I came across this interesting story that came in a text message couple of days back...

One business tycoon passed away in his fifties. His widow, with $1.9 billion in the bank, remarried his chauffeur. After the marriage, her chauffeur said, "All the while I thought I was working for my boss. Now only I realize that my boss was all the time working for me!!!"

This left me wondering as to what I am running after and who I am working for. When we are dead... our money is still in the bank. When we are alive we always say we don't have enough money to spend. Ultimately, we end up chasing wealth during our lifetime but are never able to enjoy it ourselves or do not last long enough so as to enjoy the same.

The reality is: it is more important to live a healthier life than to have 'just' a wealthier life... either of these should not be compromised at the cost of the other. So we must strive to have a strong and healthy body along with an active mind, and then it doesn't matter who is working for whom. The purpose of earning wealth is that we can enjoy the wealth but it is not possible if we do not have good health at those years when are trying to enjoy the hard earned wealth.

Sometime back, at one of the official dinner, our company’s CEO was the guest speaker. He was in mid-fifties at that time and had an illustrious career. Later he went on to become a CEO of another company. When participants asked him to share something with us from his life experience that could be useful to us and for which we could do something at our end, he shared the nine recommendations which I find to be very useful for everybody irrespective of one’s profession, industry or job profile:

1. Develop some hobbies when you are young so that they keep you occupied even after retirement. Make a target and conscious effort of spending some time per month / year but regularly on your hobbies.

2. Make a habit of reading books so that you are mentally agile as long as you live. This is the one hobby which can see you through many phases, when you are not able to move around much. To begin with, make a target of reading at least one new book in a year. Be a book lover...

3. Reach out and talk to at least couple of friends every year whom you have not spoken to during last couple of years. Invite them over for lunch or dinner. This helps in keeping you young in heart as you can always go back to those days which you relished at some point of time but miss those moments now.

4. Try to pick up a “new” hobby every year. It could be anything say listening to music, developing taste for new genre of music, traveling to different places, reading books from different authors, watching movies of different directors / actors / countries, etc. etc. Do not worry if these hobbies get dropped after couple of months. These are the best stress busters and will also ensure that over a period of time, you develop number of hobbies to indulge in.

5. Try to go to at least one new city, place or historical monument every year.

6. Go for whole body health check every year. This is the most important thing. As the saying goes "a stitch in time...". If doctors give some advise post the health check, please ensure that you follow through on those.

7. Drink plenty of water to replace the fluid you lose each day and help the body dis-intoxicate by flushing out any harmful substances. There is no medicine in the world that can replace or even come closer to water.

8. Spend time with your kids and indulge in their games... it keeps you and your mind young. It also helps in looking various points of life from kids perspectives as well as connects us with our childhood which we generally we have left far behind. Most importantly, this helps in developing bond with your kids which will last lifetime.

9. Devote some time on yourself as well in fitness activities like Morning Walks, Yoga, Gym, Exercising, etc., so that you have a healthy body. You must do this howsoever busy you are in your lives. As the saying goes... ‘Sharpen the saw’. The biggest advantage of healthy life is that you can enjoy life to the fullest both in the young age as well as old age.

Last but not the least, a very important thing is that we just have to remember the above points and make a 'small' conscious effort towards them and that is it. Rest will start following.

I have started following the above points to some extent... not to the full extent but it has started giving me satisfaction that I am doing at least something for myself and investing in myself.

Give it a try...