The key problem with the current generation is that most people don't understand how much is enough to lead a good life! exclaims Virender Kapoor.
If you are reading this, you could be a freshly minted graduate who has worked his/her way to land that dream job in a top MNC. Or you could be a talented professional who is on the cusp of promotion leading to the corner office you have long been eyeing for.
Whether you are young, or old, successful or not, the rules of the game are same for all -- to live life in a realistic, content manner.
Regardless of your high EMIs, rigorous deadlines or ambitious career goals that you may be seeking, balancing your life is a personal choice and you have to prioritise your choices every step of the way; because no one else is going to do it for you.
The key problem with the current generation is that most people don't understand how much is enough to lead a good life!
Today the middle class has swollen in size, to the extent that there are so many sub-categories.
For example, there is the creamy upper middle class followed by the upper middle class, the middle middle-class followed by the lower middle class.
But what's interesting to note is that if you were to club the entire middle class into one large category, you'd come to agree that the current lot is at the best time of their lives.
Let me explain. Today, in India, a middle class man or woman below 35 years of age has access to almost all the good things in life.
Each one of us has a smart phone and at least one vehicle to travel.
S/he works in an air conditioned office, has great connectivity by air or by rail, good medical facilities, digital access to almost every government or private facility and of course, doorstep delivery of everything -- from groceries to medicines.
The choices and options are plenty.
Foreign travel is within reach and travel within the country is convenient with great highways being built at a breakneck speed. The list of luxuries and convenience is endless.
The flip side of this privilege is that 'Yeh dil mange more'. Everyone is running after a mirage.
I am not suggesting that you become a monk and sit cross legged in a cave eating only millets. But you need not lose your sleep on silly insecurities like 'bhala uski kameez meri kameez se zyada safed kaise?'
As long as you have a shirt to wear, a good one at that, you don't have to lose your sh*t bro.
As someone rightly remarked 'Har ghar main ek kamra kam hai'
If you have a two bed room flat, you aspire for a 3BHK. When you have three, you'd say why not four? Then, maybe a penthouse!
If you manage to buy a pent house, you'd still dream of having a terrace garden with an infinity pool. And if you already have one, maybe in Borivali or a suburb in your city, you'd want one in the city.
A text from the Talmud (a Jewish text) reminds us 'Who is rich? He that rejoices in his portion!'
What's the point of having a 5 million dollar golden toilette (yes there is one) if you have severe constipation?
A billionaire with a stuffy nose cannot enjoy his hundred most expensive colognes and perfumes!
These may seem like extreme examples to illustrate a point. But the bottom line is you have to draw a line.
The million dollar question you need to ask yourself is: How much is enough for me? May be a billion?
If you have, say five million dollars (approximates Rs 40 crore/Rs 400 million), do you think a guy with ten million will be able to do something (sensible) which you cannot?
After a threshhold you are only counting your net worth; which is not worth it. How much is enough? That is your call.
The simple advice here is don't burn yourself to make a few extra dollars.
'Contentment; a reasonable degree of contentment is the key.
You may argue 'I am young, I have dreams. I have goals. Why do I need to be content?'
If you read the health section of any newspaper or national daily that you subscribe to, you'd realise that cases of burnouts are on the rise.
Men and women are getting heart attacks at the age of 35, maybe younger. Don't blame the boss, the company or the work pressure. The pressure valve is with you, right in your hands.
Do the work that you like; there are hundreds of professional avenues available, which were not there 40 years ago. There are good and bad bosses and colleagues; you can never get a perfect work place or an ideal manager.
You got to give some and take some. As long as you are respected, have the dignity and freedom to perform your duties, money should not be your ultimate aim.
Never compromise on dignity and self-respect. But also remember that it is a two-way street. While you expect bosses and colleagues to respect you, you must reciprocate in equal measure if not more.
These days, you'll notice a lot of people shifting gears downwards and not upwards. Young people are changing their work place or their entire work profile to slow down a bit and enjoy priorities in life.
If you ask the rich and successful to share their secret, they'll instantly tell you that there is no formula for ultimate happiness or to live a comfortable life.
As you grow up a bit more, you will realise that you cannot change the world, so it's better that you change yourself.
As Oscar Wilde said, 'True contentment is not having everything, but in being satisfied with everything you have.'
Virender Kapoor is a thinker, an educationist, an inspirational guru who has written more than 40 self-help books designed for school students, senior managers and CEOs.
His latest book This Much is Enough For Me details his thoughts and ideas on how to live a happy and contented life.
Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com