Living an unbalanced life- taking life too seriously
If my life were likened to a seesaw, it would remain up with no up and down motion. However, I am a recovering juggernaut; I keep going and have been that way for as far as I can remember.
As they say, an unbalanced life is a dull one and in hindsight, I would say I have spent the past 13 years being a self-proclaimed stoic.
Little did I know that I will never get those 13 years back to perhaps experience new things and create lasting colourful memories with my loved ones.
Where did this unbalanced life start?
From a child, I have always been a person who loved activity, being around friends and trying new things. You could call me a core extrovert. However, during the end of my second year, almost all of my close friends were blessed enough to get placements but not me. Although I had three interviews, I still wasn’t able to secure a coveted sandwich role. Looking back, this was during the worst global financial crisis in my life to date, but I wasn’t too aware of the macroeconomic climate as I was stuck in the world of being a student.
Without a placement and with most of my friends leaving me behind, I was forced to chart a lonely path which led to an unhealthy focus on getting ahead. This disconnect from my close friends who could get placements left me alone and thinking I needed to catch up.
Graduation and beyond
I graduated in a horrible economic time and couldn’t quite get a role in property. So was upset about that and couldn’t quite understand why I couldn’t get into my career.
Between the ages of 21-25, I kept my head down to try and make something of my life. I thought there is no point in being in a crowd when everyone around is doing well, and you are not doing as well as you should, so I isolated myself.
During this time, I achieved a distinction in masters and worked like a donkey. During these five years, I learned that hard work is what turns around people’s fortunes. So, I adopted the mentality to keep going for my goals whilst not indulging in holidays, clubbing, dates, leisure, and just being a young man. As a result, most of my twenties was spent trying to make something of my life.
25 to present (33)
My life is pretty much the same, I set targets, i.e., buying houses and paying off debts and attack my goals until it doesn’t exist anymore. The moment something is achieved, my mind considers it old news whilst searching for the next venture. Always seeking successive wins creates an unbalanced mentality due to me not enjoying my life as seriously as I try to get ahead in my life.
It isn’t a bad thing to be focused, but you can neglect other more important things such as making your wife smile by taking her on holiday, going to excellent restaurants and taking your child to pepper pig world.
I have not been on holiday since my marriage in 2016, which is lacking on my part. It’s not that we can’t afford it; it’s just that I practised an extreme form of delayed gratification, which has grown to be a big regret of mine. A flower blossoms and radiates vibrancy, but with time, it dims and starts to wither. Whilst we are young, it is essential to enjoy and create memories with our loved ones because you are merely an economic unit without that. Money and success isn’t everything.
Did I have good moments in my 20’s, of course, but did I create opportunities to experience more? The simple answer is NO. I am so detached from having a good time that I am unsure what else I can do to enjoy myself outside of being with my family, my passion for property development and running.
I call this an imbalanced life that needs recalibration.
My dream to be balanced
Life is a balancing act. Unfortunately, those who are too serious can’t truly enjoy the true essence of what life presents and at this moment, I fit into this category. I would love to balance my life more to discover how to enjoy the simple things with my family whilst focusing on the next objective. Imagine being a stargazer but yet you missed the angels before your eyes. In my case, the stars are my goals, and angels are my wife and children; how could I miss them? I am committed to not missing the angels before my eyes as I will seek to balance my perspective to look at the stars whilst focusing on my angles.
What does balance look like to me?
Balance to me looks like God first; then you got family, then being productive at work/ business and then expanding my experiences for myself and my family.
Perhaps, I ought to get a pilot license that is well within my abilities or learn how to swim. But, on the other hand, a date night once a week with my stunning wife and four holidays a year with the family will help compensate for my negligence in living a serious life over the past 13 years. Not to forget daily walks with my daughters and taking them to the park every week.
I think a practical action will be for me, my wife and my children to write a bucket list for the family and ourselves as individuals whilst being clear on our personal goals. The challenge will be for us all to be diligent in ticking off everything on our lists which I hope will foster an environment of working hard but playing harder.
My older brother spoke to me about buckets and the importance of giving sufficient attention to each critical bucket in your life. Balance keeps an eye on all of your buckets whilst ensuring that the water in each doesn’t spill. The water is “you”, and the buckets are the critical elements in your life, such a family, faith, fitness, expression etc.
My motor response is to focus on my goals, but perhaps this is when the balance has to win.
My brother Jide talks of this complex where we focus so much on the future but are urinating our present away. I feel this is such a sad way to live our lives.
My mantra moving forward is “Intensity in faith, family, positivity, love and work”. For me, this is what I call balance.
What’s your definition of balance?