Happiness & Health Before Money

Published April 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm


As society has managed to turn the idea of success into an unachievable monetary value, it feels as though we have less and less time in every coming day.  People have allowed themselves to become so influenced by status and wealth that they have forgotten to take care of themselves.  Instead of taking the time to exercise and stay healthy, for some reason, people have chosen to work long hours and let work consume their lives.  All of this for what? A few more bucks?

How our Americanized society has come to this, I honestly do not know.  Since this is the lifestyle that we are raised in, then this is the lifestyle that we accept. 

For the longest time, I was so sure that our society was the best place on Earth to live; that our way was the right way.  Then, I was given the opportunity to spend two summers living in the beautiful Alps of Schonried, Switzerland.  After embracing this new lifestyle for two months, my unblemished view of North American society suddenly had some serious defects. 

On a daily basis, I would see 75-year-old women casually taking a walk up inclines that would have the average 25-year-old in Canada taking a hit off their puffer. Businesses were closed from 12pm – 2pm every day so people could exercise, eat lunch and even take a nap if they pleased. 

The stress level was very low, yet the fitness level was sky high.  Did I mention that everyone I came across greeted you with a smile and a handshake? I am confident that this is in direct correlation to the healthy lifestyle that they lead. 

This visit to Switzerland confirmed to me the fact that, in general, North American society has become far too urbanized. 

Living a healthy lifestyle does not necessarily mean being able to run a marathon at will.  My vision of a healthy lifestyle is being able to find the perfect mixture between business and pleasure.

If you hate sitting in an office every day crunching numbers, then don’t choose that as a profession. If you love teaching, then you should be teaching.  Similarly, if you hate running, don’t choose running as a way to get in shape.  If you have always loved volleyball and wanted to try it, then join a volleyball league!

I am still young, but I am learning quickly that you always have a choice.  I am in some debt right now, but this is a choice that I consciously made.  I have gone to school for five years, but am now going to work in a field that I love. I am currently interning at a volleyball facility doing everything I love to do.

Going to work is enjoyable, not a daunting task.  Through my coworkers here, I have learned that taking an hour or two out of your workday to work out or play a sport is not only good for your physical health, but is also good for team and workplace cohesion.

When you wake up looking forward to the day ahead, you know you have taken a step in the right direction.  Sure, it will take a few years to get back on my feet financially, but I have chosen a profession that I will enjoy for the rest of my life, and I have had an amazing experience getting here. 

By putting my happiness and health before money, I feel like I have been able to experience so many things that others haven’t because they have been sitting on their wallet. 

The argument I am attempting to make through this random assortment of experiences and opinions is that life is too short to become an unhealthy, unhappy workaholic.  Yeah, there are going to be days when you have to work late, or the odd weekend where you have to come in to work.  Just don’t let it consume you, or define you. 

Find the time to exercise and do the things that you love to do.  As a wise man once said “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.”Writen by Shawn Lowry, Marketing Intern at Victory Volleyball

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