I was watching a Bollywood movie, Shaarabi recently where the multi-millionaire father is so busy building and managing his business that he has no time for his only son. As the story goes, the son (though kind hearted), turns into an alcoholic who hates his own dad.
While the movie is very entertaining it reminded me of the dangers of ignoring our family, our own loved ones, while we search for future happiness.
Have you seen people ignore their own family, their own children, in pursuit of success in their careers or their business? As I watched the movie I thought of my friends who are working so hard building their careers, their financial future that they don’t have time for their own children. I believe it’s unfair to have children and then not have time for them, to play with them in the name of profession.
My business coach, while speaking about managing priorities in life, a long time ago told me about vertical alignment in life as an entrepreneur. The alignment went from top to bottom in terms of priority where spiritual growth and family takes priority over everything else.
Unfortunately, we all know people who have this alignment mixed up and therefore, they know not what is important and what is not. To me, it can be a very frustrating life if I do not know my priorities. I believe, this is exactly what Thoreau meant when he said [tweet this],
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Success Is Joyful When Achieved The Right Way
In pursuit of success in careers or in business, the more we make progress, the more tempted we sometimes are to put family on the back-burner. Sometimes, we become consumed with climbing the ladder of success so much that we ignore our responsibilities towards our loved ones. If that continues, someday we may find ourselves at the top—all alone.
That kind of success is empty. That kind of success doesn’t bring joy to anybody – not even to yourself. Success is sweet when we know that we have taken care of our responsibilities and when our loved ones are standing by our side in pride. Real success comes when our life’s vertical alignment is right every day as we go through it.
Little activities such as spending some time together, watching your child taking her first steps or going for a walk with family, do not need a huge time commitment. However, we must intentionally plan for these little acts, because these go a long way in building a happy and healthy family atmosphere.
We Become Who We Associate With – So Do Our Children
I know that my kids will grow up and leave home one day. As their father, it’s my responsibility to prepare them for that day.
I know that I won’t always be around to help them as I can today. Therefore, I take time to mentor them now, help them grow up with the values that my parents gave me. I do not want my children to learn values from a babysitter and to be able to do that, I find time to spend with my children.
Here are 3 simple things I do personally to ensure that I take good care of the vertical alignment I shared above. These three steps help me every day and I hope you will find them useful as well:
Be Grateful – Pray Together
Being grateful for all the blessings we receive each day in our lives is the best nutrition for the soul. However, being not just grateful, but cultivating a family culture by praying together, offering our gratitude to the Creator every day, brings the family together. It helps not just me get closer to the right vertical alignment, but it helps bring peace and harmony within my family.
Have Family Time – Every Day
Doing things together as a family builds family strengths. Yet, it often gets overlooked amid our busy schedules. But the question is, how can you have a strong relationship with someone you do not spend much time with on a regular basis?
Small activities such as having meal together, enjoying a TV show together, have a tremendous positive influence on a healthy family atmosphere.
Have Fun – Play Together
Our children need to see, hear, and sense that they are more important to us than our jobs our or business. That does not mean you quit your job or stop building your business, but your children do need to see that they get the attention from their parents that they deserve.
The best way to be able to build that bond is to reserve some time every day to play together with your kids. Play with a puzzle, read some stories for them or take them out for a few minutes of outdoor sports. Do something, play something… they will feel great!
Your Turn To Share
How do you make sure that your family members (if you are not married, think of your parents, siblings who you care about), get to spend time with you? How do you make sure that your loved ones know that they are important to you? I look forward to your response in comments now.