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Article -> Life Plan Should Reflect What Matters Most

Date Added: April 2010

Note: This article appeared in the April 18, 2010 issue of The Green Bay Press-Gazette.

In prior years, this space has addressed strategy and planning for organizations. In May, this article will appear monthly on the first Wednesday, so what may be my last Sunday article discusses strategy and planning for you.

 

Most people have a life plan. It may consist of: earn degree, get married, find job, have kids, make money, attain promotion, make more money, and so on. The plan doesn’t always work out how you want.

 

Life is about choices. You’ve achieved the promotion, money, status, position. Is it worth it if you’ve ignored family, friends and community? People rarely succeed in anything unless they’re happy doing it. This encompasses all facets of your life – not just work. Happiness at home, with family, etc.

 

In business, a common discussion is, “quality, service and low price… you can choose only two of these.” Great quality and service don’t come with a low price. A low price and good quality don’t come with great service. In life, there is “happiness, personal, money… you can choose only two.”

 

We talk of work/life balance, yet few truly achieve this. Happiness and personal time with friends/family may not come with more money. More money requires sacrifice of personal time or happiness. We often hear, “I’ll focus on my career and make money first, and when I’m older or retired I’ll take time for family and community.”

 

For many, your life plan has many goals and achievements – centered mainly on career success. A simple solution for your life plan is to write your own eulogy. It’s morbid, but think about what you want others to say about you when you die. Or more positively, what you would tell your grandchildren you’re most proud of in your life.

 

Rarely would this be, “I made so much money,” “I earned this position,” “I bought many ‘toys.’” You would discuss how you lived. Your values, time spent with others, happy memories, lives touched.

 

What stories would you tell your grandchildren? How do you want to be remembered? Is it time to review your life plan and reprioritize your goals? Look for me again on May 5 (and the first Wednesday of each month thereafter).

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