Years ago, a very wise person asked me why I worked so hard all the time.
My initial and somewhat flippant answer was ‘because others expect it of me’ and the work needs to be done. But the more truthful answer was that it was my own expectations of myself. I had gotten so good at pushing myself and accomplishing so much in such short amounts of time, that it began to take its toll on my health. It’s almost like I had an ‘addiction’ to productivity.
It’s kind of inevitable that ‘something gives’ eventually. Especially if we lack the attention to balance that our selves actually crave. After all, we are not just physical beings… we are whole, psycho-physical beings.
I’m not a proponent of any kind of ‘cookie cutter’ approach, where there’s a formula or a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to work/life balance. But I am a deep believer that each of us has the wisdom within to call the shots and make the decisions that are right for us.
Working hard is neither good nor bad. Sometimes, for some folks, it’s essential and rewarding. Sometimes, for some folks, it’s detrimental to one’s health.
So, next time you notice yourself working really hard, pause and ask yourself this question: “How is this pace, this amount of effort, contributing to my well-being?” Notice the key word… “How”.
And be open to the possibility of finding an answer, potentially a different answer than the one you may have imagined ahead of time.