework to living your #OneLife

1st S — SELF

A strong foundational body, mind and soul are necessary for you to be able to live life to the fullest. If you are weak at your core, then this has significant negative impact on the rest of the 3S — social, senses and service and you won’t be able to live them to the fullest too.

(1) Physical Health A strong body is the start of living your life. Whenever you get injured or you fall sick, you can pretty much realise how badly it affects the rest of your life.

  1. Eating Healthy: 80% of our problems comes from what we put inside the body as food. Given the wide variety of options available at a click of a button, there’s a tendency to overeat or eat unhealthy. Conscious intermittent fasting, controlling the food quality and the quantity of it everyday (albeit with some cheat days) keeps us stay healthy over a longer period of time.
  2. Activity: The magic 10k steps daily is a good indicator of activity — alternatively, you could use any mechanism — yoga, swimming, playing, walking, etc. — whatever suits your interest. Activity makes the muscles active and helps burn fat, and keeps a bunch of other body parameters in check. There’s no excuse to not moving yourself daily.
  3. Sleep: A good body needs at least 7 hours of sleep everyday. This is the body’s way to recuperate every day. Try to short-circuit this and make do with 5 hours or inconsistent patterns, the body always has a way of coming back and biting you!

(2) Mental Health — A solid mind is core to appreciating the #OneLife philosophy, and getting in the confidence and discipline necessary to live it. A sorted mind can help focus on the present moment and come back from any setback. A strong mind consists of the following —

  1. Discipline: A core work ethic, basic discipline, willpower and ensuring repeatable good habits are necessary to be able to live life to the fullest on multiple other aspects. Focusing on the task at hand, living in the present moment (without getting distracted by incessant notifications) is a strong part of building the discipline muscle.
  2. Calmness: Meditation (various techniques) can bring in a focus and calmness to your mind like no other. This has positive impact on other aspects of your body and soul too. A calm mind is better prepared to handle life’s challenges than a shaky one. A calm mind also realises that showing anger is a useless activity, and you would rather calm your mind to become much lesser angry. Forgiving, forgetting and having no enemies is a powerful way to live a calm life.
  3. Knowledge: Appreciating a philosophy like #OneLife, empathising with others’ point of view and overall ability to digest and absorb information has become a critical aspect of living in this age where everyone is hounded by information from all corners. Knowledge also builds confidence in communication and building social connections. Knowledge also helps you make aware of your priorities, your wants, and helps prioritise your needs and lifestyle as per your desires.

(3) Emotional Health — An honest and positive soul is humans’ only real duty to the rest of humanity. While we all arguably also have a selfish gene in us, being honest, ethical and not harming any other human is the least we can do for getting that 1 in a trillion chance to live a human life on this universe.

  1. Core Values: Honesty, ethics and respect are non-negotiable values that every human should possess. There are too many individuals who resort to cheating, hiding facts, lying, manipulating and not living to some of our basic responsibilities and duties. While I suspend judgement on most other aspects, this one core value is non negotiable for the human race to build trust. Respect for every human independent of sex, demographic, caste, creed, job etc. is paramount in living a harmonious life.
  2. Positive Energy: All of us carry an amount of positive energy around us. When we emanate this energy, it fuels us forward, as well as creates a great ripple effect of positivity around us. Positivity and optimism are important attributes to live everyday. (on the contrary, when you emit negative energy or anger or sadness, that also ripples across) Moving away from negative people, negative influences and largely most of social media / all of news can bring in a level of sanity and positivity like no other.
  3. Spirituality:You may be religious or you may not be; however, a sense of connect with the self / or a God / some being /nothingness is important to reiterate the importance of core values during tesing times, as well as maintain balance. Being spiritual does not have to come at the cost of disrespecting someone else’s spiritual beliefs.

2nd S — SOCIAL

Humans are social animals. We are pretty useless till we reach the age of at least around 15–16 :) and need a lot of care from elders and the community to make sure that we learn, get loved and get taken care of financially. We also yearn for the love of others and social acceptance in whatever we do. Hence, social becomes a big strong component to how we live life. Social has two aspects —

(4) Relationships — From very early on, we form deep relationships with specific members of the family, and bring in newer people into this core set of relationships. Any of these relationships is a deeper commitment and should only be done if a person has the willingness and the staying power / responsibility to see it through over time, else it may end in a lot of heartache. If you are unwilling to commit that time, it’s better to not start that relationship than do injustice to it.

