Monday, July 4, 2011

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

This is one expression both my parents could agree on. I heard it over and over as a child. It is very easy to put all of your energy into one thing. It may be a job, a relationship, money, your mate, your friends. Your identity is based on that one thing. If it fails, you’re a failure; if it succeeds, you’re a success.

My husband was a good example of this. He worked at a winery, where most of his time and energy was spent. He loved it! It gave him value and worth. He had other priorities, but this was his biggest. But this all changed the day we had our daughter. Now the winery didn’t seem as important. He knew he had to make a change. So he did the unthinkable, and quit. When he quit, he lost all his eggs. He lost his identity, his value, his worth.

This was a valuable lesson that he willingly learned. Some people are not given the option. Many don’t realize they have put so much emphasis on one thing until it’s gone. Maybe they have neglected friends and family in order to put all their energy into their marriage. Perhaps they have neglected all of their friends and family to concentrate on their career. The disaster is just waiting to happen. The day the basket breaks. The day the mate leaves, or the job is lost.

Just like the stock market, the safest course is diversification. To have many assets spread evenly across the board. To keep all things balanced and in proper perspective. Develop friendships with a variety of people. Enjoy your mate, but don’t neglect your family. Appreciate your career, but know it’s just one of your assets. Remember that all things in life are transient. A job can be gone tomorrow, a family member lost indefinitely, a friendship severed. Choose the best eggs carefully, treat them delicately and make sure you don’t put them all in one basket.

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