Editor’s Note: Jeff Liu is a friend of mine who constantly amazes me with his almost always cheerful facebook posts that share his love for his beautiful wife, rapidly growing children and his passion for running. I asked him to share his tips on balancing fatherhood, work and life.

“How do you balance all that you do?” is probably the most popular question besides “why do you do what you do” from new friends and acquaintances I meet.  My wife Audrena and I do our very best to maintain success in all parts of our life.  These days our life includes two professional careers, two active kids and their growing needs, a large social network, a start-up wine business, and for me, a small hobby in marathon running.  While things are not always perfect, I think we do a pretty darn good job.  Most importantly we are happy and content (other than when the kids are driving us crazy). The answer for me is not easily wrapped up in one sentence.  On the contrary, it’s a formula as complicated as our day-to-day life.

I am a second generation Chinese American.   My younger sister and I were raised by busy immigrant parents who did a noble job.  Growing up predominantly in Southern California, I was fortunate that my high school sweetheart later became my wife. We both graduated through the UC system and earned our MBA after several years of work.  And that’s when the fun really began.

After our wedding and completion of grad school, Audrena gave birth to a smart, wonderful, strong willed boy followed by his sister born of the same mold four years later. After passing through the sleepless years, today we are fully engaged in the “Tiger mom/dad” phase. On top of the two to three hours per night of homework and studying we participate in with my 9 year old, our kids’ activities include weekly piano practices, basketball practice, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes, and Chinese School.

Did I mention we work full time, attend to our packed social life, and that I have managed to run 30+ marathons in 24 States in spare time?

As an Asian American man, I believe these are the top 10 keys to creating balance and success in a chaotic, modern life.

  1. Find and take a smart, self-confident equal as your life partner.  I am lucky to have found a strong, independent woman who anchors the foundation of our life in the household.
  2. Be a modern husband and father.  Get involved with domestic tasks and be a part of your kids’ lives.  Play catch with your kids and tell them you love them.  Raising the kids is not a one parent job. It doesn’t make you less of a man; it makes you a greater man.
  3. Set goals and high standards for yourself and your kids.  Lead by example.  Make no excuses and accept no excuses.
  4. Prioritize these goals and follow through.
  5. Challenge yourself, your kids and celebrate successes.  Work hard but take vacations when it’s time.  Make time.
  6. Don’t compare your success to others’.  Instead, compete with yourself. Better yourself.  Don’t compete with the Joneses.  Some may have Mercedes, bigger homes, and LV handbags, but these things don’t necessarily measure success.  Living within your means will make you a happier person.
  7. Remember- money can’t buy everything, including life success, others’ respect, and won’t solve all your problems (unless it’s plumbing).  Value, success, and respect are earned through work.
  8. Surround yourself with successful people– not necessarily measured by money but by their work ethics and outlook on life.  Trim that friend tree of the dead branches and fruits!
  9. Stay physically active.  Get off your butt and move.  The exercise will keep you healthy and the endorphins will keep you happy and sane.
  10. Remember that time is limited in a day and in  life.  Make the most of it!  Do more (sleep less)!

Jeff Liu is a father of two, husband, foodie, wine lover, MBA, and avid but pedestrian runner.  He has completed 31 marathons in 24 states and is a proud member of the 50 States Marathon Club and Marathon Maniacs. You can follow him via the author’s links above and also check out Jeff’s wine startup Bibi Wines!