Martin Short, ever the maestro of mirth in the murkiest of times, has this uncanny ability to spin straw into comedic gold.

Picture this: it’s 1975, bell-bottoms are in, and Martin’s acting gigs are out. So, what does he do? He doesn’t mope around, oh no. He whips up this nifty little thing he calls “The Nine Categories.”

It’s like a recipe, but instead of flour and sugar, you’ve got the ups and downs of life. With a dash of wit and a sprinkle of introspection, Martin stirs through these categories, balancing the sweet with the sour in his life’s ever-fluctuating pie chart.

Category 1: Self. 
What is my current state of physical and mental well-being?

Category 2: Immediate Family. 
How are my spouse, children, and pets doing?

Category 3: Original Family. 
How well am I getting along with the people I grew up with?

Category 4: Friends. 
What is the state of my friendships and the level of connection?

Category 5: Money. 
Am I financially secure?

Category 6: Career. 
How fulfilling and satisfying is my professional life?

Category 7: Creativity. 
How does my innate creativity manifest outside of work?

Category 8: Discipline. 
Do I possess the self-control and willpower to pursue and achieve my goals?

Category 9: Lifestyle. 
Am I making a positive impact and enjoying my life?

With Martin Short’s “The Nine Categories,” you’re not just living—you’re conducting a thorough, albeit slightly neurotic, inventory of your life. It’s like having a coffee with a friend who’s not afraid to ask the tough questions about everything from your mental health to your bank account.

So, take this as a nudge from Martin: scrutinize, laugh a little, and maybe, just maybe, find that sweet spot where life feels like it’s not just happening to you, but you’re actually steering the ship.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand & Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.