How many of us have achieved that elusive balance in our lives—successfully juggling career, family, exercise, learning, volunteering, and faith and spirituality?
In the 1990s when I worked for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, I heard about the Million Dollar Round Table’s (MDRT) “whole person” approach to life. I didn’t really pay much attention to it then (I was young); but lately as I’ve tried to put balance in my life and correct a few of my deficits (lack of exercise, for one), I’ve come to better appreciate this whole-person concept.
MDRT is an organization for top producers in the life insurance field, and in 1961 Mortimer J. Adler, the philosopher and educator who started the Great Books Foundation, spoke at MDRT’s annual meeting. He challenged these highly successful agents to live their lives more fully by paying attention to seven key areas: relationships, health, education, career, service, finances and spirituality. To its credit, MDRT embraced Adler’s message and has made the whole-person concept a part of its program ever since.
As MDRT puts it:
With all the demands for your time and attention, it is easy to lose touch with the other equally important aspects of your life—family, community service, health and spirituality. To bring all those elements into balance, many MDRT members have embraced the Whole Person concept.
Living a well-rounded, balanced lifestyle and becoming a Whole Person is the foundation for:
- Ongoing happiness
- Loving family relationships
- Strong friendships
- Good health
- Financial security
- Intellectual fulfillment
MDRT has a quiz on its website that is a great way to see if you’ve got your life in balance. I admit that some of these things I really need to work on. Here are a few of the statements from the quiz where I didn’t do so well:
“I give family and friends my full attention by turning off my phone, BlackBerry, laptop, iPod when I am with them.” Ouch.
“I invest at least 30 minutes in cardiovascular exercise three times per week.” Getting there.
“I have created and regularly review my business plan.” You got me.
“I positively influence the lives of others through formal or informal mentorship.” I need to work on this one.
“I have written financial goals.” Well, in my head.
“I am passionate about leading a life that reflects my strong personal values.” Yes, but I’m not sure I always execute like I should.
Just about every highly successful person I’ve read about reviews his or her goals at least weekly, if not daily. It’s a good routine to get into and reinforces the “right thinking” that is required to change bad habits into positive habits. One of my goals is to exercise daily. I have a habit of sitting in front of the computer way too long.
How are you doing with your goals and putting balance in your life?