I’ve often wondered what ‘having it all’ actually means so I did some research and here’s what I found out.

Firstly it seems to be a phrase which is mainly embraced by women and that may be because it was first coined by author Helen Gurley Brown with her book of the same name, published in 1982. At that time the ‘all’ in the title consisted of Love, Success, Sex and Money, the four principles on which the TV show Sex in the City was based. Now I was never a huge fan of that series but it was certainly very successful with an audience of millions watching each episode play out to its tragi-comic end between 1998 and 2004.

More recently John Asaraf has moved the concept forward with his own book – Having It All: Achieving Your Life’s Goals and Dreams. But for me the most up to date version of this creed implies

Perfect career – fulfilling and well paid

Perfect lifestyle – Money to spend shopping for top brands and amazing holidays

And perfect kids

Of course, the home should be always pristine and clutter-free, the kids always impeccably behaved, and the relationship with partner or spouse loving and happy – at least on the outside.
We probably all know people who outwardly seem to be living their life like this. Everything is perfect; they’ve got it all, every box ticked. So how come these people are often among the most harassed, stressed, exhausted and unhappy people we know?

How come ‘having it all’ often turns out to be so unrewarding, so pressurised? What turns ‘having it all’ into ‘hating it all’? To my mind the problem may be the lack of stillness, time for relaxation and reflection, space for peace and calm and the chance to reflect on what really matters. In other words, the chance to look inside.

Most of us, if asked, would probably say that we just want to be happy, yet we live our lives focussing on money, possessions, success and other external factors which are never going to give us anything other than fleeting happiness.

True happiness comes whenever you decide you want to be happy. When good enough is good enough. After that all the other stuff can just be seen for what it is – optional extras. There is no need to do anything; you just need to be. If you don’t believe me, just try it and see what happens.