Tag Archives: #Hack

Are You Working to Live Or Living To Work?

Why making a Life is more important than making a living!

Are you someone who absolutely loves heading to the Office every day? Or even if you don’t maybe you’re connected enough that you simply cannot resist showing up. You keep giving your all unceasingly; sometimes murdering yourself, all the time hoping that this turns out to be your best bet at acing everybody’s attention and getting taller professionally.

I guess, people who fit in this category are unwittingly married to their jobs and often are set out as living to work’.

If you’re a Zoomer, you know what it’s like; the excitement of being resourceful, independent and liberal is overwhelming, way better than the dudes from Gen-X might have experienced. You’re the perfect portrayal of a deep seated personal connection to the work that you do for a fat pay-check. Perhaps you believe that success happens only to those who have an all–round desire and true commitment to work.  You’re not unaware as well that this runs the risk of compromising health and quality of life outside work place.

Yet on the flip side, many choose to separate the idea of ‘doing what I love from “I’ll do what I must to make a living”. For them it like ‘discovering a long lost passion’; so foreign and yet entirely removed from reality where work is what you do and not who you are!

Speaking of which, do you take on more work than you must? Are you putting in more hours than you ought to? When is the time to quietly start doing less to the extent that it appears not quitting after all?

How bad is too much of a good thing?

Living to work for most of us is like crossing the fine line between being occupied and being eaten-up by work. Your work life balance is at risk when you let disproportionate amount of your time and energy spent on your career.

People, who live to work count heavily on work for thrills and kicks and shut out other sources of joy and happiness. What’s worse, addicted to the adrenaline that comes from solving a crisis or tying self-worth to work, these people would often find themselves on the fast track to burnout.

See…over engagement is never free of its perils. With time, distraught work-life balance takes its toll. Your ability to handle stress is impaired and your overall well being gets affected. And more often than not, you won’t be to see it because you’re moving so fast, completely absorbed in the reality that you’ve created — knowingly or not.

So what’s the point?

Image source: ‘7 ways to reduce work-related stress’ by Neil Spooner in resetmindbodysoul.co.uk on Oct. 08, 2020.

When you fail to find the ‘just right’ level of engagement, you live your life on one extreme or the other always struggling to find the right kind of work-life balance.

But the grass is not greener for those either who consider doing little less at work, re prioritize work versus life or refuse to take a bigger chew than the one’s mandated or must.

Hell yes of course!…When you work to live, you miss out on that rich sense of fulfillment that only a meaningful pursuit brings forth.

Did I miss something?

The 10 hour work day -like so many people I braced for 30 long years, -never ever for once went out of fashion. It stood firm then and it’s as stoic today except that nowadays it’s your call how to balance everything in the new age. The strings were as tight then as they are now.

Jinxed and marred with bad breaks, I spent an entire lifetime slogging to build a career and in the process woefully destroyed part of me.  I kept judging whether it was of any worth at all, despite knowing all the while that in reality I couldn’t undoor reboot’ anything. I had no widget, no push button…none other than a blue sky above and some wishful thinking. I yearned for one. So many things I would’ve loved to rescript for a better tomorrow! Of course, there was always another tactical choice at hand; Do it the new way. This certainly was a flattering option and like everybody else my age, I was gullible. I fell for it and chose to use it.

The thought of shaping a better life and a taller me never felt fictional then.

Image source: ‘New Signs You’re Stressed at Work’ by Christine Bernier Lienke in flexjobs.com

I know I’ve never been great at work and I have struggled long enough trying to figure out why I wasn’t fine and famous at it. I would usually end up comparing myself to friends and rivals who have been fervently neck deep in work and have made some great careers and good living out of it.

It’s only after so many years of imperfections and wanting, I could discover that I was  in fact truly happy, living my life doing what I wanted to do- endeavoring, indulging and battling! Sometimes winning at others loosing, yet never letting myself forget the battles that I survived.

 I had chosen to work what I “could do” and not what I “wanted to do”.

If only I had known then what I know now, maybe I could have had both of them a lot sooner- living a great life and making a living the way I love most’.

I would let the life happen!

