The most valuable things in your life shouldn’t be at the mercy of your least-valuable ones. The predictor of what matters to you most in life is your actions not your words. Therefore, watch how you spend your day and write down your activities. You may find that you spend 50 percent of your waking time at work; 30 percent with friends; 10 percent exercising and 10 percent with your family. Since our values are the things that matter to us most in life, our most important value here, in this example, is our work and the least important one is family. The tragedy here is when we “say” that our family and kids are our most important value. But actions speak louder than words and weighing too much value on work will unbalance our life and lead us astray. To get things into balance again, we need to examine our underlying beliefs that give rise to our values in the first place.
As technology advances, our priorities must be revisited. The beliefs we have inherited from our industrial-age ancestors shaped our thinking to a great extent. The fixed daily working hours from 9:00 A.M. up to 5:00 P.M. has made, unconsciously, the value of working, an indispensable pivot upon which all other values revolve. The remaining 8 waking hours are spent disproportionately among other values such as family, friends and spiritual practices. Our behavior manifests our beliefs which shape our values. But now technology obsoletes everything including the nature of work and the timeline of staying at the company. How can we keep up with these changes and be relevant and timely? There must be a better way – to paraphrase Steve Jobs liner.
Shifting your lifestyle to be the center value, upon which all other values, including work, revolve, requires weeding out the wrong beliefs and assumptions. The fast-track way to change our beliefs is by changing our behavior. To change our behavior we need to work on changing our outdated habits. If the process, for example, was arranging our life around our work, we must reverse the process and accommodate our work to match with our lifestyle. What I need to do is to discipline myself and manage my time properly. I must create time every and each day to spend with my family, my friends, keeping fit physically by exercising, reading to be mentally fit, meditating and reflecting on what needs to be improved in my life and allotting time for my work and career.
To lead a happy and fulfilled life is to tie your goals to your values. This principle was first articulated 4 decades ago by Coca-Cola , former president of Coca-Cola Enterprises. He eloquently likens our life to a game in which you are the master of this game. Your job is to juggle these five balls joyfully without dropping anyone of them. Each ball represents special value in your life. These balls are called: work, family, health, friends and spirit. You are keeping all of them in the air. To your astonishment, you will find by time and life experiences that work is the ball that is made of rubber; if dropped, it will bounce back. But the other four balls are made up of glass; if one of them dropped, it will be shattered and never be regained.
You can live the life you aspire for by arranging your business around your lifestyle. By capitalizing on the advancement in technology and the internet, our life can be more flexible and balanced than ever. Through the availability of the internet access, you can now be on business with a global market reach and time flexibility. All this from the comfort of your home where the family value lies and the other values follows naturally.