Something that truly deserves (far) more attention.
Where do human relationships rank?
If you have noticed, some of us are constantly on the urgent mode. We are dealing with phone calls, trying to meet deadlines, making sure appointments are kept, work schedules are met... the list goes on. We make sure the needs of our customers are met. We ensure that our clients receive quality service from us.
On top of all these, we still have our very own personal life schedules. We are chasing after that large contract...
We are always on our toes. We are always fire fighting.
Is this what life is all about? Life definitely is not about just paying bills, paying for the instalments on our house, paying off debts, chasing after more and more money and material wealth.
Sure, we all need a place to live, we need to pay for the electricity and internet access, have some form of entertainment, a means of travel to work... We all need to sustain a living.
Are we really sustaining a living? Are we really having control of our lives? Or are our lives controlled by the material things we desire or already possess?
Take some time off to think and give yourself a break. Set aside some 'me' time. Not time to overly indulge, but set aside time to reflect. What are the things in your life that you really need?
Wealth is good. You need money to pay your bills, food, rent, medical expenses, your children's upbringing. However, your family members, your loved ones, your friends and your well being are equally important.
If you are working really hard with an ultimate goal in mind and you are accumulating wealth, that's great!
However, no man is an island, eventually the well being of your loved ones and your family members is not just determined by the material wealth that they have, their well being is also determined by relationships with their loved ones, and that includes you! In the end, your well being also depends on their well being. The happier and healthier they are, the happier and healthier you are! And part of their happiness greatly depends on the time you spend with them.
You need time to love them. You need time to hear them laugh, walk their journey. You don't need much to walk their journey with them. It could all start with a simple dinner or coffee together. Or even catching the weekend game together.
Yes for many of us, it will probably take a few years for our dreams to materialize, this will be especially unique to those who create their own start-ups. For some of us, we are chasing after higher positions in the career that we are undertaking, for self-fulfillment, prestige or for better monetary rewards for our family. At times, it translates to working more to sustain a particular type of lifestyle.
Ask yourself (before you commit yourself towards purchasing something very costly - and requires you to commit yourself to work even more just to ensure you can afford them) do you really need what you are going to buy? Is it really that important? What are the other sacrifices that you have to make to achieve this? Do you possibly have to sacrifice time with your loved ones for a very long period of time?
I know people who commit to large financial loans and end up paying huge instalments and having to work even longer hours or attain another job just to honour their installments. On hindsight, they realize that they do not need the product in the first place.
We know that our loved ones need time with us. We know that we need to spend some chill time with our friends. [But how often do we put these intentions into practice, instead of choosing to take on another project or put in more overtime hours at work?] We think our intentions are good. We are making sacrifices for a better future, be it for ourselves or for loved ones. Surely they would understand or appreciate what we're doing... Right?
Unfortunately, we may get so carried away in the process, we might only realise much much later. I've witnessed instances where people start to make time for the ones important to them, much much later upon realising the need to do so. Some are so caught up in the process that they do not even realise that they have been absent from the lives of their loved ones. That is, until their loved ones become so used to their absence and the broken relationship takes a lot more time and effort to repair. I've seen instances where parents only start to pay more attention to their baby child 15 years later, when he has stepped into the world of adolescence.
Seeing through the eyes of an adolescent with no connection to his parents was simply heartbreaking. The broken bridge is too hard to repair. I've seen instances where working professionals never took the chance to tell their parents how much they love them until they no longer have the chance to do so.
Many of us hunger after recognition, positions, promotions as well as career fulfilments for a good cause. And for some of us it is not possible to completely cast aside the material pursuit we've set ourselves on. [How do we then reconcile the needs and wants in our lives to achieve that much needed balance?]
Love and care needs time, intention and patience to grow. The intention of those who dedicate their lives towards their profession usually comes from a very noble mindset, to create a better life for their loved ones or to make a breakthrough.
But human relationships need time, effort and patience to be nourished. If you feel that you are not spending time with your close friends or your loved ones, call them, text them, ask them out, spend time with them soon. You will be glad you did. While experiences from human relationships [live on for a long time], their period of growth, time for nurturing is not. There is a time limit for them to be nourished. And what better time is there to do it than now?
From the founder of Bitesizedessentials.com
Originally written on Dec 2015
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