This is the first in a series provided by John P. Eckblad, Ph.D. It is from “Last Laugh; You or Your Money?,” his book in preparation. John is one of the authors of “If Your Life were a Business, would you Invest in it”?
What often exercises my thinking is the disconnect between how we reason when we develop our institutions, namely business corporations, and how we reason when we are planning for our selves and our families. While we are capable of developing successful organizations we often seem incapable of finding successful solutions to our life planning challenges. If this is true, why is it true? Now, with so many of us crossing into our so-called retirement years, this question seems particularly timely and relevant. We have valuable experience, time to reflect, significant skills and some of us have financial resources. But are we grasping all that there is out there for us? If this were a business challenge we’d find a way to solve it. It’s a life challenge and we need to pursue our answers with the same vigor and commitment we’ve used until now in the service of our professional lives.
Individuals build organizations that strive to achieve returns on investment as early on as possible. As organization builders we know that earnings early on make our efforts more attractive to the market and reinvesting these earnings earlier improves our organization’s capability to continue earning as time goes on.
At the individual level personal energy and life satisfaction could be considered the rough equivalent of “earnings” at the corporate level. As individuals we are taught to delay satisfaction with the thought that we can thus increase our chances for a better tomorrow. Why do the organizations that we create seek to achieve early returns while as individuals we work to delay them?
My hypothesis is that, even more than organizations, as individuals we are blocked from behaving rationally by our fears of the unknown and the uncertain. We build organizations to be resilient in the face of these challenges but we seem less than aware that some of these same tools could help us become more confident to pursue our personal goals and thus achieve increased satisfaction in the short term.
What are these uncertainties that stifle our confidence and block our initiative? And what are the corporate tools we’ve already created that could be employed to help tame these threats? This is what Life Business™ exploration is all about.”
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