I Am Declaring War On Living To Work!

When I was in my twenties, I worked with this older guy in his fifties who was always the first in the office and the last to leave. I always felt inadequate compared to him. Admittedly I was young and my emphasis was on partying and having fun so being chained to an office desk was not high on my priorities. If only I had known then that I actually had my priorities straight!

Let me tell you what happened to this hardworking man. A week before his retirement, before we all got a chance to go to his retirement party for him to receive the gold pen for long service to the company, he had a massive heart attack and dropped dead.This rocked me to my core. I went through one of those ‘what is the point’ moments. In my mind, why would he drop dead now that he had all the time in the world to enjoy his life?

Looking back now with my grown up eyes, I can see how someone who lived to work could be looking at their retirement with sheer terror and lack of self-worth because suddenly, they couldn’t define themselves by their profession anymore. Now that is a sad way to live. Of course I didn’t know his medical history but if there was a problem, that would have been more of a reason for him to work to live, rather than being chained to the office desk.

The human experience is made up of different segments and work is only one of those. It is an important part nonetheless but it is contingent on other parts of your life working well like your mental and physical health. You can keep going as a human being even if you don’t have a job but you definitely cannot keep going without your health, because you will be dead, literally. So why do we prioritise work over our health?

One of our basic human needs is for love and connection. We all want to be loved. Our close personal relationships fulfil this basic human need and yet, it is the first thing we sacrifice for work. We will easily ignore our family, cancel that date night, not take or return that call, not check in with a close friend or miss that school play when your child is proudly playing the part of a leaf.

All this for what? For a promotion in a company with questionable ethics, to work for a boss you can’t stand, with colleagues that make you doubt your sanity on a daily basis, for you to feel you are selling your soul and slowly start to lose your self-respect. Surely this is a crazy way to live?

What if you decided that work is just one of the many things that you do and the role you play at work is again one of the many roles you play? If you must put your roles in a hierarchy, then surely the role you play as a parent should at least be on a par with the role you play as a CEO?

If you want to live a fulfilled life and thrive as a human being, then you need to get your priorities straight. According to research by London School of Economics the top 4 factors that impact your well-being are:

  1. Mental health
  2. Close personal relationships
  3. Physical health
  4. Income

Now that you know that all that striving through work for income comes in at number 4 after your health and relationships.

Can I trust you to start prioritising accordingly?

 

If you are a working mother and you think you’re prioritising work more than you should, grab a chat with me here.

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