Much has been said about the adverse effects of workaholism. The long hours at the office, travel away from home, giving up weekends all to prove your dedication to the company. Quality time was a euphemism to work more for the company and not spend time with family.
Now thousands are embarking on solo careers: as independent reps, freelancers, consultants, and franchises. The words we used to hear were “go for it,” “go all out,” “just do it,” “no pain no gain,” and the network marketing cry of “there is no BV in TV” (meaning no bonus volume watching television).
The words of today have become “too poor to retire, too young to die,” “find your passion,” “side hustle,” and “entrepreneurial spirit.”
Being lazy is not right but so is constant work. All individuals are composed of body, mind, and spirit. Whenever one area is overextended, it becomes like a lopsided football wavering poorly through the air or trying to dice vegetables with an incredibly dull knife. We disrupt our natural rhythms of flow when we attempt to burn the candle at both ends. No rest becomes a denial of one’s physical need for rest and recreation so as to replenish our resources.
Robert Louis Stevenson, the famous author of Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, said it well, “Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things.”
What are the results of chronic overwork? Burnout, exhaustion, loss of enthusiasm, and emptiness result. Look at any work or person or direction that demands all labor and no play as a means to success as counterfeit. Dedication to a task or career should not cost us every waking moment. One must take the time to smell the roses, savor a glass of wine or a refreshing brew, and cultivate your friendships over a favorite pastime. Work and dedication may be a mean to an end and a joyful life, but not all by itself.
You’re not going to find gold spending all your time in the sand quarry, and you won’t have relationships pulling thistle by yourself in the garden.