Having lived in big cities for most part of my life, I have been trained to be accustomed to a fast-paced life. Long hours, constant travelling, late night calls, working with toxic colleagues; sounds familiar? I endured this for 22 years. Over time, I felt that my body just coped in an auto mode. At the back of my mind, I knew that this was not sustainable, but this comfort zone was too cushy and familiar for me to do anything about it.
Why don’t we do something about an unhappy situation? I asked myself, and many around me. There are numerous reasons, or excuses (depending on how you look at it) for staying put: money pressure, peer pressure, what else can I do? However, have you ever asked yourself this question: what price am I paying to stay in this comfort zone? Stress, unhappiness, no work life balance, sacrifices, and health are probably the most commonly reoccurring themes. Then ask yourself: is this worth it? Is the balance right?
In my case, I learned the hard way. There are things money cannot buy: time and health. Missing out on key moments with your loved ones, or suffering from a major health issue, or the lack of ability to do things that you really want. Time and health do not wait for you; if you miss the opportunity, you may not get one again.
There is something you can do about it. Ask yourself this question: what makes you happy? What do you really want in life? This answer can be a small and achievable thing like teaching your daughter how to ride a bike, to running that marathon. Small, achievable steps are a good start. When you start to feel the benefits of being happier, you may be in a better position to take a bolder step, and consider stepping away from that toxic job you hated for years.
But how? I know there is not straight forward answer to this question, and everyone’s considerations are different. But this is not an excuse not to try. Start with jotting down a list of ideas that you may be interested in, and how you can test that idea, be in researching through a focus group, start a small business and test the waters, to learning about a new subject that you are passionate about. I did. I started taking courses related to health, primarily around the uses of natural remedies, initially to help myself become healthier, but over time, the newly acquired knowledge inspired me to come up with a business idea that led to GLOHS.
I do not miss my corporate life, the long hours on the plane (and all that radiation I soaked up), lack of sleep, and so little time for myself. What I do with GLOHS now is fun, empowering, enriching, and most of all, makes me happy.