Building Anchors in Life

You thought you have everything in life. That things are going to way you want- and well, there’s nothing to complain about. Then suddenly, out of no where, a major change happens and we find our lives knocked out of balance.

When we focus too much towards a particular aspect of our lives such as:

  • our career
  • a relationship
  • indulgent lifestyles with fair weathered friends
  • certain obsessions
  • our physical appearance
  • or television, chatting, PC, games, etc

The problem with focusing too much on a single thing is that if we lose it or something changes, we’ll be devastated and hit rock bottom.

That’s when, we need to develop more meaningful hobbies as means to anchor ourselves and makes us a more balanced person.

For instance, a home maker/retiree could take up some meaningful hobbies such as learning to cook, photography, camping, long distance cycling, organising cooking classes, doing voluntarily work, taking up yoga, line dancing, tai chi, gardening or learning any new skills that he/she genuinely loved. This will help make them more balanced in various aspects of their personality. Past times such as playing mahjong or watching Astro (cable TV) the whole day is really unhealthy. When we stop using our minds or if we expose ourselves to negative habits, our minds regress and we maybe well on our way to becoming a certified couch potato.

A new habit can be acquired when we want to achieve certain goals or objectives. For instance, I used to remember being overcomed by fatigue, travelling sickness and muscle pain during my travels due to bad eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, on 2 of my overseas trips earlier this year, I started exercising more rigorously (going to the gym up to 5 to 7 times a week- yes, you can achieve that if you go twice on the same day) and start to eat more sensibly about 3 weeks before my trip.

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As the result, my travel experiences were so much better- I could endure more walking and climbing, and the travelling sickness and stomach discomfort reduced. And what started out as a means to achieve a certain objective becomes a lifelong habit. Now health, nutrition and exercise greatly interests me and I dedicate a separate blog to just document my finding and my journey.

Similarly with living our lives around our jobs. Many career minded people feel the weekends and holidays seemed to last forever and cannot wait to get back to work. And then we dedicate our entire life purpose solely on our career. I do believe that it is very unhealthy as over time working conditions may change and it may or may not be suited to us.

We may be pressured to change or move out- especially if our higher salary (due to many years of working) can easily pay the starting salary of 3 fresh graduates. The overwhelming pressure may cause us to develop high blood pressure or susceptible to heart attacks. It’s scary to deal with the fact that we have put our entire lives into something, just to wake up one day and realise that we are no longer wanted. It’s terrifying and sometimes, they loses the motivation to life and fall into depression. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.

On the other hand, if we choose to take up a hobby that we find meaningful and enriches our lives, we go back to work every week feeling refreshed instead of drained. People find that we are more interesting to be around- and we are less uptight when it comes to work.

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My friend told me that she’s quite annoyed with her boss because her boss talks about work all the time, including their lunch outing- when it’s supposed to be a relaxing time for all. Nowadays organisations are very well structured and processes are well covered (due to audit adherence). So none of us is indispensable.

Our company will not close down just because we resign or go on leave- that’s what my previous boss used to tell me when I was too worried to take long leave.

Once we built enrich our minds by developing hobbies that nourishes our mind and body, we will not be thrown off balance when an aspect of our lives changes. We can hang on to those little anchors that can bring us back to shore.

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Further Reading: Anchor Yourself by T.L Scribe

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