Money, Health, Happiness

“They’ve bought the BMW, and they have the $3 million Mill Valley house. And they still wake up in the morning and say, ‘I don’t feel good about myself’,” says Stephen Goldbart, psychologist and cofounder of the Money, Meaning and Choices Institute, highlighting the perils of Sudden Wealth Syndrome.

So, how about you? How do you feel each morning? Do you feel good about yourself?

“Plan for a better you in 2002” was the title given to my column on December 27, 2001. This was about New Year’s resolutions. Many of us promised to make changes in our lives so we can feel good about ourselves. Six months have gone by. What have we achieved? Are we better off today than six months ago?

There are many barriers to making a positive change in life. Some of these are:

-Failure on our part to accept that change is required.
-Failure on our part to have a strong will power to work toward that change.
-Failure on our part to find time to make the required change.

But if you have set certain goals in your mind then such barriers are only there to test your determination. Henry Ford says, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

The goal should be a reasonable one knowing your own strength and limitations. Rome was not built in a day. And you cannot make all the changes overnight. But six months is a good time to review the progress.

Review involves asking two questions:

-What is important in my life?
-What stops me from living my life on the basis of those important things?

“The aim of a life review is to step back and look at it as a whole, identify any problems, and consider what changes are needed to make it more fulfilling and pleasurable”, says an article in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

The article says that we play many roles in our lives. To balance these different roles is a real challenge. Lack of balance is one of the most frequent problems people face in their lives.

How can we find balance in life?

By simplifying life!

It’s all about choice and making sacrifices. We just have to learn to choose how we live our lives instead of letting life make all the choices for us. If we don’t, then we’ll have to face the grim reality – in trying to have everything all the time, it may just end up killing us!

So where do you stand with your New Year’s resolutions? Do you feel good about yourself each morning – with or without a BMW? Have you made the right choices? Have you found a right balance in your life? Have you begun to simplify your life? Is greed dominating your agenda?

A Chinese proverb says, “Love is blind and greed insatiable”. So make the right choices. Don’t worry and be happy! And if you want to know – that’s exactly what I plan to do – without a BMW!

Start reading the preview of my book A Doctor's Journey for free on Amazon. Available on Kindle for $2.99!

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