During my regularly scheduled, pre-coffee dog walk this morning I witnessed something that struck a chord with me. Two elderly retirees, dressed in full work out gear, carrying yoga mats, paid a visit to the next-door neighbors house, bright and early. Though it was much too early for me to interact with anyone in spandex in their mid-80's, I couldn't help but overhear their brief conversation with the neighbor.
"Hey!! Goooooooooodddd morniiiiiiinnnnnggg! You ready??"
"Oh....hi.......no, sorry ladies, I'm not feeling too swell today."
"Awwwwww, we're sorry to hear that! Well, feel better!"
......and off they went.....most likely gossiping and speculating en route to an intense 8 minute workout.
Seems pretty straight-forward, right? Probably shouldn't take too much from that conversation, but it did get me to thinking. You work your entire life, you pinch pennies here and there, you put in your time for 25-30 years. Finally, it's time to enjoy it, and your limited because of health issues. Is it worth it?
Is it worth investing in.....
- Your professional life, at a sacrifice to your health?
- Your health, at a sacrifice to your professional life?
- Your financial well-being, at a sacrifice to your relationships?
The four corners of a "successful life", in my opinion, include:
- Career & Purpose
Throughout our lives we seem to shift our focus from one of those areas to the next, but rarely an equal amount of attention, at once, on all four. It may sound simple, but it's not. Have you ever been so destitute financially that you can't focus on anything accept your next pay check? How could we possibly give our health or relationships the attention it deserves if we're just trying to keep our lights on?
The answer is, we can't.
Or in such poor health that you nearly lost everything you've worked so hard for??
If a balanced and symmetrical life is the goal, we must give it equal amounts of effort. We've all met people who are successful in one area and failing miserably in another. This disproportion prevents us from living a completely fulfilling and harmonious life.
Grade yourself on those four areas. I would start with relationships. Solid, stable and rewarding relationships seem to be a great catalyst for me in working towards succeeding in the other three areas of life. But be open. Stay open. And seek out honest opinions from those closest to you.
How are you doing professionally, financially, relationally and in regards to your health. Then put a plan in place to counterbalance each of those, and be sure to give all four areas a little TLC each day.
In no way is this meant to be "preachy".....I write this for me, because I can internalize it when I write it, read it and share it. If you take anything at all from any of this, I'm glad I shared