Summit Thoughts

On living sustainably

On living sustainably

Since my recent health scare, I have been learning to become ruthless with my time – how I spend it, with whom I spend it with and how these align with my overarching life values. Life takes a different spin once one is confronted with the high likelihood that things can end in an instant. Someone I know professionally was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer and it has changed his views on what is important. Another close friend is facing a number of personal issues and his priorities have also evolved. The common thread I see and perhaps this is what the universe is telling me is the importance of living sustainably.

When my cardiologist gave me the all clear, he said to me that at the end of the day all that matters is balance. Our bodies cope if there is a sense of balance. Our natural environment thrives on a similar sense of balance. We see how important this sense of equilibrium is around us but often treat ourselves the exact opposite. My cousin who is a family doctor in the UK and Portugal said to me one thing that I continue to reflect on today, “people underestimate how our normal functioning hang by a thin thread.”

I have begun to redefine success in terms of having a balanced and sustainable way of living. I used to narrowly define success based on a few dimensions (i.e. career, things, money) but this broadening (i.e. personal, family, community, professional) has helped in maintaining that big picture view all the time. The different parts of our life compensate each other to give us a sense of balance. This is only possible if focus is given in these different areas. A sustainable lifestyle enables me to appropriately zoom in and out of different parts of my life and be there for the people and activities that matter most. There is a time and place to focus on each of the different dimensions.

Life is lived based on our terms and becomes more joyful as a result.

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