Striking the right balance is the key to a fulfilling life. Whether you are spiritually inclined or not, the truth is that, balance is central to our very universe. The earth revolves around the sun and as long as that happens, the human race will continue to exist.
From the Upanishads to The Bible, from The Talmud to The Koran, numerous passages call upon individuals to lead balanced lives. Yet, in the rat race of our present-day existence, especially in the long-working-hours ethos of our industry, we forget to maintain a balance between work and family. The result is devastating; High levels of stress, trauma and even nervous breakdowns.
An individual's life can be divided into four basic quadrants - self, workplace, family and friends and community. All of us face the 'Why' factor from the time we take our first breath. And as we grow, the 'Why' follows us like a shadow. The manner in which we tackle the question determines the manner in which we function.
Why does one seek a higher salary? Why does one long for a better house? Why does one go to work? Why does one want to do well?
Why? Why? Why?
Two simple concepts determine the answer: the sense of achievement and the resultant joy.
Happier employees are more productive and more loyal. More productivity adds to a healthier bottom line. Work-Life Balance (WLB) enables a company to retain the best candidates for their open positions, increasing productivity even further. In short, there's everything to gain for both the employer and the employee.
Here are Nine Tips to a Better life:
Learn to say `No' if it affects your schedules. You don't have to be busy all the time.
Remember nobody is indispensable. Choose your best time to do the toughest work. Look for tools to improve productivity. Stay home once in a while. Don't carry the frenetic madness of the workplace home - rushing from cinema to restaurant to club. Chill out. Don't commit yourself to anything, especially avoidable social engagements while at home and don't feel guilty.
Sure, it's easier said than done. A degree of stress enables creative people scale new heights. But one must manage stress so it can enrich and motivate, not result in high blood pressure.
The best relief from the debilitating affects of stress is to 'take it easy' at times. Get your second breath and then tackle the problem.
Learning yoga or doing a course in breathing at the Art of Living Foundation has helped many a stressed-out individual.
3) BE A CHILD
Read with your child. There is nothing to beat a fairy tale to bond with your child, as well as improve your voice modulation. Get down on the floor and cuddle your little one.
Take a walk to the nearby park with your child and point out the flowers and trees. If you have a teenager, have regular conversations; talk to him or her about the birds and the bees.
Go for a movie impulsively with the family. Become a little child yourself. Buy that popcorn, cotton candy or ice cream cone. Nobody is looking.
Go on a holiday at least once a year. It doesn't have to be a long one. You can have a number of short holidays.
Get yourself a pet. There's nothing to beat the welcome you get from your pet dog when you return home.
4) SHARE THE LOAD
A clean, orderly home reduces so much unnecessary tension. Everything in the right place makes existence so much simpler. Sit down as a family and assign each other tasks. Dusting books and CDs can have a calming affect on your nerves.
At the workplace, learn to share your burden. Don't take all the load on your shoulder. Learn to say `No' if it affects your schedules.
Trust your colleagues and delegate. Don't do their fishing for them, teach them how to fish
Sure that's a contradiction in terms. At the workplace we want the assignment done yesterday not tomorrow! If only we could bend e = mc2 to our will!
Yet, one mustn't get pulled in different directions. One step at a time, that's the key. Sometimes one must let go to see the light, to discover a new way of doing the same thing.
6) TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH
It's the most neglected aspect of existence. 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.'
Don't make grandiose plans: take a walk, go to yoga class, join a gym if you are so inclined, and take a swim. Take up a sport, any sport.
Eat a well-balanced diet; reduce junk foods and pesticide-contaminated soft drinks.
And don't forget adequate rest, meaning 'Please Sleep'
7) DON'T POSTPONE
When something needs to be done. Do it. Never procrastinate.
Avoidance uses up more energy than actually doing it.
8) HAVE A POSITIVE APPROACH
Look around you. There is so much to be grateful about.
Take time to list things that you are thankful for it will be a good reminder of how much is going right for you. Remember it could have been worse.
9) FINALLY, TAKE CHARGE
It's your life and as far as we know the only one we have.
Plan ahead: short term, medium term, long term and then work towards them.
Check out the sunscreen song by Baz Luhrmann, director of the Academy Awardwinning Moulin Rouge.
Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds know still don't
This is based on the presentation made by Mr. Parthasarathy senior vice president of MindTree Consulting at the MindTree Lecture Series. © MindTree Consulting.
I felt it's quite inspirational, so thought of sharing it.