Success Secret #7 – Living a Well-rounded Life

Hi, I’m Jack Dunigan of This is the next episode of The Secrets to Success You Don’t Know That You Already Know. This is secret number seven, live a well-rounded life. Standby.

They were a colorful couple, friends of mine. Their names were Claude and Uva, and they were farmers from the Midwest Nebraska, I think, I’m not sure. I knew them when  we lived in Arizona. And we were visiting, I was visiting with Claude one day, they were an elderly couple much like the one in this picture. And he mentioned that he was going to be gone that afternoon because he had to take his wife over on an errand to a neighboring community about 30 miles away. And she didn’t know how to drive, so he had to take her. And I carefully brought up the subject that they weren’t getting any younger, and there was a chance that she might need to be able to drive at some point when perhaps he couldn’t drive, or when he wouldn’t be around. And he said, oh, it  doesn’t do any good. He said I tried to teach her to drive when we lived on the farm. And he said the only time that she was able to get in the middle of the road was changing ditches.

And that’s an interesting thing. Learning to drive is not easy, she found it impossible. She simply went from one ditch to the other, she could not keep it in the middle of the road. And, surprisingly, that’s not an unusual thing, and I’m not talking about driving now, I’m talking about the way we live. We tend to live by extremes. Truly successful people work hard at maintaining balance. There’s so many facets to our life, and today’s life is very, very busy, it’s very full. But successful people learn never to live in one ditch, and they certainly don’t cross over the road to the other ditch. I do want to say, there’s some truth to that analogy, that the middle-of-the-road is found as we’re going from ditch to ditch, from side to side, because it really is not possible to be completely in balance at any given point in time. We are simply moving towards balance. Life is as you are if you’re walking on a tight rope, or maybe perhaps on this log here as in this picture. You are juggling from one side to the other, and there are the constant adjustments that need to be made. Not to be stressed over, not to be fretted over, the constant adjustments that need to be made depending on the needs and the feelings of the moment.

Success is not a one or the other thing, and we tend to feel that way particularly when we’re young in our careers, particular when we’re growing in our profession, we tend to focus quite hard, quite intently on the act of making a living, of creating a career for ourselves. Truly successful people know it’s not one or the other, it is a matter of one and the others. A well-rounded balanced life includes time and attention to five things. And I put it in this wheel here, which shows a well-rounded life that will cause mobility for you in your life down the path of career. Friends, faith, finances, fun, and family. We have time for all of those and we may juggle between them. Finances are the one we tend to focus on, which is unfortunate, because that’s only one part of a well-rounded successful life. There’s also the need to pay very close attention to our family, to those people who are very near and dear to us, and to our friends. To have social engagements in work and outside of work, to have fun, and also to have a level of faith, whatever your religious proclivity might be, whether it’s intense or not, there is a deeper and more profound side of life that we need to be aware of.

Now, we are what we are. It is really not possible to be a success at work or in business and a failure at home. We are the totality of everything that we engage in in our life. Everything, all sides of life. Money, prestige and renown, they can buy you some things, but they cannot buy you everything. We don’t have to find the middle-of-the-road only when changing ditches, we can live a balanced, well-rounded life, and successful people know that.

That’s success secret number seven, living a well-rounded life.

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