Live Big. Love Big.

Living life on your own terms takes focus and balance. If you aren’t focused or balanced, distractions steal your attention from your goal and that takes you off your path. If you aren’t on your path you aren’t living life on your terms.

You may think you are living life on your terms, but if you are unfocused and distracted, you really are living your life on others’ terms. The others who steal your focus, your attention, and knock you off balance. Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that. I just want to point out the conflict between your thinking and your reality, the incongruity. I like seeing the two in alignment.

I have a story of how your focus and balance can impact your life, and the lives of those around you.

Recently two friends died, within a few days of each other. They were friends through a mastermind I belong to. These two friends exemplify the two sides of this discussion. Both men lived big, and both loved big. They both were successful entrepreneurs. They were both loved by all who knew them. The difference is that one man was focused and balanced, while the other man was unfocused and unbalanced.

The unfocused, unbalanced man enjoyed his success to the max. He treated his family to a nice home, nice cars, great travel, and all the wonderful things money could buy. They seemed happy. All was well, until several things came together to negatively impact his business. But even then things looked okay, for awhile. That’s when the folly of his ways came to light. He’d enjoyed his success so much that he had failed to plan for his future, or the future of his family and employees. His success had come easily, though with hard work. He was unprepared, and unbalanced.

The unprepared friend had lots of associates offer him help. But he was so unbalanced that his fear froze him. He had fallen out of love with his business so wasn’t working it to his best. He couldn’t take the advice offered, he couldn’t hear any of the ideas presented, and he couldn’t come up with any solutions of his own. He did nothing, until he committed suicide, evidently thinking that was the only path that was left to him. His family and staff were left with no direction, no income, no easy future.

The focused, balanced man also enjoyed his success. He and his wife were happy, lived well, and had embarked on the adventure of their dreams. They had planned for years to tour the world, visiting friends and family along the way, as well as connecting with the people in his circle of influence. This year they did it! Following them on their adventures was inspiring to me and thousands of others. Their businesses were growing, they had strong finances, they were having fun. He was prepared and balanced, and handled the changes that came his way with a smile and with confidence.

The prepared man had sought and taken advice along the way, had a plan and acted on it, and was motivated into action. But then, he met his death while checking off one of his bucket-list items — hiking Mt Kilimanjaro. His planning couldn’t save his family from the grief and pain associated with his loss, but it did save them from having no direction, no income, and no future.

Both men lived big, and loved big. One without focus or balance. One with focus and balance.

I didn’t share this story to bring you down. I shared this story to illustrate the importance of being focused and balanced. What are your dreams? Do you have a plan on how to achieve them? Are you focused on making your dreams happen? Are you taking steps to get and keep you balanced so you can stay on your feet when life throws challenges and tests in your way? Can you do more to get even more focused and more balanced?

Your dreams don’t have to be as elaborate as either of my friends’ dreams. You may dream of paying your car loan off, studying something at university or abroad, of cooking or painting a masterpiece, or of getting into great physical condition. Dreams are what keep us going. Dreams are what guide us to live our lives big, and to love big.

To reach your dreams you have to be focused on the steps you need to take to get there. You have to have control of your life, and a plan.

To reach your dreams you have to be balanced to flow with whatever life hands you so you don’t lose your footing along your path of reaching your dreams. Life pushes us around daily. When we are balanced we keep going forward easily, sometimes without missing a beat.

And, to reach your dreams, experiencing the joy of each moment of every day is important. What’s the point of reaching your dreams if you don’t feel the joy along the way — or at each destination. Joy is part of this formula, this recipe for success.

Live big. Love big. Do it with focus, balance, and joy.

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