Four months ago, a young Kenyan girl, let’s call her Melissa was just leaving her house for work when she suddenly felt dizzy and collapsed. Luckily, her next-door neighbour noticed her fall, and rushed her, unconscious, to the nearby hospital.
One year previously, Melissa, a very soft-spoken ambitious lady, landed her dream job. She plunged into this job with so much enthusiasm and effort, within 3 months she was noted for promotion. The harder she worked, the more she earned, and soon, her earnings skyrocketed. This meant she could take good care of her family which had always been her wish.
However, she no longer had time for herself or her loved ones.
Every time her parents called her to ask her to come home, her first response was always. Sorry, I’m so busy, I’ve sent some money for your upkeep and any miscellaneous I’ll try next time.
Melissa was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and put on bed rest for the next month. This near death experience reminded her of two great lessons that forever changed her life.
First, success on the outside means nothing, unless you have success within. Melissa achieved great success in her career, but once her health deteriorated, it didn’t matter anymore.
According to Robin Sharman, the author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, success within is having a lasting sense of well-being and balance and this can only be achieved if we consistently care for our body, mind and soul.
So despite your schedule, put yourself in your to-do list every single day, it could be exercising for a few minutes before going to work, saying no to certain demands and spending that time resting, meditating in a quiet space after a hectic day anything that will enhance your wellbeing.
I can assure you, investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make.
Secondly, in life’s the little things that matter, and those little things occupy the biggest part of our hearts.
When Melissa was lying helpless on her bed, what gave her inner strength was not the amount of money she had made and sent to her parents or her title at work, it was the wonderful memories she had created with her family and friends long ago before she got lost in this fast-paced world.
As humans, we focus so much on finding that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that we forget to enjoy the blessings and opportunities that life has handed out to us along the way. Business has caused us to disengage from people and activities which are vital to us
Due to the current global pandemic, we have all been forced to slow down, and since most of us had been accustomed to being overscheduled with activities, it has not been easy, but maybe just maybe the universe is trying to remind us, what’s really important. This could be your health, family, friends, hugs, deep conversations, you name it. You know these things seem to be so simple, but they actually make our lives more meaningful.
I really hope, when all this is over, we will return to our routines with a different perspective and change when it comes to our goals and commitments. Instead of always being buried in work we will try to focus on the little things.
Confession time – I am Melissa. I know how it feels to succeed, but the same success made me reach rock bottom to a point all I hoped is that I receive another chance to live life right, fortunately, this was granted
So how can we live a more balanced life? First, we need to take care of ourselves and secondly always remember it’s the little things that matter so let’s create wonderful memories in our lives.
To echo Christiane Lemieux (Lamiu), a celebrated interior designer and author, Slow down and enjoy yourself a little more, don’t be so serious, life is not a race.
This article was first read as a speech at a Toastmasters meeting.