Relationships are messy.
Relationships tie you down. Having another person you need to care for makes your life all the more complicated.
It will be the end of your ambition. You won’t be able to live the dreams you want. Nonsense.
It’s no surprise that you would have heard such sayings. Everybody’s experience of the world is different.
The same way there can be people who hate working for Company A, there are those who love working for Company A because they are in different teams working for different managers.
The fact you are reading this tells me that you are looking for answers on how to make sense of things or make your relationships better. I’m also guessing you read other blogs and self-help books well. I’m a voracious reader of books, particularly non-fiction. Name a popular title in productivity, business and success and I probably have read it.
But after applying most of the tips I learnt, I came to realize that hacks in your professional life don’t have maximum impact if your personal life isn’t taken cared of. I find it odd that no self-help author (to my knowledge) emphasizes the importance of having the right spouse because it makes the BIGGEST difference in your life. If you are the average of your five closest friends, then the person you spend the most time with until your golden years “averages” you more than any other person.
Picking the perfect partner shapes most of your decisions in life. What type of life you want to lead, the thoughts you have in your mind, the paths you want to pursue, the places you want to go, the chocolates you end up eating and the type of attitude you would have towards life. #teamgoals
Harvard conducted a 75 year long study on the factors that contribute the most to lifelong (not momentary) happiness and the results? The strength and quality of your relationships.
Barely have you heard people on their deathbeds care so much about material wealth and fame, but yet we have been convinced that that is the path worth pursuing at the cost of the relationships we will hold dear the most when it is all said and done. In fact, we are convinced that sayings such as “marriage will be the death of all your ambitions.”
But I encourage you to take a look at the lives of people you deeply respect and admire as a whole. Not just their accolades and achievements but their personal lives as well. Most often than not, these people we respect and admire credit their spouses for being their anchor or the support they needed to go through life’s challenges.
Lee Kuan Yew, the late founding father of Singapore said at his wife’s funeral that “he would be a different man living a different life” if it wasn’t for his wife.
To think that having a spouse is “just one” of those life decisions is an understatement. Having the right spouse determines your financial health, physical health, spiritual health and your mental health. You come home to that person everyday. You talk to that person everyday. You share your hopes, fears and dreams with that person everyday. You make a choice to work hard to build a life with that person everyday.
Find someone who you would wish you met sooner, the same way Zuckerberg wished he married his wife sooner.
Find yourself a spouse who complements and supports you and makes you better.
This, my friends, is the ultimate life hack.
This post was inspired by one of my favorite authors, Ryan Holiday.