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Progress means different things to different people. I always believed that people who made progress in their careers pay less time and attention to anything else but their jobs. But I am beginning to think I am wrong. Does progress really only mean more work and less personal development? Is it possible for one to be successful in life as much as they are successful in their jobs?

It is said about John D. Rockefeller, one time richest man in the world that he had a nod and a kind word for everybody. He never forgot anyone and was always friendly, kind and unruffled. One of his famous quotes I love is:

“I know of nothing more despicable and pathetic than a man who devotes all the hours of the waking day to the making of money for money’s sake.”

John D. Rockefeller

Indeed there is more to success than money, wealth and fame. But there are yet people who have all these aforementioned and are still unsatisfied. This goes to show us that true success isn’t only centred on wealth, a truly successful man, therefore, is someone whose success enriches his body, mind, soul and most importantly, the people around him

But oftentimes, we are swamped with so much to do that the idea of self-growth and establishing meaningful relationships, will be the last thing on our full plates. And then we go on to validate our ‘busy schedules’ by accruing it to the fact that, it’s where the money to pay the bills or get the work done in the first place.

I’ve heard a man once said, his duty is to provide for his family and as long as he’s been able to feed, clothe and put a roof over their heads, he is accomplished as a man. So you can imagine, how far gone, people are from the knowledge of human connection.

A popular quote from a movie and book titled THUG goes thus,

“The Hate You Give comes back to hurt you”

In other words, society harms itself and everyone if it doesn’t love its youngest members. And we are first responsible for ourselves even before our societies. You can’t pour from an empty cup. so that only a hypocrite will want to first make progress career-wise or globally at the expense of personal growth.

That said, below are 5 ways to have a well-balanced career:

1. Prioritize friendship

Studies have shown that establishing good relationships proves to have a profound effect on our overall health. With health benefits ranging from mental e.g. depression, anxiety to physical e.g. blood pressure etc. so that having a thriving family and friends translates to better wellbeing and better work-life. It’s like a cycle.

2. Do not compare yourself with anyone

Everyone is on a journey of their own. Therefore, comparing yourself to others distracts you from your goals and makes you focus on the wrong things. Enjoy your season and be genuinely happy for other people’s success.

3. Keep an open mind

Be open to learning and ’unlearning’. Take risks. Don’t be close-minded or judgemental. Find new hobbies and be flexible. If you want to grow, it is paramount that you remain flexible and open-minded.

4. Take care of your health

Its high time we were more deliberate about our health. Lifestyle habits such as exercise, healthy eating, resting, hobbies etc. shouldn’t be regarded as some fancy activity reserved for those with no jobs. When we enjoy good health, we feel happier, more energetic, are better able to handle conflict, stress and other pressures of life.

5. Set higher standards for yourself

Sometimes, you only need to push yourself a little bit more. A person with high standards doesn’t like to settle for the status quo. They are driven to improve their quality of life as much as they can. They read wide, are confident and go-getters. These desires to be a better version of themselves helps them better align their values and purposes, thereafter improving general productivity.

And that about wraps it up, the key to sustainable progress lies in balance. Let’s all learn to prioritize. Let’s learn to truly live. That way, we are all moving forward together and everyone benefits too in the long run.