Dr. Kaushik Sridhar

You Only Live Once

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“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough” (Mae West).

Younger generations embrace a way of life often called “YOLO,” for “You only live once.” Yet we need to find a way, as an individual, to build a personal life based on mindfulness and vision in order to live productively and with satisfaction.

Reaching a Crossroad

People can get into a muddle when they confuse or conflate their lifestyle with their possessions or career advancements. They foolishly believe they can construct a ladder of financial achievements by creating a “checklist” of conventional milestones, including owning a home and saving money for their children’s education and for retirement. They forget to include whether their income derives from doing work they love – or don’t truly enjoy.

Understanding our life goals makes all the difference. For instance, you could decide you want to do work that supports the ideals you value. You might decide to pursue your ideals even if you make less money. You may come to realize that owning a car or a house doesn’t satisfy you, and that working to pay off those purchases could get in the way of living the life you’d prefer to have. However, many people can’t even talk about the kind of life they want because they are overwhelmed by immediate financial hassles.

Taking Control

Happiness doesn’t come from possessions. Increase your satisfaction by living the life you want. Seek insight from people who already lead the kind of life you want for yourself. Talk to people who understand your goals. Save when you can. Ask if you really need each service you pay for. If not, cancel it. Save the money and put aside a reserve, so you can take time off to do exactly what you want. Think through your direction and the purpose of your life. Chasing momentary status at work or through possessions can end up being meaningless. Realize that “happiness is a result of realized dreams.”

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