Life is short and full of shifts and ebbs and flows. You just can’t exist to make a living. It’s more than about living decently… ordinarily! We all deserve more and entitled to a life full of joy and happiness.

And who said it’s too late to flatter yourself?

I know how important is to earn for a good living. But you can make a living and still make a life! It’s all about perspective; about whom you love most; you as a person or as a pen pusher. With pliable mindset and a bit of allowance for wise adjustments you could let the real troubleshooter in you make life deep and smiling.

Image source: ‘Live to work or work to live? 72 per cent of Brits go to work just to get by’ by Owen Gough in smallbusiness.co.uk on Dec.08, 2017.

Of course, ‘working to liveor ‘living to work’ aren’t the only choices available. It’s absolutely possible to put the two shoes together and yet walk on sunshine. Breaking away from either of the two could though actually help you find a breezy life-work balance in a hurry.

Seriously, sometimes taking a few steps back — or a few steps forward — breaks the barrier standing between you and the life you have painted for yourself!

Three simple life hacks that helped me find my Atlas of happiness!

Everybody loves a happy ending, especially when it’s the story of their own life. I have begun writing that ending today. After roughly couple of months in it, lots of scratchy notes and 2000 odd words later I have finally researched my way to be happy forever!!

Image source: ‘7 Simple Ways To Be Happier’ by Seth Symond in lifehack.org.

If you are someone who believes that one doesn’t always need to stay happy and hopeful through difficult times and seriously think that recluse in vulnerable spaces is enough to ease off your discomfort, then it’s time you come out of your therapeutic feel good irrationality!

Imagine yourself 10 years ago. Were you happier or less happy than you are today? It’s not inappropriate if you think that you were happier. But 10 years hence, things are likely to be a lot less rosy. And it’s no fun to rake your brains over it now.

Happiness tends to decline as we walk through our lives and bottoms out at around 50. Then something strange happens; it races uphill again till people get split into two groups; those who get a lot happier and those who couldn’t be any less unhappy.

Right around the“I’m so hype!”age, most of us would rush to make few good financial decisions, plan ahead and are more likely to be able to support themselves in comfort and be alive always; rest who wouldn’t, just couldn’t.

Something similar happens with happiness. As we grow old, we begin to see things differently. The excitement and fun of adolescence gives way to brutally negative jibes of adulthood. By now most of us have experienced bittersweet pleasures of life; but little do we realize that these tiny time specks can make us appreciate more and encourage us to be on cloud nine, when the going gets tough.

Tough!!… is it a bad word? It certainly sounds dismissive and cruel. We all have had our fair share of moments when wits got thrown to wilds. It hurt… but prepped us for some plucky life moments ahead!

­­­If you ask me good things happen more often than the bad ones, but often we miss opportunity to stay connected to happiness. We easily forget that age is like some fabled sycophancy that allows us to fly high in the real World. At 50 you could still be the same adorable pig tailed gal or some jaunty good looking knock-out beau. Both of you could still climb the trees, jump the wall and beat up all the boys. Young and raunchy, fiercely ambitious you both have had your share of one heart break, one breakdown, one true love, one success, one moment of despair and gloom – you have had mountains of them.

Cringing eyes, creaking knees and despairingly loosening skin, need not make you falter now. There is no shame in growing old and struggling a bit; it’s a reminder of all the battles that you have survived and the ones you won!

Once you have learned how to love your lines and folds and aches and pains, begin looking for some honest happy moments, few of which you could save for grey years.

Here’s what I did to make my life stay as full and happy as possible when I reach my later years;

Does age equals happiness?

Image source: ‘This is how to find joy: 4 simple secrets to the good life’ by Eric Barker in theladders.com on Mar.17, 2018.

Like everybody else I too will grow old. But I don’t see myself climbing mountains every day to be happy or live in a landscape where that’s an option. I would rather go for a walk or sit in a stretch of green watching the birds feeding. Doing so would give me something to look forward to each day.

For me the sweetness of doing little or nothing’ is all about savoring the moment , having joy in the present and saving a bit for declining years.

