How to find total happiness: Strike a balance in your life
02 November 2015, 12:12
It’s startling how many people’s lives are empty. Amidst career success and achievement, a majority of the people I know seem to still be grappling with finding a balance between the various aspects of their lives. Most people in successful careers are barely present in their homes, and when they stay in, their minds are preoccupied with the very jobs they are taking time off from.
Take for example my friend Frederick. Frederick was married to a beautiful wife and had two adorable sons. Though he was successful in his career, he was merely present in his home. He created no time for his wife and sons. Frederick was never there even during his family’s most needy moments. Unfortunately, he always thought that succeeding in his business would result to happiness in his family. When his wife complained about his unwelcome behavior towards her and their sons, Frederick said that he would dedicate more time to them after retiring, promising her many getaways and trips around the world. Sadly, Fredrick’s life ended in a tragic road accident early last year. Desolately, he had not yet retired to secure time for his family. Frederick was 34 at the time of his death, hopeful but lost in his desire to achieve more while creating a void on an important part of his life; family.
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Frederick’s life mirrors the daily lives of most professionals today. Many career people seem to grapple with how to handle their work, family, and social life. The yearning to achieve ever more draws them away from their loved ones, too oblivious that they have no control over time. There is a philosophy that seeks to explain happiness and talks of how time moves swiftly, without us understanding how it operates. The Stoic philosophy is not merely a view but a form of nature. It elaborates how swift the flight of time is. Just like Frederick, we do not manage to make the most of the present, of the things that matter most. We seem to give priority to material achievements and gaining popularity hoping that when we achieve these, we will be happy.
The philosophy also clearly shows how we cannot recover whatever is lost just as we cannot take back time. If Frederick knew that he was racing against time, he would have dedicated as much time as necessary to his family.
Since the birth of the universe, humans have not had the power to control time. And therefore, Frederick was wrong to presume that he would live long enough to amend the voids he created in his family. The point here is that we ought to do what we can and when we can. We should never give excuses for failing to carry out our obligations. There should never be any one time that we excuse failure saying we were tied up by something. Since guided by human nature we can never say we have achieved enough, it is important to balance various aspects of our lives.
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