May 31, 2008

The Math of Life

by Margaret Turley

It is open enrollment at work this week. Our company’s business is “consumer health.”

We promote healthy living in the care and advice we give and by encouraging the consumer to make choices that can have positive influences in their future, financially, physically and mentally. The CEO believes in “practicing what we preach,” and ingrains these values into the employees by laying out the plans offered and carefully illustrating the effect each option will have. Financial rewards are given to those who demonstrate positive actions by taking a personal health survey and choosing to participate in healthy habits, and by cost savings.

Other employers have made efforts in this regard, but I felt they were mostly focused on cutting costs through limiting benefits available. Instead our corporate culture presents a smorgasbord of choices from carefully screened partners that we do business with and offers them our services in return. I feel empowered and satisfied with the options I choose and promote.

As a writer I have discovered a couple of useful exercises. One is to forecast what certain actions will attain. It’s like making a life financial plan for 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, and retirement. Another is to make the character old, years after the time period of your novel and have them reflect on what they have done. Are they satisfied? Did things work out differently than they hoped? Do they have regrets? Would they choose to approach situations differently? How did things add up? What was taken away? Was their life divided into too many endeavors to finish any of them successfully? Were exponential outcomes derived from multiple factors?

I feel we can apply the same principles in our personal and family and business lives. Careful consideration and execution will help us acquire happiness and health.


  1. Margaret ~ I LOVE this idea!! Hindsight is 20/20. Nice post.

  2. Very interesting, Margaret! Thank yo for making me think...forward and backward. I love it!

  3. Maybe it's my own stage and position, but "looking back at life and reflecting what {I} have done" is, to me, the most appealing part of your delightful blog. I find plenty of 'I should have dones' but on the whole I'm pretty well pleased. My own advice seems to be the hardest for me to follow, but I'll keep on trying. Tha nks for your sage advice.


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