Each year around my birthday I get reflective. I suspect I am not alone in this process. A birthday is a good occasion to take stock of your life, evaluate your achievements to date, think about the direction of your life and set future goals.
Each year I book my birthday off if it falls on a weekday. Sometimes I even indulge in a week’s leave around my birthday. I am big believer in a balanced life and my birthday is a great opportunity to take a mid-year break. Life is a marathon, not a race. I work hard, but to maintain my ability to do so with focus and energy, there is nothing more important than health.
Rest is a crucial component in maintaining good health, in addition to nutrition and exercise. Admittedly, I often fall down on the exercise aspect of the equation.
At the end of the day the key question in life is: are you content? If you are, you are doing it right. If you are not, you need to take charge of your life and find your bliss.
I am very lucky to have my number one bliss in life: my partner of 17 years. There is no better feeling than coming home every night, after a big day at the office, to your best friend and your rock in life rolled into one.
A birthday is also a good time to relax the nutrition side of the equation and indulge yourself with some guilty pleasures. Curiously, mine is KFC and Moët & Chandon. I know that confession will horrify some. But I challenge you to quit being a ‘food snob’ and give it a go sometime. It’s a fun and irreverent combination. It’s certainly not an ‘every day food’, but as a ‘sometime food’ it’s … finger-licking good.
On the other 364 days of the year, I am a home cook and my other bliss, and favourite social activity, is having friends over for dinner. Cooking for friends is certainly one of life’s great pleasures for me and my partner. Nothing we enjoy more than sitting around a table with friends, enjoying good food, wine and conversation.
But even I need downtime every once in a while, and that’s where KFC or The Little Gourmet Pizza Shop comes in.
Everyone’s different and your bliss could be the weekend football game, an afternoon at an art gallery, an hour at the gym, a walk around your local park, or a night out on the town. The important thing is to find that blissful moment that recharges your batteries and gives you pleasure and a moment of contentment.
Many equate happiness with ‘having it all’. But fame, status and wealth do not equal happiness. Anyone who has ever seen five minutes of reality TV programming knows this deep down.
I know very content poor people and miserable wealthy ones.
I also know unhappy poor people and joyous wealthy ones.
Bliss and contentment are a state of mind not a bank statement. Once you realise this most fundamental of truths, happiness can be yours for the taking …