MANILA, Philippines – We live in a time where we hear or share practically everything on social media – especially what we achieve.
“I finished my first triathlon!” or “Just got promoted after 1 year! #success” are probably some of the posts you see on your feed.
Competition just got tougher.
You feel the pressure to achieve so much before you turn 25 or because everyone else around seems to be lightyears ahead. Maybe five years ago you thought you would be at the top of your game, but here you are reading this article and maybe browsing through your social media accounts on the side thinking, “What am I doing with my life?!”
It doesn’t help that you see articles like, “How to become successful in your 20s” or “10 tips for wealth.” But is measuring your success based on achievement all there is?
If you think about it, there is more to life than collecting awards under your name. Living a comfortable life is not the same as being fulfilled with what you do. Of course, achieving your dreams is a milestone, not to mention worth sharing with others, but life is not just about being successful. Some people sacrifice aspects of their lives for success. Others achieve much but balance eludes them.
That is why we say, life is also about being complete.
Define living a complete life
BE COMPLETE. These 5 individuals talk about what it means to live a full life
You can be happy, but you may still feel like you’re missing a part of yourself, as if you want to make sense of your purpose. Take note that finding balance and giving importance to all aspects of life are key.
Start by being physically fit. Get enough vitamins and minerals to help you achieve more and do things that you’ve always wanted to do. Your health and nutrition are very important when it comes to performance. But eating the right kind of food is not enough. When you live a fast-paced life, a multivitamin is needed to make sure your body is getting enough nutrition. In fact, 70% of Filipino households do not get the right daily nutrition.
Feeling fulfilled, being content and staying positive are also important factors to living a complete life. We can make our own dreams come true but we also need to maintain a balanced life. We should still maintain good relationships with others and we shouldn’t forget our loved ones.
But don’t be too hard on yourself either.
We may not be the richest, the strongest or the most powerful; but staying content and healthy while consistently challenging ourselves, are more important. Remember that if things don’t turn out our way, it only means we are being led to something better.
Here are some individuals who are living a complete life. And none of them say it’s just about being successful.
Jean Enriquez, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific
SUPERWOMAN. Helping other women have a better life is Jean's advocacy. But she also gives importance to her family and friends.
She wakes up at 6am to a text from a young woman needing her help. She sends her staff to assist at the police station, but she needs to be there to comfort her. This is a day in Jean’s life.
“We have a healing conversation before we send her to the child counselor. Then, I have to talk to the mother. We also have to give her support and help address their practical needs. While waiting for the time for inquest at 7pm, I’m busy finishing reports and some proposals."
"On other days, I am in the disaster areas, conducting trainings with local government officials or community women. And some days, lobbying with our own legislators or in New York and other countries speaking on our programs, or doing pressure politics, too. So, no typical day [for me].”
But Jean also makes time for herself. Other than work, she makes times for physical fitness, reading books, baking, learning the ukulele, and taking care of her relationships. She spends time with her partner, they have dinner and bond with their grown up child.
She says that being complete is very important as it addresses the core of your being. "To be complete is to be able to actualize oneself, to be able to do things beyond what you think you are capable of doing, to be able to extend your gifts to serve others, and to develop your character to the utmost. That would also mean being able to balance your life -- intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, physically."
Erica Abellana, mother
MOTHERHOOD. It's never easy but Erica proves that it's possible to balance everything.
"A typical day for me starts at 6am. I wake my eldest daughter Ava up and we have breakfast together. After which, we prepare for our day and I drive her to school. I come back home to do a few house errands or chores and spend time with my youngest daughter, Lucy and my husband Red.”
Erica shares that she leaves for work after lunch and comes home around 6 pm. She then helps Ava with her homework or helps her review for tests she may have the next day. "After that, we all have dinner together and spend more time as a family before going to bed."
As a mother of two, Erica says being complete will always involve her family and loved ones. "Being complete, for me, means that I am at peace and very much content with all aspects of my life. From my relationship with my daughters, as well as my husband, to my career and everything else in between. It also means having a loving and supportive family, as well as a home that keeps me and my loved ones safe."
"It's important to feel or be complete because then it would mean that you have reached your goal of finally being happy. It's not about the material things that you have in life but it's about having a family, a good career, building a home, cherishing your relationships with your friends and family that basically makes one feel and actually be complete."
Mikael Daez, actor and TV personality
MULTITASKING. It's hard to work 7 days a week, but stay positive, work it out and manage your time.
“Wow, I don’t really have a typical day, but I can give you a picture of a typical week for me," he says. "Monday starts off with laughs and gags because I tape for "Bubble Gang” (a local TV gag show). We usually start at 7am, end at an average of 12mn to 1am. Latest would be 3am.” On Tuesday, he tapes for a sitcom “Small Family” from 9am and ends 8pm or 9pm. Wednesdays and Fridays are reserved for his taping for a teleserye. “That’s drama so that’s heavy, emotional stuff. That’s long hours, really long hours.”
In between his schedule, he finds time to do Midnight Express, a travel show. He also manages to do endorsements and promote his other obligations. “Other than that, during my free time, I try to do things that make me happy, like travel.”
Mikael says that for the next 3 to 4 months, his life will pretty much revolve around this schedule. But despite the long hours, he knows the value of living a complete life. “You only have one life to live so, carpe diem, seize the day! Make the most out of life.”
For him, being complete means being fulfilled in all aspects of your life. “That’s physically, mentally, socially, emotionally and spiritually. If you don’t feel fulfilled in one of them, it feels like you’re missing out on something, on a part of your life that you could totally make the most out of. Being fulfilled isn’t always about being successful, always winning or getting what you want. Being fulfilled is just being happy with what you have, what you’re currently doing regardless of the outcome.”
Anna Alejo, elementary school teacher
TEACHER. Loving what you do is key. Photo by Lui Arcilla
A typical day for Anna involves lots of kids with high energy. "I wake up at 4:45am to teach my Grade 3 students from 6 am to 12:20 pm. After class, I work on lesson plans and instructional materials before having lunch and heading home.”
As a public school teacher, her schedule can get pretty full with all the papers and lesson plans. So she makes sure she takes care of herself and her relationships in order to perform better. “My definition of being complete is remaining connected to my loved ones, feeling fulfilled and successful at my job, and keeping my mind and body healthy. It is essential to be complete so that I not only perform at my best, but also feel happy and at peace knowing all aspects of my life are well-balanced.”
Gab Medina, theatre actor
PERFORMANCE. Late nights can take its toll on you at some point but sets goal to stay motivated.
“To feel complete I think is similar to the feeling of happiness people look for. Striking that healthy balance in life or feeling complete is one of the most significant milestones one can achieve in life.”
Gab is a freelance artist and has the luxury of managing his own time, but he makes sure he spends it wisely. “I try to treat every experience as a learning opportunity for me to better myself. Whether it's growing relationships with family and friends, traveling, or honing my skills from acting to cooking, being incessantly active is something that is important to me. Nowadays, if I'm not working, I stay at home. I cook and eat a lot and spend time with my dog. If I find time, then I enroll in new classes or look for opportunities to travel.”
Gab believes that finding a healthy balance in your life is important. “I also believe finding that balance doesn't necessarily mean everything in your life is going well, but that you are self-aware, motivated, and grounded enough to choose to live it.”
So what makes you complete? How do you live a complete life? Share it with us in the comments section below. – Rappler.com
Facts and Figures, Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), December 2010
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