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Life Matters

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Life Matters

Creating a Dynamic Balance of Work, Family, Time & Money


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Bridge the gap between your work and your family. Focus on what matters most to achieve quality of life and peace of mind.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Prioritizing the building blocks of life - family, work, money and time - is paramount to happiness. Some people do it unconsciously by living within their intellectual and monetary expectations. Others need a framework for balance, such as the one that authors A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca R. Merrill provide. To achieve personal balance, the authors suggest becoming a better team player, working more effectively, learning about finances and setting home and work priorities. They establish the goal of building a strong family, centered around parental "family leadership." Do they successfully address the knotty issues they raise? Yes, in a folksy way. This is a useful self-help manual with checklists, self-assessments and personal anecdotes, which are sometimes touching, but sometimes impractical or saccharine. Though the management advice dons motivational language, the sections on family and work are particularly worthwhile. The authors deliver a solid antidote to misplaced modern values, albeit wrapped in some fluffy trappings. recommends this book to corporate officers and human resource personnel, as well as to individuals seeking balance.


Essential Forces

Family, work, time and money are as essential to human life in modern society as water, light and oxygen are to plant life. Balancing these essential life forces is a demanding task. However, failing to control these forces and keep them balance can endanger your ability to maintain your quality of life. So, how do you establish this equilibrium?

The key is to incorporate these four major elements of a quality life - time, money, family, work - into a coherent, effective pattern in which each activity complements the others. Too many people race to include each element on a daily basis, but "touching the bases" of each life element does not produce satisfactory results. Balance is key.

To gauge your priorities, examine where you spend your time and money. A good starting point is to review your credit card bills, which are concrete evidence of your preferences. Many people are surprised when they see that these bills do not reflect their personal priorities, just as many executives are surprised to find they have advanced in their corporations at the expense of their family lives. Rising divorce rates, broken families, indebtedness and low levels...

About the Authors

A. Roger Merrill is the co-founder of the Covey Leadership Center where he develops personal effectiveness software and consults and teaches on leadership techniques and principles worldwide. He has more than 35 years of experience as a writer, consultant and executive. He is currently a principal with Agilix Labs, a software development firm. Rebecca R. Merrill, a teacher and time-management expert, contributed to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and The Nature of Leadership. The authors also co-wrote the best selling First Things First.

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