Modern life, whatever it means, has made us strive for more. All of us have this innate desire to progress and grow in our professions, careers, and businesses and acquire more fame, wealth, land and accolades. Although growth may be a noble mission, we may get carried away and cross the thin line where progress may involve running in a rat race.
Hunger for power may replace hunger for growth without our realisation. It may lead to distress in life, restlessness and preoccupation with thoughts carried over from the workplace. The zeal to be ahead comes with the price of being eternally clouded with plenty of decisions that need to be taken on a daily basis. One gets drowned in the ocean of pending missions that we have created for ourselves.
Instead of living the moment, one focuses on the next moment or the one after that. As a result, cultivation of hobbies, pursuits of personal pleasures and development of important relationships suffer. Time flies before one can realise and rectify this. It saddens me to see my younger colleagues at the beginning of their careers, wary of their destination and difficult-to-define-success, slogging harder than necessary at the expense of their health and happiness.
However, it’s possible to lead a better life without compromising on our aspirations even in this era of globalisation, competition and information overload.
Some simple techniques
Staying at the moment - Doing whatever one does with full focus and undivided attention improves productivity. Switch off that mobile and do the job at hand. You can do it faster. You will finish your work in time and have enough time to spare for your family, health, hobbies and friends.
Planning the day - Do it a night before and adhere to it. Make sure that an eight hour job remains confined to eight hours. Avoid taking your work home. Even in the head. Make pigeon holes out of your time. If its work, work it is. If it’s family time, then that’s where you need to concentrate.
Me time - Take out some ‘me’ time daily for a walk or for meditation. When you talk to yourself, you know what you want to do or don’t want to do in your life. And of course, when you are alone, you have the pleasure of enjoying your own amazing company.
So, let’s bring back the work-life balance in our lives. As a wise man said, “Working for a livelihood is not equal to living a life.”
— The author is the Director, Digestive Surgery Clinic, Belle Vue and a specialist in bariatrics, hernia and GI surgery.