Progress, not perfection

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By nature, I am not a balanced person; many of us are not. If I didn’t try to work on balance, I’d work around the clock, eat candy and snack all the time.

Balance is not something that comes easily to me, so I must work on it daily. I know that to be a better husband, father, friend, leader and active member of the community, I must maintain some level of balance in my life among my various obligations of family, work and community.

I can’t pour all my energy into a single area in my life that draws me in, which is my work. I must realize that with my work, I will never be done. I will always have “just one more thing” that I need to address, one more item that I want to research, one more conversation that I need to have before I am done.

Balance has to be a conscientious choice, and it is something I — like many others — continuously need to work on.

While I make this choice, I have learned it’s a work in progress. I know that this is a choice I must make every day. Some days, I do better than others.

Here are some areas I address to help me make better decisions to lead a more balanced and fulfilling life. First, I write down my goals. I maintain a running list and review it periodically.

This document of goals and objectives is not fancy. Having a physical document of what I want to achieve keeps me on track. Writing down my goals is a way to review, update and achieve them.

This is how I organize my goals. First, I create major categories in the areas in which I want to achieve, including faith, family, business, health and investing. I take the time to really think about how I’d like to improve in each of those categories. What do I want to learn? What things do I need to do? What can I assist others within those areas?

The second step is to take my large categories and create specific subcategories. I do this for every major category I have listed. Next is something that is integral to the process of achieving my goals. I connect the dots between the categories from my list to figure out how I can leverage the lessons I have learned in one area and how I might be able apply them in another area.

As I create and expand on this list, which will never be complete, I remind myself that these goals are about me making progress. Balance, and all aspects of life, is about making progress, not about achieving perfection.

Again, it is a choice I make, and by making the decision to expand my horizons through a commitment to lifelong learning, I am working at achieving and living a more balanced life.

All of our lives are one big picture, and each of these pieces and parts of them fits into the whole. When we look at the whole and make deliberate choices about how we spend our time, we can work toward achieving a better balance among the many parts of our lives. ●

Umberto P. Fedeli is CEO of The Fedeli Group

Umberto P. Fedeli

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