Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Story of John

This blog has a mission; there is a reason why am writing this and it’s is that I’ve been noticing how so many people are living their lives in such a way that they are either miserable or not nearly as happy as they could be. If you ask any person the following question: "what’s more important? health or money?" you will unequivocally get a 100% response rate of "health, money’s no good if you can’t enjoy it" or “I’d much rather be poor and healthy that rich and sick.” It is a no-brainer; health comes first, no doubt. Now, being this the case, why do we act like the answer is the complete opposite?

If health is SO important, why do we sleep less in order to stay up late in order to finish a project that will provide us with more money? Why do we subject our bodies to the extreme stresses of modern life? It’s to make money, isn’t it? We do a lot of hurtful things to our bodies and minds, all in the name of the almighty dollar.

Money does not equal happiness, most people know this, but few actually believe it. Benjamin Franklin said: “Money has never made a man happy, nor will it; there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.”
We should keep this in mind every time we sacrifice something as important as our health for wealth.

Classic example, I have a dear friend, let’s call him “John”. As a young man he was probably medium to low class, he was a attending an upper middle class high school, since his father was a very wealthy man. He (john’s father) married his mom before he made his money, once he did, he divorced her and went out and sought greener pastures
John had feelings of inadequacy, struggling to fit in with his wealthier friends and also having a bad case of “divorced parents syndrome,” you know, when the child feels his father did not love him and left, so he’s got to try to make the old man accept him and win his approval.

John was a great guy, smart, decent, well-spoken and very respectful, he always had flower for the girls and kept a relatively low profile, everyone liked him. Later on, in college his almost estranged father decided to have his oldest son (John) help out in his thriving company. This was a great chance for John to rise economically and also to earn daddy’s acceptance and trust.

He worked and learned as much as possible, this was the most important thing for him and he did it well, with hard work, help of his dad and a few strokes of luck he eventually became President his dad’s company, he was admired and respected by pretty much everyone that knew him, even those that didn’t. Then, The pressures of “being on top” started building, all those stressful meetings, sleepless nights in front of a laptop, countless hours on the cell phone began to take their toll.

He had gained a considerably amount of weight too, John, who used to love basketball, cycling and weight training in school, had gone from a semi athletic to a pear shape. His sleep pattern was severely disrupted, he would sometimes go 48 hours with only 3 or 4 hours of real sleep, his mood had also changed, he became very cranky and was no longer as well-liked, he yelled at clients, suppliers, employees, friends, girlfriends, even family.
He seemed to have lost touch with reality. He had turned indiscreet and irrational. Sometimes he would talk for hours and not make any sense whatsoever. He would brag so much people stopped believing a word he said.

One day he woke up in pain and went to the hospital, stress and bad diet had exerted their toll, he had to be operated on for an inguinal hernia and intestinal complications. After the surgery his doctor looked at his blood test results and told him that he needed to relax and improve his diet.

He also added that John should not work for at least a month.

Just 3 days after leaving the hospital, he was back on the job, this time even crazier than before, with greater mood swings and an uncontrollable temper. Eventually, he lost it, in a stakeholder meeting he snapped at one of the main stakeholders of the company he presided, his own uncle!! This was far too much, so he was forced to resign. This story does not end here; he is still jumping around as a minor stake holder and making people hate him more each day.

Now, what happened to John?

Two things: one, he needed and still needs desperately to win his father’s approval and this will not change since he will never feel he has truly earned it and two, he wanted money, lots of it, his health is just an innocent bystander as far as he’s concerned, he can’t go to the gym, there’s no time!, he can’t take a walk in the park or even turn off his cell phone, he’s stuck where he is and will inevitably hit a another wall.

John’s story is an ongoing one; it has served as the story that has driven me to write this blog. He is NOT happy, he is making lots of money but there’s no bliss.

He is unaware that, if he would chose so, he could be very happy, with his work, friends, family and most importantly, himself!

Stay tuned, you will eventually learn how to improve the quality of your life without the use of any drugs. You WILL be truly happy as long as you life.

1 comment:

Oona said...

Well written article.