No, I am not a career woman with kids doling out advice on how to break the glass ceiling. To the contrary, I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and a friend in need, who ‘also’ has a job. I love traveling, exploring the world, meeting new people, and yes, shopping. And I make time for it all. How?
I work hard but I make sure work does not consume my life. Work is a part of life and not the other way around.
A colleague of mine missed his son’s birthday, gathering accolades (for this gesture of sacrificing his personal life for professional commitment) from his superiors. He met the deadline he’d been chasing. Worth it?
I don’t think so.
Unfortunately, a lot of us, in the rut of working and climbing up the corporate ladder, tend to side-line our relationships and concentrate only on building our work ‘titles’ year-on-year and on growing the money that comes with it.
As we race to achieve professional success, most of us tend to lose sight of the very point of working.
Why Do We Work?
We work to be able to support our families, for meeting routine life expenses and to maintain a certain lifestyle. We work hard so that we can live a good life with our loved ones.
The irony and I see it often, is that many successful people don’t even have a life. It’s like they’re constantly hitting in the dark, chasing the dream of a good life while the years quietly pass them by.
In my lectures, I always tell the learners: You need to learn to be ‘Firm’. You need to learn to step up and tell the boss that you need to be with your family. If the situation demands, you need to be willing to delegate, but that can happen only when you have your priorities in place. If you think no other person can do something half as good as you, it’s the worst attitude to have, as at the end of it, only the one who thinks this way suffers.
Yes, you have targets to achieve, and there are times when you just can’t say no. But remember, each time you choose work over family, you are building expectations — wrong expectations — at both ends. In the long run, it is bound to backfire one way or other.
Do not let your work take over your life’s charm. Your work is a ‘part’ of your life and it should remain that way. Take the time to notice the gleam in your child’s eyes when they smile wide, listen to them carefully each time they share a story. Because this won’t last forever. Your spouse is growing old, noticed the fine wrinkles on their skin recently? Or held hands, or gave a hug that lasted for a minute or more.
Can’t recollect? Perhaps it’s time then to have a good look at your lifestyle.
Lose That Phone!
A child somewhere wanted to be a ‘smartphone’ so that his parents would pay him more attention.
Technology is meant to make our lives easy; instead, it is taking over our personal space and making us completely unavailable to our loved ones. The greatest gift we can give someone we love is our ‘time’ which unfortunately is now taken over by our smartphones.
So where is the time for relationships that were once cherished dearly?
Here’s a tried and tested rule:
For the short time that you get to spend with your family, lose that phone.
I have been doing it and it works. As soon as I enter my home, I put the phone away for a few hours. I would rather spend time with people who love me and who mean the world to me. I know some people who think they might just die if you took their phone away from them for even an hour, but trust me, no one ever died from losing a phone. But yes, relationships do die when deprived of love and attention.
And while you’re at it, lose the email too. While it is convenient to have email on your phone alongside the other icons flashing the life out of you, checking email every now and then is a definite mood spoiler. It is a sign of feeling stressed out all the time.
Cultivate that ‘switch-off’ mechanism in your system. Learn to say NO to yourself and it’ll be easier to say it to others. Stop checking email/facebook/WhatsApp every now and then.
Delete those unnecessary apps not from your phone but from your life. Indulge in the App called ‘life’ — you owe it to yourself.
Please don’t let your work, your boss or technology control how you live your life. Believe me, your company will still function and a good employer will come to respect you for your choices.
Someone rightly said: The amount of money left in your bank account at the time of your death, is that extra work you did which was totally unnecessary.
The emphasis, however, is not on quitting your job or being unprofessional at work; it is all about striking the right balance between life and work and knowing where to draw the line.
So take control of your happiness. Take that dream holiday, wear the cherished dress you have been preserving for an occasion because the occasion is NOW. And yes, try taking pictures for memories, not for social media!