Viewing your life as an income statement

If you view your life as an income statement, you can zero in on what makes you happy.

In business, one goal of a company is to be profitable. Even when a company has a profit, income and expenses are often looked at to see if they need improving. If a company is operating at a loss, there will be changes to improve things. Do people do this on a personal level too? Yes.

At different points in our lives, we take an objective look at our lives to ensure we are happy. Are things are going the way we want them to? At some point in our lives, we find things could be better, or we’ve gone completely off track. Are we happy with our job, where we live, in our relationships? If the answer is no, it’s time to take an objective look at our lives to see why things are off. Then make the appropriate changes to bring things into alignment.

In business, statistics help show where things are off. With an accurate income statement, you can see when expenses are too high. One can see other areas that could have increased profits. Keeping the quality high is important. If a company cuts costs that decreases the quality of a product, sales will drop. An accurate income statement is a fact, whether you like what it shows or not.

In our personal lives, the “statistics” we use is usually our happiness meters. Let me be blunt: it is easy to fake happiness or endure things for the wrong reason. Let’s look at some examples:

  • “I’m blessed to have this job” yet, every day, feeling dread going to work.
  • Talking to your friends and family about how your significant other treats you like crap. You end your complaints with, “…but I love them”.
  • You lay in bed, kept awake by loud neighbors a couple of times a week. Yet, you don’t move because the cost to live there is “right” for you.
  • You have 100+ pairs of shoes, but your car is falling apart, your debt is high or there are other signs you need financial stability. Do you have several months of income saved up for a rainy day?

You get the point, right? Change can be scary, but it’s how we progress in life. I know some people who are beast mode when it comes to personal growth. They are always setting goals, completing them and setting new ones. For example, finally achieving the goal of buying a house. The setting goal to live in another country in 5-8 years. To live in another country, the goal is to fluently speak the language. In their mind, if they are unwilling to learn the language their passion to live there isn’t strong enough. If you look at their life as an income statement, the “profits” are always going up.

I admit I am nowhere near beast mode, but I have begun evaluating what makes me happy. This is a huge hurdle for me. After years of putting others ahead of my own happiness, I had no clue what made me happy. When it came to my happiness, it was a blank slate.

There were things I had to heal from. For example, my paternal side of my family died off very quickly. For a while, every other month someone died. There are less than 20 people left on that side. I became anxious answering the phone. People were dying quicker than one could recover mourning the losses. Years later, I realized I had many things I needed to put to rest, like mourning lost relatives.

To improve my life income statement, I am still on the quest to figure out what makes me happy. I realized posting messages on the anniversary of a deceased family member’s death or birthday on social media does not make me happy. I’d prefer to post something about how they affected my life. A memory or a lesson they taught me. Add a picture. I enjoy sharing stories about ancestors I discover while working on my family tree.

How can you improve your life income statement?