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Sunday, 29 January 2012


Some say we quantify the quality of our lives by our happiness. By that definition, we reach an optimal quality of life when we are optimally happy and content.

I for one, long for simplicity. A life without stress and strife. We get so caught up in our every day lives, chasing the big house, nice car, and million rand pay cheque that we don’t stop to think if this is all that life is about?

Of course, we need food and shelter. So work is vital. Where then, do you draw the line of “I have enough”?
Society teaches us that ‘enough’ is never enough. So we steadily march on attempting to reach the ideal, acquire material success and money. In this process we climb the corporate ladder, increase our workload, lessen our recreation and family time and
for me, that translates to a low quality of life’.

Why not own an average car, live in house that’s sufficient, work a 9-5 job, spend the evenings with loved ones, weekends of sight seeing, road tripping, traveling and EXPERIENCING, investing in all your relationships fully. Its the only thing that can't be quantified in material ways. For me, the latter makes up a high quality of life!


Can we have both? Do we want to acquire ‘things’ or do we want to acquire experiences? I certainly want it all! I want to earn well enough to take 6 months out of my career to travel and enjoy life.

I have had lengthy discussions with friends about all the cities we wish to visit. So…

Hows this for ultimate fulfillment – Darryl (a distant relative of mine whom I’ve never actually met) & Angela decided to give up the rat race, hop on their bikes and travel the world. To date they have traveled to 28 countries (23 by bike, of which they covered 44, 473km).

Check out this link to follow their adventures:

Now thats living life my friend.

This year I relocated (2nd time in as many years), this time at least I’m still in my own country! Started a new job as a lecturer. Acquired a new car. With all these changes comes the appropriate stressors. I became so stressed that I couldn’t even think straight.
I had enough! It was time to chill and let the next day worry about itself. This mindset didnt come overnight though, it took much deliberation!

Just the other day I was complaining to a friend about work stress that I was experiencing. He laughed at me. Instantly I realized that I was stressing for nothing. If he could laugh at it, the problem couldn’t have been that bad!
So I asked myself a few things:
1) Is this situation going to cause me immediate death?
2) Will I remember this situation/ set of emotions in a year from now?

No? Well then what am I banging my head against the wall for!?

When I'm stressed out, I can't do anything but when my mind is free, I'm relaxed. Think of your brain as a barrel with a capacity for thought & creativity. Your stress is like a balloon in the middle of the barrel. The more stressed out you are the bigger you inflate the balloon, the more space it occupies and the less space there is for anything else! Stress occupies your thoughts. Which accounts for 5 months of blog silence.

I had had enough!

I wanted a better quality of life. I didn’t want to have to be stressed out all the time. I want a job without stress. I want to come home and not stress about work. It doesn’t mean I will perform poorly. It doesn’t mean I’m not ambitious. I just want to enjoy my life and not spend every waking moment worrying about something.
I asked my mate why hasn't he started freelancing in his field of work. He definitely has enough clientele via his private jobs. He said that he's happy to earn a salary and do his own work part time. He said to me, "Why stress and chase accounts to double my income on my own when I can go to the office and get a set salary which is more than sufficient that allows me peace of mind."
Keep in mind, he still does private jobs when the need arises, thus increasing his total income in certain months. There's a time to work super hard and a time to enjoy the fruits of your labour. It comes and goes in phases and it's finding that "sweet spot" that's essential.

I say, pack in the hours IF the means justify the ends! If there's milk & honey waiting at the end of your labours, then go for it. Slogging for menial and inconsequential outcomes rob you of time that you could be devoting to other areas, work or personal. If there isn't place to grow or move, then reconsider where you place your efforts.

What does it benefit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?

You can work hard without being stressed. That’s by planning yourself & having clear goals & objectives. Also, don’t confuse ‘pressure’ with stress.
You can be pressurized but still in a healthy frame of mind, able to cope without undue stress! Pressure is good. Stress is bad!

I found that sometimes our stress is self-inflicted. There are so many stressors that can be avoided. Drinking & driving for example. Does the pleasure of the one drink outweigh the consequence of the possible aftermath? If so. That must be one amazing drink. If you’re hedonistic by nature then I’m sure you can come to the table with a whole host of self-inflicted stressors.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re playing it safe in life & not experiencing anything, rather, you’re fully in control of your own life, avoiding unnecessary stress that may arise, leaving you to focus on more pressing matters.

It’s all too easy to walk into a work environment that is stressful and be influenced by it. Don't let other people’s attitudes stress you out.  All else, and everybody else’s stress is inconsequential to you. Their stress may stem from their own inadequacies and lack of confidence/ planning. Don't let it affect you. Know what you know and do what you do!

I have set in motion a 5 year plan that will allow me to take a 6 month sabbatical, at will, without having to worry about any finances/ work commitments. As part of this plan, by next year I will be registered for another degree, possibly of the Bcom route this time!

I do know that stress will come. I am only human. It's just a matter of the efficiency in which I deal with it.

"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34