How to juggle the three balls – Family, Career and Money?, Published on 2014-08-24
In my not so short a career, I have learnt an interesting and important equation about life. The fundamental equation about life in my view is about three variables or what I call three balls – Family, Career and Money.
The beautiful and magical interplay of these three balls is unceasing and perpetual.
Put simply, these three balls require attention all the time none-the-less, but they require different focus at different times. For example, in early stages of life one may focus on career and learn new skills or become a subject matter expert. Over time focus may shift towards building financial security. At this point, one may want to monetize the skill sets and negotiate for better salary/ money.
Or there may also be the situation that you had just got married or you just had a baby and prefer to dedicate the next few years primarily to family while continuing to juggle with money and career to make you a the most amazing husband or a father. This is not to say that one is not important than the other. It is more of to help you prioritize these balls while juggling.
Juggling these three balls has a queer additional variable. These three balls change their form – rubber to glass and vice versa as you are juggling.
The smartness is to recognize the glass balls and drop the rubber balls if one needs to. A classic example would be a situation where a marriage is on the rocks because of a hectic travel (career focus) and one is on the brink of divorce. Or alternatively, one has a fast depleting your financial reserve while they continue to stick to a career with a firm that gave fancy titles but just have been paying you 50% of what the market can pay you for a similar job.
While they may broadly be connected and seem interchangeable – they are not. For e. g. a good career broadly would means good money – not necessarily. Good money would mean good family life – but not necessarily – you may be chasing money while, all that your daughter wants is to spend that one hour with you in the evening.
How do you action this?
Plan: Sit down and think hard. What is the most important thing in your life now? What is the goal (measurable timeline) on that front to say that you have achieved that? What is the second priority and what is the third. At which point would you want to reprioritize one for the other – money for career or family and vice-versa. It is important that you have a broad plan.
Over time, monitor if you are on the right path. (In my case I personally do this exercise every three months and give a hard relook to the past success on all three fronts every December). If at any time there is a misalignment – revisit the priorities – are you focusing on the right areas?
Are you achieving results on the order of priority? If not, reprioritize. – If you already doing the right thing be happy – you are on the right path.
* * * *