Balance and Focus: How to Have Both - Common Sense Living Newsletter
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Balance and Focus: How to Have Both

Apr 27, 2016

Balance and Focus: How to Have Both 

I've written many times about how focusing on just one objective changed my life.

At 32, I decided 'becoming wealthy' would be my one and only goal, and I gained an immediate and astonishing advantage in terms of making financially smart decisions. In less than seven years, I went from being in debt to having more than I needed.

But there was a cost to that single-mindedness: I became less of a husband, less of a father, and less of a friend. I was also less healthy and less happy than I might have been.

I wasn't miserable and I'm not lamenting. I was fine. I'm just saying...

When I turned 50, I began to make some changes. I renounced my one-goal-only approach and came up with a balanced system that helped me achieve a richer life.

I organized my objectives into four categories: health, wealth, social, and personal. And I set primary, secondary, and tertiary goals in each. With health, for example, I might have organized my goals like this:

  • Primary: Lose 20 pounds
  • Secondary: Run a mile in under 7 minutes
  • Tertiary: Get full movement in my injured shoulder.

With wealth, I might have organized my goals like this:

  • Primary: Get XYZ company up to $50 million in sales
  • Secondary: Buy three rental real estate properties this year
  • Tertiary: And so on.

This new arrangement allowed me to have my cake and eat it too. I had balance, but I also had focus. I was able to enrich my life with more than just money.

If you aren't happy with what you've accomplished so far or you feel your life is out of balance in some way, consider this approach. Take a few minutes to list what you'd like to accomplish. Then sort those ambitions into these categories. Then pick your top three in each category. It's as simple as that.

  • Your top 3 health-building goals
  • Your top 3 wealth-building goals
  • Your top 3 social responsibilities
  • Your top 3 personal aspirations

You may find it difficult to come up with 12 objectives, or you may find it difficult to limit your objectives to 12. But if you keep at it for a few days, you will succeed.

Health goals should be relatively easy to identify. Just remember that health is first and foremost about having a constant reserve of mental energy, secondarily about physical strength and stamina, and thirdly about appearance.

Wealth goals can be tricky. Avoid the temptation of wanting too much. Figure out what you need to live an intellectually and emotionally rich lifestyle. Forget about status symbols. Be realistic. Set your goals accordingly.

Social goals include your family, friends, and your community. A great way to figure out these is to imagine your funeral. What would you want your family and friends and colleagues and neighbours to say about you then?

By personal goals I mean those things that fire up your imagination and leave you feeling more vibrant and fulfilled. For me, that has to do with writing poetry and fiction, collecting art, and becoming better at Jiu Jitsu. For you, it could be dancing, singing, or gardening. Whatever floats your boat!

If you haven't done so already, I urge you to read Living Rich. There are plenty of other good books on this general subject, but Living Rich is not a bad place to start.

Image Source: Blazej Lyjak/Shutterstock


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2 Responses to "Balance and Focus: How to Have Both"

Ramana Murthy

01 May, 2016

Excellent article! 

Rakesh Kumar Gupta

28 Apr, 2016

Thanku so much to get more clarity on our vision, it really helpful....


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