I started by explaining that in today's mechanical world, it is becoming more and more difficult to have a robust balance between work and personal life. Having priorities in life is important but more important is to manage them. I learned this even before I started my career. I have always been a firm believer in learning from other people's experiences in life. We need not step on a banana skin to understand the pain of slipping and falling.
This incident happened with me while I was doing my masters in Hyderabad, India. During that time, my parents were getting their house constructed and I used to visit the site to oversee the progress every now and then. During one such visit, I happened to meet this gentleman, who was working as an accountant for the construction company responsible for building the house. While there, we struck a conversation and started talking about different topics. That is when I came to know that earlier he was working for a reputed multinational company, with a fat package and in a good position. I expressed my surprise and curiosity to know how he ended up here and taking up a role, less glamorous and evidently paying less. That's when he shared his story, which struck with me since then. He was working in Mumbai, west of India for this large multinational company
He used to work for long hours, seven days a week. His day used to start at 4 AM, catching local train at 5 in the morning, spending time till 10 in the night at work and coming home at 11 PM. This was his routine for day in and day out, seven days a week.He had a wife, who was a home maker and a 3 year old son. His hectic work schedules were hardly giving him any time to spend with his wife or son. When he used to start for work in the morning, his son used to be still in bed and when he returned in the evening at 11 PM, son would have gone to bed. This was continuing for some time. One Sunday, he decided to stay home to spend time with his wife and son. He was excited and got up early, waiting in anticipation for his son to get up. He sat in living room, reading Sunday newspaper while waiting. After sometime he saw his son get up and come to where he was sitting. His son looked at him, gave a puzzled look and went into the kitchen where his wife was preparing breakfast. The man got up and followed his son into the kitchen. What happened after that completely changed his outlook towards life. He entered the kitchen and overheard his son asking his wife, 'Mum, who is this uncle?'. Next day he quit his high profile job and moved to Hyderabad, taking less demanding one with more 9 AM - 5 PM schedule.