A leading magnate in the Japanese business world recently was explaining why he did not want to take a summer vacation. He asked: “After all, work is everything for a man, isn’t it?”
Work is important to us for many reasons – wholesome work is one thing that helps to make our life meaningful. Besides providing us with income, it contributes to our mental and emotional well-being. But, work causes more pain and death “than wars or drug and alcohol abuse combined” (according to a recent United Nations report). According to The Guardian “more than two million people die from work-related accidents or disease every year.“ Why?
Do not let your profession become your obsession
Millions of us are overworked and overscheduled. There is distinction between hard workers and workaholics. Hard workers know when to turn off the computer and to switch gears mentally.
But workaholics find an emotional payoff in overwork; they see the workplace as a haven, get an adrenaline high from it and allow work to crowd out all other aspects of life. They work for the sake of work. To them, work is everything.
Workaholic’s voluntary slaves to their work. Globalization, new technology and 24/7 economy have created unprecedented wealth. But this comes at a price. Chronic overwork has been linked to alcoholism, heart disease, accidents, anxiety, fatigue, depression, and other stress-related disorders. Their family may actually be victims of such devotion to work.
So, the good question is: Is my job worth my life or my family’s well-being?
Time for Work, Time for Self
So called home-phobia syndrome is a unique type of depression among middle-aged workers. After work they eventually stop going home entirely. Why? According to Dr. Toru Sekiya, “many of them lost the ability to adjust to the outside world, even in many cases to their own family.”
John de Graaf says: “People have taken all their productivity gains in the form of more money and none of them in the form of more time”. We should work to live, not live to work. We need to allow time for relaxation and up building recreation. Balancing work with rest and leisure will help us to protect our mental and emotional health.
Frantic pace may set records, but it can rarely be maintained for long –
Do you sometimes feel that you are running in a circle, always busy but never getting anywhere? Continuous overexertion not only leads to exhaustion but can also bring on discouragement.
It is time to examine the purpose of our hard work. Let us set a pace we can maintain indefinitely. Remember – various tasks could be cared for by others. It is wise to take advantage of the capabilities of those willing to help us. This may be encouraging to those wishing to draw closer to us.
Cultivate a balanced work ethic
Yes, regarding work, we must avoid extremes. Remember that becoming a slave to work will rob us of happiness. To cultivate a balanced view of work in today’s workplace can be a challenge. Therefore, balance is vital. A balanced person plans ahead, avoids procrastination, and is moderate in habits. By displaying such qualities we can get necessary things done without severe physical or emotional stress. We will experience greater contentment and joy and our life-style will reflect greater stability.
Dr. LaBier concluded: “What is needed is a more developed life, one that is not so centered around a career. People who want more balanced lives need to think about doing more with their families and developing no career competencies that give them pleasure.”
So, having much to do does not mean that we cannot be happy. The busiest people can be among the happiest if they are reasonable and use good judgment so as to keep well-balanced.