By Greg Baer M.D.

July 17, 2012

In 2002 Billy Beane was the general manager of the Oakland A's major league baseball team. At the end of the regular season, his team had won the same number of games as the New York Yankees, who had paid salaries and expenses of $1.4 million per game won. Oakland spent $260,000 per game won—5.3 times more efficient. During one stretch the A's won 20 games in a row, a streak that had not been accomplished in more than 120 years.

How did Beane do this? He took the utterly revolutionary step of ignoring the usual characteristics of players that had always been valued highly by managers, coaches, scouts, and the front office—running, throwing, hitting, fielding. Instead he analyzed each player's ability to contribute to the factors that had statistically proven to matter most (to win games): the ability to get on base and to score runs.

As a result of using this entirely different approach—sometimes called the sabermetric approach, or "moneyball"—Beane got more wins per dollar than any other team. That is what every manager wants to do. It's not just about winning the most games. It's about most wins per dollar spent. With enough money, any manager can hire the best players at every position and get more wins.

Our lives are a version of moneyball. If we work hard enough—if we spend enough energy and time—we can create apparent success in a lot of things: money, power, praise, entertainment, and more. But if we're not properly educated and aware, we can accomplish all that and still miss the things that matter most: love, peace, and happiness. We can be very busy running and hitting but lose the game.

Don't lose the game. Find out what matters and pursue that, and then everything else can add to the fun of your life.

Don't know where to start?

Start here:

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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