If you go for quality of life first, you will ultimately enjoy a higher standard of living, but if you go for and concentrate on standard of living first, there is no guarantee that your quality of life will improve. Basically, once patterns are set and in place for a number of years, it's difficult to radically change them in the latter stages of life. For that reason, the young couples who work so desperately hard and long for bigger cars or second homes, or burn the midnight oil to climb the corporate ladder, frequently end up with the short end of the stick.
Many couples who spend too much time on the fast track do not spend enough time together and on their relationship, nor do they spend enough time in the child-raising process. As a result, they frequently "pay" for it with more illness, delinquency, drug abuse, violence and promiscuity on the part of the youngsters, and a dramatically higher possibility of divorce which is financially - not to mention emotionally - devastating. Financial devastation is especially true for the women, whose standard of living traditionally takes a dramatic drop when divorce takes place, particularly if there are children involved.
Please understand that I am talking about "workaholics," or the overly-driven people who are not satisfied just keeping up with the Joneses - they want to get ahead of them. I am not talking about the struggling parent in a low-income job who must work extra hours just to provide the necessities of life. I especially encourage these parents to carefully monitor their time in front of the television set, because countless hours can be invested there which could be much better invested in the kids, each other or more education for a better job.
Message: Take time for each other, plan your family time and "growth" time as carefully as you plan your work time, and that balanced success will ultimately be available to you. Think about it, and I'll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!