  1. Family & Friends: We have a set of family members (maybe parents, siblings) and friends (maybe a core set of best friends) that we form strong connects with from childhood. These are the people that we share a lot through our ups and downs and remain true as a bond for life.
  2. Romantic: Romantic love is a special feeling. There’s a reason why there’s a ton of poetry, books, movies, and literature around love. Romantic love in essence includes chemistry, care, conversations and a connect that makes one feel special. It can be with one / multiple people and of the same sex too.
  3. Kids / Pets: Your own or adopted kid is probably the first instance of truly unconditional love. We as humans are very selfish even in romantic love and ‘expect’ the partner to be a particular way. However, once you have a kid, you realise that unconditional love is possible, and can extend to your other relationships too. Pets also potentially evoke unconditional love.

(5) Community — As humans, we also have a wider circle of social connections with our community and people beyond the core circle. These connections are built across different people over time. Thanks to the power of social media, you can maintain a lot of these connections without physically meeting many folks. These include —

  1. Acquaintances: This could include colleagues, neighbours, friends from school / college / etc. that have wandered away but are still in touch via Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. A wider network makes you richer overall and helps provide feedback or connects when a necessary time arises (both ways). Actively connecting and maintaining this network is important, instead of only reaching out when you just want some help.
  2. Interest Groups: This could be around your specific interests — like a health group or a karaoke group or a hobby-based group. Connecting with people over similar interests is a great way to have an active connection that can be rekindled around that particular interest.
  3. Society: This is your contribution to being a good citizen to a wider society at large — this could imply following basic civic rules in traffic or in public places, as well as ensuring that the world moves ahead on common causes — such as feminism, or climate change.

3rd S — SENSES

Our 6 senses develop very early on as humans — far earlier or better than most other animals. How we utilise these senses (touch, smell, taste, feel, hear, think) and explore the world around us is completely our prerogative. This bucket broadly comprises of all the elements that you usually associate with ‘fun’.

(6) Media — Utilising all our senses to explore what’s out there in the world is an important part of appreciating human creation. This includes movies, music, TV, arts, sports, performances, food, dance, books, comedy, and all other creative fields out there. There are 3 broad aspects here —

  1. Comfort Media: There’s a bunch of media that you get comfortable with (and slot into your favorites bucket) over time. This is your ‘comfort’ music or ‘comfort’ food or ‘favorite’ sports team and will come lifelong with you.
  2. New Media: If you are always listening to just your favorite genre of music or seeing your favorite star’s movies, you will miss a lot of eclectic performances across the world of arts. Make sure that you get out of your comfort zone once in a while to experience a rich variety. It could also be to experience that Burning Man or Tomorrowland!
  3. Spending time on a hobby: You can also spend sometime to learn a particular hobby that utilises your own creativity. There are some who also become so strong in their hobby / field of art that they can actually stake a claim for merging their hobby into their work stream as well (eg. famous actors, painters, musicians etc.)

(7) Travel — The world is a rich and diverse entity. There are so many different places, cultures, histories, food, people etc. Exploring this diversity is a big part of ensuring that you develop as a well-rounded individual.

  1. Visiting places: Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the world. Given the upward mobility of our country, a lot of Indians travel yearly to places across all continents. Exploring places, appreciating the arts and the food, and meeting new people is a great distraction from your regular life.
  2. Living abroad: Visiting places as a tourist is one thing — but living abroad is another. When you live in a different country, you experience the different cultures that exist and understand at a deeper level on why people behave the way they do.
  3. Learning a language: Other than your mother tongue and a common language (like English), it will be extremely useful if you can learn at least one more language (maybe another Indian language that’s not your mother tongue, or an international language like Spanish or Mandarin). That way, you will be able to live as a local wherever you go and understand cultural nuances from a different perspective.


The one single duty for all humans is to be of service in some form or the other towards humanity in general. One strong aspect of #OneLife is to reach our full potential on the work front too. Being of service through a good part of adult life (well into your 60s and 70s) requires you to build what I call a ‘career map’ — which is a rich map that comprises of different skills, learnings, behaviours, impact, experiences, outcomes, roles, functions, industries and rewards. The 3 core aspects of Service include —

(8) Learning — You start learning at a very young age of 3/4 when you get into kindergarten. In the olden days, given the jobs were more straightforward, you stopped learning when you graduated from college. However, in the new world where automation and technology are changing the face of the job industry, you are going to be continuously learning all the way into your 60s and 70s. There are 3 types of learning you do —

