"You can't truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles" (Zig Ziglar).
I am sure we all have heard many times about troubled relationships between spouses, family and friends simply because one of them did not have enough time for another. Why? Because they were too busy chasing their career ambitions. While in the process of attaining their career goals they sacrificed all the other important aspects of their lives; their family, their loved ones, their friends and even their health. It sometime takes a person to fulfill their ambition to realize the importance of what they neglected in the process.
Let me enlighten you about ambition. Ambition is a very powerful weapon if used wisely because the same weapon that is your strength can become self-destructive if misused. A life should have an ambition, goal, and a purpose to keep going. On the other hand, one should not forget that ambition should be a part of life not the entire life.
As a human being we are blessed with so many things in life that carries different values, and significance and that is the reason why we prioritize and make an effort to keep the balance.
I am not trying to imply that life should be perfectly balanced, it never was and it never will be; that's the beauty of life. I am only implying that one should constantly put effort into balancing the aspects of their life as long as they live.
According to a research in the Journal of applied Psychology which analyzed data from Terman Life cycle study where they traced the lives of hundreds of high ability Americans, starting in 1922 when subjects were children and followed them up for 70 years. Some of the participants went on to some of the world's best universities and impressive careers, while other had more modest achievements. The "ambitious" participants -- as judged were clearly more materially successful, working in more prestigious occupations and earning higher salaries.
But despite the fact they seemed to "have it all," the Judge said that they were not successful in terms of what might be considered the most important variables: happiness and longevity of life.
This explains that attaining ambition alone is not the answer to happiness. Happiness is the balance between ambition, relationship, social bonds and many other aspects of life.
On a personal note, my father, one of the most ambitious person I know, who passed away at the age of 47 with a terminal motor neuron disease called ALS , made me understand more about the importance of balance during his last few years. Out of all the things he shared, one thing that stood out to me was when he mentioned that looking back at his life, the only thing he wished he had done differently was to spend more time with family and make as many memories as he could. It made me think at the end it's the simple things that matter the most.
The reason why people go after their ambition full fledged is because they think that the end result is what will make them happy. Lets admit it, us human beings are greedy for happiness and we search for happiness through different means. As we all know that the grass is always greener on the other side. What ambitious people often forget is that it is usually the simple pleasures that bring happiness in our lives. Simple pleasures like a baby's first footsteps, a lover's smile, a friend's hug or a parent's kind words.
I do not suggest that one should stop pursuing their career ambition or goals. Having an ambition is very important and we need ambition to reach our goals. But one must understand that the other aspects of life is integrated and not separated.
When you are focused on only one aspect of your life then the rest will eventually lose balance, but that's when you step back and take a "helicopter view" of life. That should help figure out what can be done to achieve that lost balance.
We should understand that gratitude of what we have is what balances the ambition. The quest of career success should never come at the expense of personal relationship and social bond.
That being said, today I would like to urge you to take a step back and look at your life and appreciate what you have, and whom you have and truly be thankful for it.