How to Live an Optimal Life11/08/2018
How many people do you know who will state that their lives are optimal? If you look around, you might think that happiness has ceased to exist. But, if you want to make your life optimal, you have to take things in your own hands. You have to shape your own life.
What Is an Optimal Life?
Many people speak about their problems in life. In fact, this is one of the hottest topics of conversations. It doesn’t really matter where they meet someone, all it takes is a friendly smile to start pouring out their life’s woes to them. Everyone does the same. The result is that no one really knows how happy one is. Since everyone is talking about their miseries, it seems that no one is leading an optimal life. This is where the problem lies.
You might think that someone with a lot of money or someone with a beautiful wife or rich and handsome husband must have an optimal life. But when you get to know them better, you begin to see the problems that lie behind their exterior facade and you begin to realize that their life is not what you thought it to be.
There is a great saying that “If everyone were to throw their problems in a pile, and see everyone else’s, they would grab their own right back”. This is true. We think the neighbours are always happier than we are. We think they are leading a more optimal life than we are. But if we were really to sit down and make comparisons, quite likely, we would find our problems to be the least. So, where are we heading with this? The point here is that our lives are only as optimal as we want them to be. We have it entirely in our hands how beautiful we want to make our lives. If we want to sit and brood that life is toying with us in every way possible, it is. But if we plan to take things in our hands and not let life jerk us around, it won’t.
We have to plan just how much control we want to give our lives. An optimal life is a very individualistic thing. For us, an optimal life would be one in which we are completely contented and satisfied with whatever we have. It doesn’t matter whether we are rich or poor – if we are satisfied with what we have, it is an optimal life that we live.
What Do You Need for an Optimal Life?
The general notion all across the planet is that you have an optimal life if you have everything. However, it is not what you have that matters; it is how happy you can be with whatever you have. A person earning just $500 a month has an optimal life if he can survive wonderfully within that and can save too. But even a millionaire is not living optimally if his debts far outstrip his earnings.
So, you see, optimal living is not about money. What is it about then? Is it about living happily within our family? In a great measure, it is. We are only as happy as our family lives are. Since optimal living is all about contentment, having a pleasant family life becomes one of the essential things for it. But, again, there are people who have what one might think is the ideal family life – great wife, great children, etc. – but may still not be happy. Hence, there are a few more things you would need for an optimal living. Money and family don’t even begin to scratch the surface actually.
The most important thing you need is actually the way you are. Your perspective, your way of thinking, is much more important in deciding whether your life is optimal. You have to condition yourself into thinking that you are living a great life. When your mental balance is perfectly set, you will find that your life really starts taking a turn for the better. However, that does not mean you should live in poverty and be happy with it. We need the peripherals – we need the money and the love. These are important ingredients for optimal life, but we should also realize that these are not the only things to live optimally. A perfect balance of money, health, family and the right mental spirit will help the most in bringing you toward an optimal life. This is what you need to discover.
Strike a Balance between Health and Wealth
Health is a very important aspect of human life. It is very true to say that if health is lost, everything is lost. Hence, when we speak about optimal living, this is the first point that we need to tackle. But people understand health in different ways. For some, the absence of any disease spells good health. For others, health means being able to be fit and capable of performing all their tasks without getting spent. For yet others, good health means living longer. Though there are different ways that you may look at it, good health essentially boils down to one thing: being able to make your life more productive and hence live a more enriched and optimal life.
If you give it a thought, wealth is an effect of good health, not otherwise. Only when you are healthy can you perform well and earn a better income. Your riches begin to increase as long as you are healthy. In fact, people build their financial securities for their old age, when they will be no longer able to work on account of ill health, right in their younger days. People salt money away for those days in which their health will begin to dwindle. This clearly shows one thing – we need good health to be able to earn money.
A few people have the wrong idea. They think that riches can buy good health. They think that when they have a large amount of money, they can keep diseases away by going for the best curative options possible. But, even the richest people die, don’t they? Health is a great leveller, we all know that but only few of us accept it. But, as long as we live in the world we are in, we cannot shun the idea of wealth either. The optimal thing to do, therefore, would be to strike a balance between health and wealth. If you are looking at making your life better than what it is now, you have to learn this secret.
Balancing Your Family and Your Life
For a lot of people, the family is the most important institution in their lives. It is an extended part of their lives. It is where they see themselves mirrored and make an impression of themselves. There’s an old saying that “a man is only as happy as his family is”. And it is true even today. Any problem with the family is bound to show immediately on us, and hence if you are thinking about optimal living, you cannot ignore the family aspect.
However, society is changing today. We are breaking ties with our close ones even if we are living in the same house. There are many reasons for this. People are losing the emotional connect they had earlier. Celebratory family dinners, festival gatherings, occasions, all these things are dwindling away. People are bringing their work home and that’s taking them away from their family too. This is leading to problems such as loneliness, depression, spats within the family members, periods of non-communication between members of the family, etc… each of which can take a serious toll on the lives of everyone involved.
So, what is the way to ensure you live more fruitfully with your family? One of the main things you will need here is communication. Whatever the extent of your work is, however busy you are, do make it a point to speak with every member of your family as often as possible.
People from India have a great saying here: “A family that eats together stays together”. This is a distortion of the English saying: “A family that prays together stays together”. But if you were to think about it, both these sayings are quite apt. Both of them can be quite instrumental in bringing families closer. Make such a routine in your household. You may not pray together, but you can certainly eat together. Switch the television off during these meals. Schedule a fixed time each day. You will find that you exchange much more in these few minutes than you do in your entire day.
Families usually don’t expect much from you. All they want is that you stay responsive to them. They want to know that you are there for them. They may not expect material benefits from you, but they certainly expect the feeling of closeness and warmth that you can give them.
Make sure you give them this. Don’t drift away from your family. Tomorrow, if you happen to be alone, the biggest sorrow you will have will be of moving away from your family. People who are closer to their families are happier. They are not alone. They can face the trials and tribulations of life together. Even as you try to discover your own individual freedom, try to keep your ties with your family members alive, and that doesn’t mean just the members of your family staying in the house, it refers to everyone that has any kind of familial connection with you.