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Life Matters: Creating a dynamic balance of work, family, time, & money Paperback – September 7, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (September 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071441786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071441780
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Merrills, time management experts who co-authored First Things First with Stephen Covey (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), expand their range here to cover creative ways to successfully balance four major aspects of life: family, money, work and time. The premise of their program rests on what the authors call three gotta do's-validate expectations, optimize effort and develop navigational intelligence. For example, if you have determined for yourself and your family that financial security is important (validate expectations), it is necessary to take steps to achieve this (optimize effort) by, say, getting out of consumer debt. Navigational intelligence is the ability to make appropriate decisions when unpredictable events arise that may interfere with your focus. The Merrills borrow a paradigm from their earlier book that divides tasks into four quadrants; urgent, not urgent, important and unimportant. Drawing on personal anecdotes, the authors show how this division can facilitate making choices that balance the requirements of a family life with earning a living. Their philosophy is based on the conviction that a strong family-centered life is one of the keys to happiness and central to a stable civilization. The Merrills recommend working with children to create a family mission statement; they advocate regular family meetings, shared family activities and scheduled "dates" between husbands and wives. This thoughtful self-help manual is not a quick read, but its advice is sound and can easily be applied to daily life.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Profound knowledge is literally what this book is. In fact, what I would say is 'profound wisdom, ' because it interweaves timeless, universal, self-evident principles into all of the knowledge that is given."

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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It will help you get better control of your life.
Henry Cate III
When I was browsing through the book, and got to read the Money Matrix diagram, I almost jumped out of my skin.
Directalk
This book helped me and I'll use it for continual reference.
jkhooah

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Henry Cate III on August 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
New books telling you how to improve your life come off the presses every week, maybe every day. Some are bad, and you realize you have wasted your time. Some are average, and you might learn a few new things, but they aren't all that memorable. Some are great, and you go back to them again and again. "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" is one of the great books. Years later people remember it, talk about it, and reread it.

"Life Matters" is a great book. It covers a lot of good ideas, the thoughts and observations are well presented, and the book reads quickly.

The first chapter starts off talking about what is important in life. The authors focus on four areas: work, family, time, and money. They have a quiz to help in your self-assessment of how you are doing in each of these four areas. A big message of this book is there doesn't have to be conflict between the four areas.

The next chapter covers three things you have to do in any area of your life. The three "gotta do's" are:

1) Validate your expectations. You have to confront reality, for if you have an unrealistic expectation you will be frustrated. The authors make the point that the direction you are heading is more important than how fast you are going.

2) Optimize Effort. Look for ways to get the maximum benefit for your effort, and make sure your decisions are aligned with your goals.

3) Develop your "Navigational" intelligence. This is the ability to be aware of your changing environment, so that what looked like an important task at the start of the day may have to take a back seat when your boss gives you a new assignment, or a child needs attention.

The next four chapters are on: work, family, time, and money, with a chapter on each area.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brent Anderson on June 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
When you go to the hardware store to buy herbicide, the leading brand offers several containers of the same size with different label colors. The prices are dramatically different; you can buy a pint for prices ranging from $8 to $50. Looking a little closer, you discover that the higher the price, the greater the concentration.
Life Matters is highly concentrated. It doesn't cost more money, but invites slow, thoughtful consideration. When I first considered the Merrills' 3 "key do's in life that make such an enormous difference," my eyes glazed at the words. I thought they were cheesy jargon. However, as I continued reading how these "key do's" apply to work, family, time and money, I had picture after picture develop in my mind of realistic ways to share greater happiness with my family, neighbors and work associates. Building on well-known habits of relationship building, time management and personal mastery, Life Matters goes deep into how to achieve success that lasts across decades and generations.
In one volume, the Merrills have provided a gateway for 21st century people to apply the wisdom of the millennia. You will gain profound benefit by accepting their invitation and giving Life Matters thoughtful consideration.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on April 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Prioritizing the building blocks of life - family, work, money and time - is paramount to happiness. Some people do it unconsciously by living within their intellectual and monetary expectations. Others need a framework for balance, such as the one that authors A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca R. Merrill provide. To achieve personal balance, the authors suggest becoming a better team player, working more effectively, learning about finances and setting home and work priorities. They establish the goal of building a strong family, centered around parental "family leadership." Do they successfully address the knotty issues they raise? Yes, in a folksy way. This is a useful self-help manual with checklists, self-assessments and personal anecdotes, which are sometimes touching, but sometimes impractical or saccharine. Though the management advice dons motivational language, the sections on family and work are particularly worthwhile. The authors deliver a solid antidote to misplaced modern values, albeit wrapped in some fluffy trappings. We recommend this book to corporate officers and human resource personnel, as well as to individuals seeking balance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Congratulations to the authors! They had written an excellent, practical, and realistic book on Life Balancing.Probably the best book on life leadership since 7 Habits and First Things First (actually even better than "F£ÔF", since the writing style and selection of ancedotes and examples are even more mature and veteran).
Congratulations to the readers! We have a chance to read an excellent book on personal/family development, well presented in the 7 Habits/Covey's tradition, but in a less wordy, theoretical, and jargons-filled way.
Both authors are very sincere, writing and sharing usefulideas
from their hearts. They talked about Money Matrix, See Do Get Model, and many useful skillsets for balancing.
They didn't just repeat old ideas from First Things First. Instead, they injected a lot of new ideas and useful wisdoms about life into the book. Very unlike Stephen R. Covey, who is very idle in using new materials and new ideas in his so called new books. He is just so repetitive and wordy sometimes that readers can be turned off by his lack of inventiveness in terms of both form and substance in his new books.
Of course, Life Matters also has its weaknesses . It deals with Work, Family, Time, Money, and Wisdom Literature on Life Balancing. But it didn't mention the word, Health in the book even once, or didn't even mention the importance of Spirituality, by which both are essential elements in human life.
Since health is wealth, there will be no Work, Family, Time, Money, Wisdom, or Spirituality, when people fail to prioritize Health in their life.
In an overall sense, this is a great book that I cannot put down. If more personal development books can be written with Life Matter's type of quality, the readers will benefit-- the society will ultimately be benefited.
My sincere thanks and salute to the authors! This book will be a Mega best-seller, just like 7 Habits or First Things First...
Just wait and see!
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More About the Author

A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca Merrill are the authors of the bestselling First Things First. Roger is the vice president and co-founder of the prestigious Franklin Cove Company. He writes, consults, and teaches leadership worldwide. The Merrills live in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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