Are You Living a Balanced Life?

We all have our own subjective definition of success; although in our society, money and all the trappings it brings defines success for most people—this is a material world we live in.  Keeping up with the Joneses probably motivates more people than any of us would like to admit.  The question that begs is this: Is a lot of money, big house, luxury cars in the garage, condo in Vale the Holy Grail, or are there other things you should be giving equal, or even more important, weight to?  We’ve all heard stories about the billionaire who died alone, despised by all who knew him, including his own family members.  Then there’s the often-heard expression “No one rested on his death bed and regretted that he hadn’t worked harder, made more money.”

For me, all the business success in the world wouldn’t mean a thing without the strong relationships I have with my wife, children, grandchildren, and friends.  For years one of my favorite expressions has been “Man does not live by work alone.”  Throughout my business life I always took a lot of time off—I worked three days a week in the field and took off 12 to 17 weeks a year.  Sure, I could have made a lot more money by working five days a week in the field and taking fewer weeks off, but the additional income wasn’t as important to me as spending time with the significant people of my life, participating in the activities which brought me joy, such as trekking out to Wrigley Field to cheer on the Cubs (my older son, Michael, was their weekend public-address announcer for a number of years and I loved listening to him do his thing).

I believe this kind of balanced living is the true source of happiness, and we all should be striving to achieve it.  I’m not suggesting you should, or even can, do it the way I chose to; but I am suggesting you become aware of how important balanced living is and you make an effort to keep your work-life in its proper perspective juxtaposed to the people close to you, the activities you love to participate in.

So I want you to take an inventory of your life, the time you allocate to the different aspects of your life.  Discover if you’re living a truly balanced life, if there needs to be more to your existence than your job or business.  Imagine who you’ll be when you’re my age, close to 68, and how you’d like your spouse, children, friends and colleagues to think of you.  Imagine a life of true peace and joy, stress kept at a minimum.  You’re not going to be here forever; don’t waste a precious moment of the gift you’ve been given.