Don’t just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced and successful life. Balance your life for success – balance means ensuring your health, relationships and mental peace – all are in good order.
By Zahid Jalbani
Considering the faster pace of world, it is not only difficult to live a life with peace and harmony, but at the same time is not less than a challenge. On living a balanced and successful life, a renowned Indian author and columnist Chetan Bhagat says, “Don’t just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced successful life. I used the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships and mental peace all are in good order. There is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup. There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is no enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions”.
Yes this is true that we should only set career or academic goals but these goals should be set to help having a balanced and successful life. Here Chetan used word balanced before successful which means balance in at least three things including health, relationships and mental peace. This is true that if you are not healthy and suffering from different health implications then surely you will not have successful life; having no relationships with loved ones including family members, friends etc. will obviously contribute to hindering progress towards successful life and in the last mental peace which is also one of the most important aspect of balanced and successful life need to be ensured – living with mental peace will come through the first two things including health and relationships.
This is true that if you are not getting a promotion or joining a new job because you haven’t gone through the process, specially the learning process, so you need to go through the process of long struggle, which only can come through the hard work, dedication, commitment, consistency and passion. It is obvious that if you are not in good health, for instance if your back hurts, then you wouldn’t enjoy driving a car, and if your mind is full of tensions (those tensions could be of meeting different deadlines etc.) then your shopping will not be enjoyable.
Chetan Bhagat is taking back us to our nursery schools where we used to play different games by quoting a wonderful example. He said, “Life is one of those races in nursery school where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same is with life where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.”
How beautifully Chetan has given example of a balanced successful life; yes this is true that if three things – health, relationships and mental peace are not in order then there is no point of coming first or achieving something. Our striving has only worth and importance when these things are in harmony, which will bring peace in our life. Chetan says that you may achieve success but feeling of being excited, alive will start to die because you are unable to keep the balance between work and personal things including health, relationships and mental peace.
Chetan further has given another beautiful example of keep nurturing this spark of feeling excited. He said, “Don’t take life seriously. Life is not meant to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may lose another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worked up?”
I really like this example from core of my heart because it applies to our lives directly when we all are born in this mortal world. The time of our birth, the time of our death, place and nature of death is pre-determined by Almighty Allah so here Chetan has beautifully interlinked this with the limited validity of a pre-paid mobile card. We all know that we are temporary here, so do we really need to get so worked up? Not really.
In the last, Chetan says, “It’s ok, bunk a few classes, scoring low in couple of papers, goof up a few interviews, take leave from work, enjoy with your friends, fall in love, little fights with your loved ones. We are people not programmed devices”.
Personally, I love the way he (Chetan) concluded the balanced and successful life lesson, as he says that there is no problem at all if you bunk few classes, if you are scoring low in few papers, goofing up with friends, take leave from work, enjoying with friends and loved ones, falling in love if you are not, must have little fights not big one with your loved ones. Why all these things Chetan has pointed out to us because “we are people not programmed devices” and we know what he means about the programmed devices – the devices that are being run through different programs by different commands. So, for having a balanced and successful life, let’s not be the serious but be sincere.
Hailing from Sindh, Zahid Jalbani is currently based in Kurdistan, where he works for an International Humanitarian Organization.