The Core Assets I mentioned in the previous posts never function individually in life. When you fall in love, at first it might feel like that relationship is the only thing that matters. If you stay in that mode for too long without regaining personal centeredness, your sense of spiritual balance may be compromised. And, depending on the person you fall in love with, you might want to watch the bottom line of your bank account.
Everything is interconnected. All the moving parts together form an intricate, complex machine. Unfortunately, this means when you give attention to one Core Asset, it inevitably uses time and resources that could go to another. Any frazzled parent trying to take care of the kids, work for a living, and be a loving partner has an intimate relationship with this dilemma. No matter what you choose to do, something else will inevitably be left undone. We compromise based on the choices we make, and that compromise is typically known as our opportunity cost.
In order to obtain what we want, we must expend some form of currency. Time is the primary currency we use to obtain the Core Assets. Others include energy currency (our inner being or spirit, the intangible "it" factor, drive, willpower); our emotional or mental currency; our social currency; and of course, our financial currency or money. The decisions we make about how to spend our currencies ultimately shape how we lead our lives -- whether they're fulfilling or not. Thankfully we have the power to make decisions with the necessary moderation and balance to put our Core Assets to the best use.To the uninitiated, the language of the world of finance can sound very specialized. it isn't surprising that many people leave it up to others to worry about the finer points of capital gains and losses, write-offs, and portfolio theory. However, it still seems relevant to use some financial terms in this section. I hope you won't let it scare you. A deep study in finance can eventually lead you to some pretty complicated formulas -- such as return on investment, or ROI. You can use ROI to help you determine whether an investment will meet or has met expectations on its return. In its most simplistic form, you can think of it as your net gain divided by the cost:
ROI = Gain from Investment - Cost of Investment
Cost of Investment
Seeking a good return on investment -- that is, getting a positive reward for what was invested -- is a useful way to think about money and a great way to think about life. Your personal plan for aspects you want to emphasize and the kind of effort you want to put into them will help you maximize your ROI.
Sanjay Jain is a US-trained Board Certified physician, with over 15 years of clinical experience. He is the author of the new book, OPTIMAL LIVING 360: Smart Decision Making for a Balanced Life (Greenleaf, February 2014). Sanjay represents a new wave of thought leadership and expertise developed not only from his medical and financial education, but also his life experiences. Follow Sanjay on Twitter at @sanjayjainmd and visit his website at SanjayJainMD.com.