When I was young, the happy–well person in me learned well to accumulate resources and habits in pursuit of happiness. Few of these, like generational wealthso difficult to control, happy childhood-that descended from long lived ancestors and sometimes spots of depression-again a formidable enemy; all have been there to teach me about late-life happiness.  

Elders would mock, “Only handfuls heed; rest count on being lucky!”

I picked that up rather seriously!

I thought that being passionate about something that I could pride later on, won’t hurt anybody. So, I chose the best way of maximizing my chances of being happy in my autumn years.

I have made some big investments in my disposition-smoking, drinking, body weight, exercise, emotional resilience, education, and relationships ranked high in my judgment. I have dug deep, chosen the hackneyed lane and I believe that I’ve done the right thing! To some varying degrees, I have kept all of them under my fold since then.

Surprisingly simple, it’s perhaps the most reliable way to see yourself smiling forever!!

Love doing what makes you happiest

Image source: ‘Being Creative Can Make Your Golden Years More Enjoyable’ by Jim Pietrangelo in healthline.com on Oct. 19, 2017.

It didn’t take me long to realize that the best way I could tweak my chances of happiness, is to pursue that one thing that could make my heart race in high octane. Not that I would let any of dopamine, adrenaline or norepinephrine run out of control.

So, I chose…

One small deed; one overwhelming gesture that when I lock my eyes onto, would make me feel all pumped up; one simple action that would make  me smile every time I looked back.

I strongly willed to improve upon my ability to weather stressful and unexpected turn of events in life. And I chose to pour my heart into it, letting it to be the last! 

Ever since, I have realized that one single most important thing for wellness in life is to raise and foster warm relationships; one that would make you quit small sins; one that you’d have to hold on to if things go south; one that would let you fit the bar pretty well even in a squeaky wrinkled frame.

I’m no die hard biophile. It’s a mean old world and we all have scars but for me happiness is no longer a matter of the heart. I know that I won’t necessarily be doomed to misery if I could work my way to few good, warm relationships.

I just want to be happy and successful. To look back on my life when I’m all old and grey, and think to myself;

“See! I totally nailed it. I have zero regrets.”

Life is surprisingly simple

We hear about success and happiness everywhere we look. We get all sorts of tips and advices about life and about things we should and shouldn’t do.

But it never really works that way every time!

Like most of us, I wasn’t sure what these words actually meant or how to get there. I might already be there and wouldn’t know it yet!

So, I looked around… What could I do to make sure I’m not getting waylaid in my pursuit of happiness? How would I know for sure that I am working towards joy and happiness that right now doesn’t feel tangible?

It’s hard to reconcile everything. Wish for an everlasting happiness and it would usually contradict ways to a successful life. The hard part is that there is no clear answer to this and all those wisdom bombs are only part truth, part value.

I needed to find the right balance for myself.

I took an inventory of all my habits and behavior and judged myself where I needed to invest a little more time, a little more energy and a little more silver to start moving in the right direction. I worked ‘smarter not harder’ so I’d still have some fun left to myself and not be exhausted or miserable when I turn 70s.

I’m no goofball; I’m hopeful and see opportunities differently. I’m sure I’ll find my  perfect grin soon.

Feature credits: ‘The Seed’ by Andy Matthews in youtube.com on Aug. 24, 2017.

As I sit quietly, I reminisce one premier episode of Grey’s Anatomy; normally a few laughs, sometimes some tears; one dialogue in particular that really hit home for me. Somewhere a patient had said something along the lines of;

“Well of course you are happy, but is there really a cap on happiness?

Lately I think I’ve been very happy; maybe I’ve maxed out. But then I remind myself; there is always room for more of happiness… there’s so many miles to go.

I also know that not everyone feels the same way. I see people battling with misery and anxiety every day and this touches me to appreciate my happiness all the more.

All this has drawn an empath in me and I know that everyone deserves to be as happy as I am.

I wish, if only you’d do just one small close to your heart thing, to bring a difference in your World and empower yourself to be happy always.

It’s unlikely that you’ll follow everything that matters and that’s Ok. Just pick and choose the one that sounds easy and worthwhile and take your first step slowly!!

Someday you’ll find yourself lucky… blessed if you may!!