I don’t imagine that the word “spreadsheet” invokes excitement or joy in any but the most hardcore of office warriors. I know it sure doesn’t for me.

Nevertheless, this week I needed to overhaul one of our spreadsheets, adding functionality, such as a constant automatic tally of items gone out in a month, remaining stock, breakdown of item stock into various categories, etc. Oh joy!

I ended up battling it out for almost an hour with the main formula. First, not all the cells could be included, for some reason, then the A and B columns had some kind of disagreement resulting in the category separation being messed up, and on it went!

I did eventually get it right and am now the proud creator of a more complete and useful spreadsheet. You know what I learned through that grueling process, though? It’s only right if it’s all right. It did me no good to have the formula mostly right, or even rewrite it in clever ways—I did try! It only worked when every part of it was in order and correct. Then it worked beautifully!

It’s like our life! All parts—spiritual, physical, emotional—need to be in their correct place for us to function as we were meant to. Otherwise, we’ll soon see that things aren’t adding up correctly. The only way for us to be whole and purpose-filled is to have our lives in order.

And you know what I discovered—too late—that makes things even easier? There’s a list of preset functions and formulas (math, data, financial, etc.) that you can apply. Even if you don’t know much about spreadsheets at all, those formulas can help you get things right.

And there’s a Great Book full of advice and wisdom on various topics (faith, decision-making, etc.), which we can apply to our lives! Even better, we have a patient Mentor, who can help us out with personal, targeted instruction.

Also worth noting is that the more we study and practice, the better prepared we are. We gain knowledge and experience that we can use later on. I’ll never again struggle with a spreadsheet like I struggled that day. I’ve learned something. I’m moving forward.

Maybe you feel you need to take stock of your life but aren’t sure how or what to do. My advice? Don’t waste your time and energy. Read the Book. Ask the Mentor. Get it right.