A few months ago I started freaking out because my business, that had always been very profitable, was seeing its profit margin get thinner and thinner. I got pretty depressed. I felt like a failure and I wasn’t sure how to turn things around.

What Happened Next

As it turned out, what happened to my business was absolutely normal. We moved into a much larger office and we hired two new employees. All this increased our overhead significantly, but it took almost six months for these investments to have a significant impact on our revenue. When I talked to other entrepreneurs I trust, they all told me the same thing: “You’re doing the right thing. You’re re investing in a growing business. It will take a while for you to go back to the same profitability level you had before making these investments, but if you want to grow, this is the only way to do it.”
Long story short, it all worked out and we’re now stronger than ever. But something very interesting happened. The night I was turning 30 (about two months ago), I was in a very deep state of meditation when I had a really insightful realization: I am very healthy, have a lot of very good friends, get to travel around the world a month or two every year and I’m married to the most beautiful and sweetest girl in the world. And I’m depressed because one aspect of my life (financial success) is less than perfect.

My Big Insight

I realized how out-of-balance my life was and how stupid it was for me to measure my entire life based on one single factor. So I created a spreadsheet with all the different areas of my life that are important to me, such as my marriage, my friendships and my health. Then I assigned a weight to each category based on what’s the most important to me. For example, I gave health a 9 (on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the most important) and playing games a 4. And then I assigned a score to each category. For example, I gave health a 7 (because I wasn’t working out as much as I wanted to give it a 10 or eating as well as I wanted to get a perfect score).

The Spreadsheet

This is what my spreadsheet looks like:
How are you measuring your life?
And based on my inputs, the spreadsheet calculates my life score and shows me this chart:
How are you measuring your life?
I won’t obsess about getting to 100%, because aiming for a “perfect” life is the perfect way to set myself for failure and unhappiness. But I think it’s pretty interesting to look at all the different aspects of my life (as opposed to just how much money I’m making). It shows me all the different things that are important to me and which ones I need to work on to be true to my purpose in life and my values (where the blue bar is longer than the red bar).
I also added a second tab in the spreadsheet with all the action items I want to work on to improve my quality of life.
How are you measuring your life?
I’ve uploaded the spreadsheet here: Life Score. This is what you’ll need to do:

  1. Replace what’s important to me with what’s important to you.
  2. Change the importance for all the items. It’s very important that you’re really honest to yourself about this.
  3. Give each item a score. Don’t cheat. The goal of this exercise is to get an accurate idea of what’s going well and what you should be working on, not to get a high score to show off.
  4. This is optional, but if you want to clean up the chart, change the range of the data source if you have fewer or more lines than me. To do this, right-click on the chart and click on “Select Data”. Then select the cells that have have content in them. For example, if you have 15 items on your list, the data range will be A1:C15.
  5. Review this spreadsheet every few months. Life is impermanent. What’s very important to you now will probably be much less important in a few months and viceversa. And, more importantly, if you take your action items seriously, your score for every category will constantly change.

Have an awesome day!