The best of countries and corporations are so because they have the best of budgets. It is natural, therefore, that there is so much concern about our national Budget. If only we spent as much time worrying about our domestic budget... but we remain glued to our television sets for hours, listening carefully to the Budget speech. We spend even more time criticising it afterwards. How many of us can say honestly that we have worked out a 'life' budget for ourselves? A life budget includes committing time to self, family, society and God. The lives of those who do this become richer not just financially, but socially and spiritually too. Just as a country's budget must be well balanced for its economy to be healthy, life's budget, too, has to be well balanced for life to be lived fruitfully. Many corporate executives invest all their time and effort in pursuing careers and climbing the professional ladder. When they reach the top however, most realise it wasn't really worthwhile. They discover that their victory is hollow and winning it cost their health, family and psyche. They suffered obesity, heart disease and fatigue on the physiological front; separated spouse, estranged children and uncared for parents on the familial front; frustration, depression and stress on the physio-psychological front. In the US, Canada, China and Japan, this phenomenon has resulted in a tragic burgeoning of suicides and cardiovascular and cancer-related deaths. A leading bank in Canada devoted one of its monthly letters to this problem with the title, 'Let's Slow Down'. "We are victims of mounting tension", it enunciated. "We have difficulty relaxing: We are not living fully". For many in India too, life has taken on these contours, and living it is rather like going downhill in a truck without brakes. But it is still not too late. The World Health Organisation predicts that stress will be the Number One killer in the world by 2020. And stress is usually nothing more than an individual's failure to balance his lifestyle. Living life in a healthy manner and living it fully means we have to maintain regular food habits and follow a sensible diet, regular exercise and rest, going out with family, working for charity and spending time in self-reflection, meditation and prayer. There is only one way to survive overwork or burnout: Be brave and bail out. Life's rat race only produces losers. It has no winners. Even if it does, the winner is still a rat. And usually a very large one. A great sage asked a prosperous king, "If you were about to die of thirst and starvation and someone offered you a glass of water and a loaf of bread in exchange for your wealth and kingdom, would you give them to him?" "Of course i would", replied the king. "Anybody would". "Then why", asked the sage, "have you wasted your entire life amassing all this land and wealth when they are worth no more to you than a glass of water and a loaf of bread?" Consider deeply the value of your life. In the US, compensation for an injured knee is approximately $200,000. Then what would be the value of say a damaged brain, injured eye, amputated leg, broken marriage or mental breakdown? What price, then, can we put on the entire, fully functioning human body? Human life is priceless. Diversification is one of the secrets to successful investment; it is also the way to a joyous and blessed life. So budget well.