Live Today - Plan For Tomorrow

Lesson number: 

Balance is KING in life. This applies to just about any aspect regarding life on Planet Earth. It applies to work; family; government; education; entertainment; sports; spirituality or you name it! When you achieve a sense of balance in the above aspects of life, you HAVE ARRIVED!

To achieve balance, it is helpful to keep a proper perspective on your time-line. In this lesson, we will discuss the delicate balance of living for today while always planning for tomorrow. This lesson was inspired by an article I read recently in Business Week, about a gentleman named George H. Heilmeier. In 1964, George worked at RCA's research Labs and in that year was responsible for the first key components of the breakthrough discovery of the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD's as in TV's and computer monitors). This discovery was colossal in scope and was immediately blanketed in secrecy – due to the fact that RCA owned the Tube based TV business at the time and had little interest in upsetting their profitable business model. They made little investment to develop LCD's, and (failed to) capitalize on a potentially bright future.

During the late 1960's in Japan, the computer and TV makers in that country hadn't even penetrated the TV business in the United States. They poured resources into developing the LCD technology for the future. Today, LCD's are a $39 billion business and the Japanese and their Asian counterparts dominate this entire industry. RCA now watches this industry from the sidelines, as their Asian counterparts tend to own the business.

This business example of RCA in the 1960's, can illustrate how a company, who puts all its resources on today's successful products; can cut off their lifeline of products for tomorrow. The opposite of this example, would be a company like 3M, an organization well known for its innovation and one which constantly encourages employees to create new products. 3M's business model dictates that thirty percent of sales must come, each year, from products less than 4 years old. Their scientists must spend 15% of their time trying to develop new ideas of their own. 3M's corporate culture revolves around creativity, initiative, innovation, and entrepreneurship. This unique and innovative culture is largely responsible for 3M's continued success. They always plan for the future.

These business examples can explain why companies need to balance their time-line strategies. Too often companies, from large corporations to small entrepreneurs, live for today and devote minimal attention or resources to planning for tomorrow. Individuals and consumers in the United States, have the same type of tendencies regarding their personal lives. Too many individuals live and spend for today and then worry about paying dearly in credit card interest tomorrow. This strategy can lead individuals and families into financial disaster. As stated above, Balance is KING.

Keep in mind that there are always extremes in every situation. Unfortunately, too many people reside at the extremes. Some individuals have lots of money and little time to enjoy it. Some individuals have lots of time and little money. Some have lots of material things and no one to enjoy it with. Some have lots of people in their families and few material things to provide them with. Living at the extremes of any spectrum, is rarely a happy place to reside. Balance is KING!

When I make decisions, I always try to consider the future. I believe that my present and future are interwoven together. What I do today counts toward tomorrow in some way. My eating habits; exercise; and health disciplines will affect how I feel tomorrow and in the future. What I buy and spend money on today, will affect me in some way tomorrow. How I treat others today, will have a direct impact on how fruitful my relationships will be tomorrow. This list can be extended for hours. I do NOT attest to a philosophy of worrying about every move you make and how it may impact you tomorrow. Instead I profess that you must be cognizant of what you do today and not make a series of errors in judgment daily, for you surely will pay the consequences tomorrow.

I also profess that every individual should make the most of today, because you will never get another chance at reliving it again. Enjoy the moment, but plan consciously for tomorrow. Let what you do today benefit your plans for tomorrow. Don't hold back on living today to the fullest. Just live smart and plan smart, and you will enjoy tomorrow, next week, next month and next year, much better. This simple philosophy of living to the fullest today, while planning for tomorrow has worked well for me. It can also work for you. Enjoy the journey every day!

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