Form and Substance: the 1 balance that will make you happy

January 17, 2018

Where is your focus in your life? Is it on Form or on Substance?

For instance, are you focusing on the size of your house or on the state of your home, the make of your watch or the quality of time spent? Do you measure your family vacation by the expensive hotels you stay in or by how close the family feels at the end of it?

Form and Substance

The former is Form and the latter, Substance.

It is not that one can focus only on one of them. However, I have observed that much of our life is spent on chasing Form. Substance probably occurs later to us. If we strike the right balance between Form and Substance through the course of our life, we could enjoy life to its fullest.

Focusing on Form takes us on a voyage of acquisition. For instance, we take pride in our address, the artifacts on display at home, the labels we wear, and the money we spend.

Focusing on Substance takes us on a journey of experience. It is deeper. For instance, we take pride in the depth of our relationships, how we adapt ourselves as a family to create a welcoming climate at home, the quality of time spent with our family and friends and the quality of conversations.

I believe that life’s enduring pleasures come from small and simple things. A child’s hug, an elder’s embrace, a reunion with a dear friend, sharing joys with a loved one, reading a favorite book, savoring a child’s accomplishment, enjoying the calm sea or the majestic mountains or a pet’s welcome are not about Form. They are all about Substance.

More investment in Form does not necessarily mean more Substance. Some of us make the mistake of equating Form with Substance. Later, we wonder what really happened to our joys in spite of everything (in Form) being available.

Let us enjoy both Form and Substance and strike the right balance. Let us enjoy life to its fullest.

As my Quote #5 goes, ‘Things that make us really happy in life are inexpensive. Probably why people do not realize their value until it is too late.’


As a Life Coach, at these times, may I help you? Click here to know more about my role as a Life Coach. Let me know at [email protected]

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  • Shanker Subramanian says:

    Loved this very apt article…. this is becoming more and more true with growing income increasing nuclear families misplaced affection etc

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