Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day #2 - A Complete Life

Whenever I take my car for servicing, the service staff always checks a list of things to insure that all of the vital parts of the car are in working order. Even if my concern is limited to a particular part of the car or if I simply want my oil changes, those responsible for keeping my car in working order insist upon checking everything on their list. They understand that if the entire car is not functioning properly, the one part that may be having difficulty can be a threat to the entire car. I have learned to allow them to take much more time than I think they need to check my entire car every few thousand miles.

I have learned that this same approach is useful in my life. If my car needs a complete check up on a regular basis, then my life deserves at least what my car deserves. I will probably not have my car for the rest of my life but I will have my life for the rest of my life! So I have been giving my whole life a check regularly.

This sounds a bit overwhelming and at first it was for me. But I was making the mistake of trying to improve my life by focusing on the area of my life that had the greatest need. That seemed to make so much sense. But what I learned was that while the area of needs was getting all of the attention, the areas that had very little need were getting no attention at all. By the time I had fixed the needy area, some other area was in need. And the cycle seemed to never end.

I realized that a better strategy was to invest in setting goals and improving every area rather than just the one that gave me the most concern. This meant that I had to organize my life into a checklist of areas and have a plan for each. The system that I embraced identified five areas that best captured the elements of my complete life. Those areas are: 1. Personal; 2. Intellectual; 3. Vocational; 4. Financial; 5. Spiritual.

To address one of these areas without working on the others is to develop a lopsided or unbalanced life. The entire checklist guarantees that I am building a complete life. As we proceed this month, I will help you build a complete life using this summary of life. You should start thinking about the goals that you have in each of these areas.

Tomorrow – Day #3 – Defining Personal Goals

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