I want to live so that my life cannot be ruined by a single phone call. Federico Fellini
I avoid using clichés, but here’s one that expresses exactly what I want to say: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Don’t place all your resources in one (or a few) person, thing, or place, or you could lose a lot with one bad turn of events.
Minimize exposure by spreading out your assets.
Diversify in many areas of life:
If you are overly dependent on one person and that person exits your life you may feel out of kilter. But multiple close relationships will ameliorate single losses.
Don’t expect any one person to meet all your needs. Have many friends. Don’t let one person control your sense of well-being. Don’t be co-dependent.
Don’t put all your financial resources into one instrument. Mary and I keep about 45% of our financial assets in the stock market (several different index funds), 35% in real estate (our home), and 20% in bonds, CDs, and cash.
Sources of engagement
Peter Drucker encouraged people to “live in more than one world.” He was a professor, management consultant, writer, expert in Japanese art, and more. It is an invigorating approach to life; it will make you a more interesting person—and if one area of your life falls apart you’ll have other areas to focus on.
Sources of income
Two-income families benefit from income diversity. I also recommend that individuals have multiple income streams. Find a hobby or develop a skill that you can monetize, or get a second job.
We set ourselves up for disappointment when we allow the various parts of our lives to “bleed over” into each other such that when one area is stressed, our entire system is strained. To a certain degree, this is to be expected because most areas of our lives do overlap and intertwine.
But it’s advantageous to compartmentalize your life such that one area will not inordinately affect all areas. For instance, if your entire life centers around your job and your job goes south, so does your life. But if your job is just one part of a multi-faceted life, you’ll not be unduly affected; you can be unhappy at work but overall happy in life.
Diversify and compartmentalize.
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