All of us want to be successful. We dream about that big house with a fabulous backyard to host friends and a fancy new Mercedes maybe? But why do we yearn for these things? Why do we want the things we want?It’s because we equate the possession of these objects to happiness. And when I say ‘we’, I am MOST DEFINITELY including myself in the group.
Having grown up in an Indian family where competitiveness is a way of life, I’ve grown up to be a fiercely competitive and ambitious young man (I’m also 6'2" and in good shape, but I digress). I’ve probably achieved more professionally than other people who’re my age and dare I say I’m on my way to be able to afford that swanky new downtown apartment. But am I happier than before?
Given the title of this blog, it shouldn’t surprise you that the answer is NO.And if it did surprise you, then I must say I’m happy I delivered the MIND=BLOWN moment to you so early on in this post.
Coming back to the point, I worked 12 hour days and went above and beyond to reach where I am. And I got what I set out to achieve. So what did I miss? I don’t regret anything I did, but if there’s one key ingredient I was missing out in my life, it was BALANCE.
I’ve always been an ‘ALL’ or ‘NOTHING’ person. So, I will commit 100% to a person, a place , a job and not concentrate on anything else. And in my drive and ambition everything else on the path gets ignored. And by the time I realized what I was doing, I was already too far along. I had invested time in people I shouldn’t have , I was in a city that I wanted to be in and loved but I knew wasn’t a long term and I spent way too much time at work.
So let’s talk about why I’m writing this. I want my next generation to not make the same mistakes that I did. Make new mistakes. Keep them original !
This thought may not be completely novel but let’s list out everything we need to be happy in today’s materialistic world — money, time & energy. Now let’s dissect how we fare on each of these three things in the various stages of our lives
As children & adolescents : Lots of time, and good energy but NO money
As young adults : Lots of money, good energy but NO time
As senior citizens : Lots of time , money but NO energy
Seems depressing, right? It seems like we’re lacking something vital in every stage of our lives. But observe closely — and you’ll find out how one of the above three scenarios is so different from the other two.
In case you haven’t figured out yet — I’m talking about the second scenario as young adults. What’s so different about this one? It’s the fact that you can control it. You can’t control finances as a child, it’s dependent on your parents. You can’t control your health in your old age — our body is a machine and some body parts may get deteriorated(sorry to be the bearer of bad news). The only thing you can control is your time — so do it! Attend that birthday party, spend that extra money on travel, go visit your family and do everything else you wish. That promotion can wait, you’ll get it later if not now. Your best friend won’t turn 30 twice and won’t get married again (hopefully!).
Plan for the future, but enjoy the moment. Save money to buy that apartment but it’s okay if for once you got that phone that’s probably out of your league. This month, two of my close friends are getting married and I’ll be missing both their weddings because I couldn’t get my priorities straight. And as I sit here today I can only reminisce of the times that made me happy in the first place. I was a lot happier when I had a lot less money. I was in close proximity of a bunch of people I liked, I was in love , I spoke to my family everyday , I worked hard and I partied harder. Basically — it had the right proportion of everything. Your proportions can be different than mine, so it’s probably a good idea to start getting your priorities in place.
With that , I shall end today’s philosophy session.
Be Kind. Be Happy.