What is Your EVE Ratio?
“The average American spends 50 minutes on entertainment for every 1 minute of education… A 50:1 ratio.”
“The bottom 80% of people are preoccupied with spending their time on entertainment, while the top 20% are focused on education.”
While these ever-so-slightly brutal comments are mathematically contradictory (50:1 is not the same as 80-20), they come from Brian Tracy, best-selling author and one of the greatest self-development gurus.
Let’s be bold and honest with ourselves, and let’s dig into a concept invented by Brian Tracy: the EVE ratio, or Entertainment vs. Education ratio.
The EVE ratio is the amount of time (and money) you spend on Entertainment vs. Education. What is your ratio?
Entertainment includes anything that allows us to relax and well, sometimes, escape from reality. There is no doubt that we need relaxation, especially after what our profession has gone through recently.
Entertainment also includes watching the news. Under the disguise of education, “the news” is mostly a litany of accidents, crime and natural disasters. Meanwhile, newscasters mostly ignore the beauty in the world, the acts of kindness, the heroism humans are capable of, because that is not how you sell advertisements.
Entertainment also includes spending hours on any device to check your email, your FB feed, your IG account, your favorite Tik Tok videos or to watch kitten videos.
According to The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, “It’s estimated that Americans 12 and over spend 1,704 hours watching TV per year. That averages out to 4.7 hours per day.” Also, “We’re spending almost 30% of our waking hours watching TV! That’s almost 33 hours per week – MORE THAN ONE WHOLE DAY each week. It’s the equivalent of watching TV for TWO SOLID MONTHS out of every 12 months.”
The deeper questions are: does hours of mindless TV truly relax you? Are you truly better off after an hour of watching Dancing with the Stars or The Greatest Chef in the Universe or the news?
Does knowing about the latest robbery in the nearby city, the latest train crash or the latest earthquake in Turkmenistan make you happier or more relaxed?
Darren Hardy recommends investing 10% of your income in your education.
This goes beyond sitting in lectures to be able to renew your license. This means gaining knowledge to reach your goals.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of ideas to feed your mind and your soul:
- Listen to a podcast on the drive to work, or while working out, or while walking your dog
- Watch a TED Talk
- Learn to play an instrument
- Learn a new language
- Learn a new skill
- Go to YouTube university, ie watch an educational video
- Take an online course
- Write a blog or book
- Build and nurture relationships
- Read for 10 minutes, or read 10 pages of a non-fiction book, each morning, and/or before bed each night.
Keep in mind that merely consuming information is really Entertainment. As the saying goes, “Knowledge is not power.” Applying the information and taking action, that’s what will make a difference in your life.
What’s our take?
There is no question that after a hard day at work, it’s easier to sit on the couch and binge-watch TV while binging on Doritos.
But the goal is not to eliminate Entertainment! The goal is to consciously choose activities that add value to your life.
With all due respect to Brian Tracy, we feel that the two concepts are not mutually exclusive. It doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition.
Believe it or not, some people consider reading a business book or listening to a financial podcast as entertaining (call us biased, but we think the Vet Financial Podcast is both entertaining and educational).
What if you read “I Will Teach You to be Rich” by our BFF Ramit Sethi in a hammock on the beach or in your backyard?
What if you listened to “Good to Great” while hiking next weekend?
What if you joined the Vet Financial Mastermind, to exponentially increase your chances of reaching your financial goals?
If you’re serious about being part of the top 20% or 10% or 5%, then you will be more likely to stick to the journey if you enjoy the education!
You will be much more likely to reach financial independence if you flip the ratio. Spend at least 80% on Education and 20% at the most on Entertainment, and your results will skyrocket.
Now… Please don’t overdo it. Going to the other extreme is likely to lead to analysis paralysis or information overload. Having an Entertainment vs. Education ratio of 1:50 is not the goal. Your brain and your soul do need true Entertainment. Watching a great movie, meeting friends at a BBQ, lounging by the pool, are absolutely allowed!
Bottom line, this EVE concept has to do with your mindset. Are you more interested in escapism or being a life-long learner? Are you content with where you are? Are you OK with the status quo, or do you aspire to a better life through personal development?
Look, successful people don’t get there by accident or by magic or because of genetics or because they were born into a wealthy family. The world is full of successful people whose parents barely made it through college – or dropped out of high school.
Instead, these people made a conscious decision to educate themselves, to invest in themselves, to learn what truly successful people do.
As the architect of your life, you get to choose: are you mostly focused on activities that are tension-relieving or goal-oriented?
These are not simple questions or easy concepts, but answering them correctly can unquestionably change your life.
Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS
Meredith Jones, DVM
Co-Founders of Veterinary Financial Summit