"Life is not what happens to you, but what you make of it!"
When we’re out of balance, we’re listing to one side or the other, just waiting for a strong wind or a big wave to capsize us. But when we’re in balance, we’re solid….we’re stable… we’re upright… and we’re more likely to remain that way, no matter what the weather conditions.
Balance Your Life
“When the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name; He marks not that you won or lost, but how you played the game.” - Grantland Rice
Whatever your chosen profession, you have to hone your skills until profits come naturally and effortlessly. That said, the quest for profits must be tempered. Just look at what happens to so many famous people who “have it all” so to speak…only to lose it all when their lives veer out of balance.
Elvis Presley, the singer who sold more records than anyone in history, died at age 42, disoriented by drugs and 70 pounds overweight.
Marilyn Monroe, the most beautiful woman in the world, died before her 40th birthday from an apparent suicide brought on by depression.
Ty Cobb, one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball, often said he wished he’d had a few less hits and few more friends. He died alone and friendless.
If you want to survive in your business over the long haul, you must make sure that you find the proper balance between work and leisure.
In an unbridled quest for success, many people devote all their time and effort to making money. But is this the best strategy to achieve enduring financial success? It depends. If you love what you do, you'll enjoy yourself so much that it will not seem like you are working. But many people find that even the most enjoyable task can become mundane and tedious.
You need a break from the monotony occasionally. It's not a good idea to live a life that consists of only endless days of sales calls, business deals, and strategy meetings. How long can you live a life of extreme self-control and self-denial before you burst out in a binge of reckless pleasure seeking? It's better to plan on taking a break and having a good time before you crack under the strain.
You, Inc. is about dramatically improving your value in all areas of your life, not just your bank account.
Like the Bible says, “For what does a man profit if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
The key to balancing your life is to allot equal amounts of time and attention to each of the Five F’s.
Here they are in the order of their importance:
- One, Faith
- Two, Family
- Three, Fitness
- Four, Friends
- And Five, Finances
I’d like for you to think of balance as a wheel. In the center of the wheel is a hub called Faith. The spokes connecting the hub to the rim of the wheel would be the other four F’s – that is, Family… Fitness… Friends… and Finances. If the hub is weak or missing, the wheel will collapse under even the slightest pressure. If one or more of the spokes are weak or missing, the wheel gets wobbly and bent when it hits bumps and potholes in the road of life.
But when the hub is strong…when the spokes are solid and spaced equally inside the wheel…when the wheel is oiled and maintained on a regular basis…it will serve our needs and endure a lifetime!
Check out the 2003 list of leading causes of death in the United States:
- Heart Disease
Do you see a pattern here? Every one of the modern-day leading causes of death in America could be greatly reduced by changing our habits. Advances in medicine have blessed the vast majority of Americans with the opportunity to live long, healthy, pain-free lives. Yet millions of Americans are abusing that blessing by regularly eating junk food and sitting on the couch watching the “boob tube” instead of exercising. These are the same people who expect Medicare to pay for the pills to lower their blood pressure…the same people who expect Medicaid to cover the costs of their open-heart surgery.
Oh, sure, life can be cruel, and sometimes people get sick through no fault of their own. And we all feel for those people.
But when people make lifestyle choices that plunge them headlong into sickness, they’re intentionally throwing their lives out of balance. If you can’t quit smoking for yourself…if you can’t lose weight for yourself…do it for your family! Do it for your friends! They don’t want to see you suffer from an illness or die before your time!
That’s why I remind people, “When you’ve got your health, you’ve got just about everything.” Choose good health. Choose longevity. Most of all, choose balance.
Taking time off also helps boost your creative juices. Have you ever come upon a particularly difficult situation in your work life and you spend hours and hours trying to find a solution. You go home that night and can’t sleep thinking about it. Over the weekend you go take a walk on the beach, play a round of golf, or spend time with your family. When you go back to work Monday morning and look at your problem again all of a sudden the answer just “appears”. You say to yourself, “why didn’t I think of this before?” It’s so obvious. What you’ve done by taking time to relax and getting away from the situation, is given your mind time to “creatively solve” your problem.
Don't underestimate the need for rest and relaxation. Take time off to spend with your family and friends. Don't think that you must devote your entire life to making money. Cultivating balance between work and pleasure will produce rewards in terms of your overall morale. If you ignore this issue, you'll eventually start making impulsive and emotional decisions.
Cultivating balance will not only help you achieve profitability; it will help you maintain it.
I’d like to conclude this discussion with a quick story that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt just how important balance is in our lives.
In 1923, nine of the world’s most successful financiers met at a swanky hotel in Chicago to discuss the economy. These nine men were the richest of the rich. Among those present at the round table meeting was the president of the New York Stock Exchange, the president of the world’s largest steel company, the president of the world’s largest electric company, the president of the world’s largest gas company, and the head of the world’s largest monopoly.
Fast forward 25 years to 1948. What do you think had happened to the nine men who had such enormous power and wealth a few years back…but lacked balance in their lives. Here’s a quick summary of their fates:
- Three of the nine men committed suicide.
- Three of the nine men died broke.
- Two of the nine men served time in prison.
- One of the nine men was declared legally insane.
In short, nine out of the nine dies unhappy…broke…disgraced…or insane. Every one of these nine men learned how to make money. But not one of them learned the value of balance. This story proves that balance isn’t just important to your well being.
Balance, my friend, is essential!!
Life is what we make of it – make it a great one starting today. Right now.