There is a balance to the universe that theoretical physicists have attempted to codify as a theory of everything. They may be in a bit over their heads, but they are far enough along in their quest to indicate that actions have consequences and, while sometimes difficult to see at first glance, that there is an order to things.

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As we seek financial stability in our lives, it becomes obvious that our efforts are related to our results. We do not have to study physics to see the cause-and-effect relationship between hard work and return on investment. We know that goals and focus pay off. We accept the disciplines of economic life without fully understanding everything involved.

There are, however, other aspects of our lives that produce a different kind of return on investment. Our challenge is to attempt to gain the rewards of economic prosperity at a price that does not blot out the sunshine of a healthy existence.

Our culture dictates that we divide our lives chronologically into play, education and work. It has been suggested that things may work better by mixing all three all the time. Our income-producing years do require focus and dedication, but the priceless parts of life should not be the price we pay for financial progress and security.

We mix play and learning naturally as children. Education leads us to our work life. Those who learn to work hard at continuing to mix the three aspects of life seem to do better at all three. Intellectual curiosity should always be with us. Physical health does not require organized athletics, but it does require dedicated time and some discipline. Work discipline is better defined as knowing how to stop. Financial planning requires life planning. See if you can get all the aspects of life working together.

Perfect balance is not the objective. Try for the mix. That’s a reasonable goal.

Jack Falvey is a frequent contributor to the Union Leader, Barron’s and The Wall Street Journal. He can be contacted at Jack@Falvey.org.

Monday, December 09, 2019