  1. Behavioural Skills: These are foundational skills (earlier used to be called ‘soft’ skills but are really no longer ‘soft’ / ‘hard’). Skills such as people management, communication, structured problem solving, technology adaptation, leadership, negotiation skills, etc. are becoming critical in every industry and field that you pursue. These skills need to be imparted at a school level, and continuously be updated by professionals.
  2. Functional Skills: Industry experts say that it’s almost impossible to predict the exact industry or a particular function that will be in vogue 10 years from today — as a result, it’s become tricky for school and even college students to learn something that’s a sure shot way of getting a job. Some skills like technology, design, creative fields, general management, etc. will always be in vogue. Given the omni-present nature of online learning and startups willing to bet on you, functional skills can be continuously learnt on the job as well as through the education system.
  3. Traits / Mindsets: These are core attributes of any professional that are wired deep within a person. These including a growth mindset, learning & adaptability, commitment, a strong work ethic, self awareness, basic ethics and honesty, ownership, and traits that will always help you whichever phase of life you are in or whichever industry / work experience you are pursuing.

(9) Impact — The impact that you create during your various moves across your career map is what stands the test of time, and acts as goodwill and word of mouth from one job to another. Impact can be in the form of great experiences, meaningful outcomes, or starting up and further spreading the impact / creating jobs.

  1. Experiences: Younger in life, you gain a ton of experience by doing internships, projects, and starting off on your first job experience. Think of these experiences as stepping stones to do something bigger as you take on more responsibility. Look for richness of experiences and learning by trying your hand at a variety of functions and industries.
  2. Outcomes: As you take on more responsibility and more senior roles, you get into situations where you (and your team) can directly contribute to outcomes. These could be customer outcomes / company outcomes / building new products and services that impact millions positively. It’s also possible that you succeed on some outcomes and experience failures on certain others — all of this is part of the process of learning.
  3. Starting Up: Every single professional should get the excitement and joy of starting up at sometime in their life. It maybe in your 20s (when you are carefree and bold) or it may be in your 50s (when you have established title and financial independence). The age does not matter — starting up on your own gives you a leverage and independence that no job can fully give.

(10) Rewards — We all live in the real world, and money and titles do matter (till at least a particular point in time) Given we all theoretically understand Maslow’s hierarchy, we still have to climb up our own journey. Financial independence can also help in leading the lifestyle you want, and being able to move towards starting up at some point in your life. Rewards fall in 3 categories —

  1. Financial Rewards: This is your base pay, your variable pay, your increment, your bonus etc. Strong financial rewards are a great motivator but other than very specific circumstances or wiring, cannot be the sole motivator — they always combine with either a good role or a good team or a good company.
  2. Titles & Designations: While roles and outcomes are important to give you a sense of accomplishment and growth, the external world still goes a lot by your titles and designations. Growth in titles and designations also helps you build your own confidence, as well as establish a niche for yourself in the professional world. The wider the variety of these, the richer your experience is. Awards and education pedigrees also add to the list of titles and designations that the world outside recognises.
  3. Wealth: The only way that you can truly build financial independence is to own a piece of wealth — and that’s different from earning a lot of money as part of a salary. This could be equity in a company, ESOPs in a public company, investments in property / stocks / etc. There are multiple ways to compute what your ideal retirement wealth is and start contributing towards the same early on. Living an essentialist / minimalist life can keep this wealth requirement lower than when you splurge and keep spending money in sync with your earnings.

All of us have all of the above 4 aspects of life at any point in time. We may choose to give more time to certain aspects and lesser time to certain aspects at any particular point in time. But pretty much all activities fall into one of these 4 aspects.

Here’s a cheat-sheet to help remember these 10X3 sub-categories —

You can do a quick assessment of yourself by printing the above 30 grid table on a sheet of paper and marking green / orange / red (white in case something is not applicable) against each of the aspects. That gives a good ballpark on how your life is proceeding at the current point in time. Don’t be too alarmed at the no. of reds or be too happy with the no. of greens, since the weightage of a particular aspect of life at this point in time is not really shown in this equal grid. The next part of this series covers priority, weightage and time management across these aspects of life.

Part 3 of this series — 100 Hour Rule — which will give an actionable way to prioritise your life and split your time into these aspects — https://medium.com/@telljeeves/onelife-the-100-hour-rule-daedeb671994

Do comment on any aspect of life that I may have omitted that you think is necessary.

If you think there’s some merit in this article, do kindly share this in your networks. Thanks in advance for commenting / sharing / recommending this article in your network.



Rajiv Srivatsa @telljeeves

Partner at @Antler India. Co-founder Urban Ladder. Write on Startups and Happiness. Podcast @OneLifeTheory. Jack of all trades, master of none!