“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” —Dolly Parton, Singer.
Famous words or famous last words?
Our world today is a busy one. Regardless of the role you play and what your ‘job’ is, we as a society put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve and we usually measure the success of these achievements with the amount of things that we can buy, the car we drive or the house we live in. These assets form the basis of what kind of lifestyle we think we want to lead and often we become so engrossed in trying to create a lifestyle like this, that we forget to enjoy life.
Recently I was at a seminar at which Michael Crossland was speaking (if you have not googled him, you should). Michael, an accomplished businessperson and an elite sportsman, was diagnosed before his first birthday with an incurable form of cancer. He spent a quarter of his life in hospitals receiving treatment, and was eventually told his only hope of survival was to undergo a drug trial test that would most likely kill him – but offered a very small chance of beating the cancer. Everyone who took the trial, except for Michael passed away, yet he didn’t. He lived to not only tell the tale, but to remind everyone else what is important in life.
Hearing his talk got me thinking. Does the way society tells us to measure success mean that it comes at the cost of our well-being? Think about this:
Are you an achiever or performer?
Those who can’t do teach. Some of us are so caught up in long lists of things to tick off that we become obsessed with achieving, but not performing. The difference is that you may be able to cram a hundred tasks into your day, but when you stop and reflect on how well you did those tasks you might realise that you simply completed them, but didn’t excel at any of them. This is start of the feeling of getting ‘burnt out’ and life can begin to feel mundane. The excitement we should be feeling because we are alive and happy, is taken over by an overwhelming feeling of failing to keep up.
What’s your perspective on life?
In other words, what’s really important to you? If you were told you only had a year left to live, what are the things that would be most important to you? Michael in his talk told of how many times he was faced with this question, and each time he chose to focus on what really mattered to him. So if this was you, would you be thinking about the title you have at work? The material possessions you owned? Or, your family and the precious moments that you have to spend with them?
Our perspective on what’s important can often become clouded by what is expected of us. Our happiness at work is often reflected by how happy we are in our personal life. Think about the last time you had a great weekend, and you walked into the office that Monday with a spring in your step. Slowing down, and focusing on living, not just doing, can do wonders for your quality of life, which in turn does wonders for your productivity in life.
Where is your focus?
The balance between work and lifestyle is a grey area for some. It really depends on what you classify as “work”. For those who are self-employed, work may not necessarily have the same meaning as it does to someone who works for an employer. In this sense, it may mean that an ideal scenario would be that their business goes according to plan, and allows for the lifestyle they wish to lead.
Many successful business people talk of how personal success is often the foundation for success in work and greater achievements in life overall. As a society, we need to train our minds to remember how to live and enjoy life to its fullest, rather than simply ticking off items from a list.
In the words of Zig Zagler “You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.”
CAAA Commercial Concierge specialises in business management strategy, helping clients ensure that no matter what their ideal scenario looks like, they are able to reach their goal and desired lifestyle.