What comes first in life – wealth, health or happiness. This is an eternal question one may ask oneself. In my books, Wealth = Health + Happiness.
All of us start our career or business and aspire to be wealthy. We work hard and try everything under our command to make money. I think this is natural and universal. However, as we progress in life, we find some people are happy while others are not.
While there could be many reasons for happiness or unhappiness in life, one of the most important factors could be good health for yourself and your family.
While wealth can buy material benefits in life, it cannot buy health or happiness. This is the premise of my axiom that wealth is ultimately the summation of how healthy and happy you are in life.
Let us first try to understand how do we maintain good health. All of us dream to have good health but are reluctant to put in the efforts needed for the same. It could simple things like a daily exercise routine or the food we consume every day. Many of us find it difficult to work out a daily routine of exercising. I was no exception till about 20 years back when I was diagnosed with diabetes. Although, it was hereditary, the doctors clearly told me that the only way I could maintain good health is by exercising and diet control.
I started reluctantly walking every day. But, I would give it a miss on the slightest pretext. Then, one day my spouse reminded me that I walk for my health and not to make other people happy. This insight was a turning point in my life and since then I almost have walked every day at least 3 to 4 kilometres.
In my learning, it is a question of self discipline. We need to decide on an activity, which we enjoy doing and do it diligently without supervision or any expectations in return. It is the only way to make it a habit.
A similar rule is applicable to your diet. I am lucky to be a vegetarian by choice. Further, I do not smoke or drink. But even then, I have to ensure that I have my food on time and also regulate the calories I intake. If I go overboard, I have nobody to blame for my health.
Now, let us move to happiness. I have written in an earlier blog that in my view “Happiness = attitude in life “. I stand by that belief even today. You have to decide to be happy and you will be happy in life always. Neither money nor material wealth can give you happiness as a guarantee. You may have wealth and still not be happy. So, it is a state of the mind, which determines your happiness.
If we add up the two – Health + Happiness = Wealth. I believe if you are healthy and happy, there can be no force on earth, which can make you sad. This substantiates my belief that wealth may not necessarily lead to happiness but the contra is true.
Let us resolve to be healthy and happy in life from today. After all , the choice is with us always.
S Ramesh Shankar