Don't put all your eggs in one basket!
Heard it before? Probably follow the principle when it comes to financial investments? But do you follow it in life?
Look at the bigger picture – your whole life. Are all your eggs in one basket? Let me explain: the many roles you play in life can be visualised as a basket each. There's a basket for your work role; one basket for your family; one for your friends; and one for yourself.
What of eggs? Eggs are what you put into each of the baskets - your time, effort, perhaps money… the investment of yourself you make.
Do you have all your eggs in one basket?
How does it matter? Well, same reason your financial advisor asks you to segregate your investments in different places – some in mutual funds, some in a fixed deposit, insurance plan… so that in case of market fluctuations, if one form of investment fails, you still have others to fall back on. Similarly, life is also subject to fluctuations in “market” conditions. There maybe be – or rather will be – times when one or the other of your baskets faces losses or stress.
Changes in organisational structure, recession or even a difficult colleague can suddenly make work stressful.
Ill health of family members, marital conflict, children going through teens… stress in the family basket.
You get the idea.
And at such times of stress what happens if all your eggs are in that one basket? It seems like there is nothing left in life. All is lost. All your investments down to nothing.
But imagine if you had small investments in your other baskets as well? If work wasn't going well, you'd still have something positive to look forward to at home, in your family or friends circle. Or imagine the reverse: if the marriage is going through difficulties but you had continued to make small investments of time and energy with friends or extended family, it could offer you the support required to ride out the difficulties in your married life.
You are right - it would be ridiculous to think that every area of your life would get an equal investment from you. That is certainly not the idea. But yes, it would be advisable to make small investments into each of the baskets, even if your primary investment is in another basket.
For a young adult, a large part of their effort goes into work. And rightly so. But think about it - can you make reasonable investments of your time and effort to ensure that all baskets have a few eggs? Can you make sure you spend some amount of time every week with your family, having fun, irrespective of how much work stress you are facing? Do you think you can spend some time connecting with friends every once in a while? And can you put aside some time for your own personal growth and enjoyment - be it reading a book, investing in a hobby or just some R & R?
It may be the insurance you need from the unforeseen stresses that may come up. It may be what holds you together when everything else might be falling apart. And if you need some help making concrete plans and “investments”, our counsellors are just a click away.