In the previous part of this book, we discussed the negative habit of laziness and now we are going to discuss the habit of working too much. Some readers may wonder how laziness as well as working a lot, are both negative habits as they seem to be opposite to each other and the opposite of a negative habit should be a positive habit. Therefore, let’s first get this concept sorted out before moving forward with the discussion about the negative habit of working too much.
Laziness and working too much may seem opposite habits but they are not and instead, they are the opposite extremes of the same negative habit which is basically the inability to strike a proper balance between the amount of work you do and the amount of rest you take. It means if you rest too much and work only a little, you have the negative habit of laziness whereas if you work too much and take little rest, you have the negative habit of working too much. It should be easy to understand now that in case of both these negative habits, one thing is common and that thing is the inability to strike a proper balance between the amount of work you do and the amount of rest you take. Whenever this balance shifts too much towards relaxation, you become lazy and whenever this balance shifts too much towards work, you become a workaholic. So laziness and working too much are the two sides of the same negative habit which is the inability to balance your work and rest.
I know some of you may think that working too much is fine and some may even think that it is a very good habit to have but it is not. Working too much may come with its benefits like achieving more success in your profession or in some other spheres of your life, but this habit comes with a variety of negative effects which start hurting you slowly at first but which keep gaining strength with time and by the time you realize that this habit is hurting you, a good amount of damage is already done in most cases.
In order to understand the concept of this negative habit properly, let’s first try to establish the proper definition of success because people who work too much, usually do so to achieve more and more success or simply to achieve a goal or target. A simple and prevalent definition of success says that if you achieve a goal that you wished to achieve, whether you have done so after much hard work or you have done so easily, you have achieved success. This definition seems correct in itself as achieving what you want to achieve should be nothing else but success.
Yes, this definition of success is correct but it is not complete and it is incomplete. The complete definition of success is achieving what you wish to achieve minus the cost that you pay for that particular success. The term ‘Cost’ in this definition means any type of effort, money, skill and other such things that you put in to achieve this success as well as the losses you take to achieve this success. This modified definition now means that the amount of success achieved by you will be calculated after subtracting your efforts and losses from net value of that success. It means that if various people achieve the same goal which rewards them all with the same quantum, the net success achieved by all these people is still different depending on the resources used by them and the losses taken by them to achieve this success.
For example, if you sell a product for 100 dollars, your net profit will be calculated after deducting the purchase cost of this produce plus the expenses you incurred to sell this product. If you purchased this product for 80 dollars and 10 dollars were spent towards the expenses, your net profit is 10 dollars as the total cost of this product is 90 dollars for you and you sell it for 100 dollars, which means a profit of 10 dollars. However if someone else sells the same product for 100 dollars when their purchase cost is 80 dollars and overhead expenses are 25 dollars, they will not get any profit in this case as the total of purchase price and overhead expenses for this product is 105 dollars in this case and they sell it for 100 dollars. This means that the second person is facing a loss of 5 dollars and not a profit of 10 dollars like the first person, though both of them have sold the same product for same amount.
Likewise, a third person can witness a profit of 5 dollars, a fourth one can witness a profit of 20 dollars and another one can witness a loss of 10 dollars by selling the same product for the same price, depending on the total of purchase cost plus overheads that they incurred towards this product. Though everyone is selling the same product for the same price and the resultant success seems to be the same from a distance, when we take a closer look, we find that everyone’s success is different and some of them are facing losses even. So the net amount of success is not what you have achieved but it is what you have achieved, minus what you have invested and what you have lost in order to achieve this success.
Let’s now look at this example from a different angle to understand more about how this concept works and in order to do so, let’s now look at it from the buyer’s point of view instead of looking at it from seller’s point of view. Suppose one person buys this produce for 100 dollars from a shop close to his house, another person buys it from an online store which charges 4 dollars for shipping apart from 100 dollars as the cost of this product and yet another person purchases the same product online with 100 dollars as the cost of this product and 7 dollars as shipping charges. It is easy to understand that though all the three persons have purchased the same product, the overall cost of this product is different for them.
Hence the net amount of success you achieve in any sphere of your life is calculated after deducting the resources spent and losses taken, from it. Therefore it is wise to keep in mind that a particular success holds good value for you only if the net amount of resources spent and losses taken to achieve this success are less or far less than the value delivered by this success. On the other hand, if you have spent more resources and taken more losses to achieve a particular success than the value delivered by that success, the net equation does not correspond to a success but it corresponds to a loss.
Quoting a real life example, a person has been working with a company for many years and this person has been working day and night to achieve a top position in this company and in order to do so, he has been ignoring all other spheres of his life for many years now, as his eyes are focused on his target. This person has recently become vice-president in this company whereas there is another person working for the same company who started working for the company about a year before the first person did, and this second person is still holding a rank lower than the vice-president. Looking from a distance, the first person obviously seems to have achieved more success than the second one and it seems that his habit of working too much has paid off as he has achieved more success, but this equation will change altogether when we dig deep into the actual amount of success achieved by these two people.
The first person has already had two divorces and the primary reason for both these marriages to fail was that he did not give sufficient amount of time and care to his wives and at times, he ignored them altogether even when they needed him very much. Whenever his wives asked his attention or presence for some important affair, he was busy with work and so he made excuses and ignored them. He kept working overtime and late till nights in order to achieve a top position in his company and after many years of working too much, he did achieve his target or so to say, he became successful.
But this success has cost him two broken marriages and he is alone at this time. Apart from this, he is facing some health issues which have appeared due to his habit of working too much and in doing so, not eating properly and not taking proper rest. Moving on, he has developed a habit of drinking a lot on daily basis which according to him is a good way of getting rid of his loneliness and bitter memories of his two marriages. This guy now misses his first wife a lot, he regrets his decision of not giving her proper attention and care, and he wishes he could do something to fix certain broken things, but past is always past and no one can change it.
The second person even though achieved less visible success than the first person, he is having a good marriage and he is blessed with a loving wife and two lovely kids. Though this person too devoted the required time to his job, he knew the value of family, health and other important aspects of his life and he didn’t want to sacrifice any of these aspects in order to achieve more success in his profession. So he did his job with honesty and that honesty got him many promotions, but he gave due time and attention to his wife, family, health and enjoyment also and as a result, he is a happy man with a good marriage, good health and a positive mindset.
So you see, even though the first person seems to have achieved more at the first glance, it turns out that the second person is indeed more successful as he has not paid any unwanted cost to achieve his success and he has also not taken any losses to achieve his success. On the other hand, the first person has invested much more to achieve somewhat more success and he has also taken big losses on the front of his marriage, family, health and mindset which has now become negative and he has started questioning the value of this success which was what he wanted the most at a time. Hence the second person has achieved good amount of net success whereas the first person seems to have taken losses which have a value far greater than the value of the success he has achieved. Therefore, the cost to be paid for a particular success must be calculated before working towards that success as the cost paid may be higher or much higher than the value delivered by that particular success.
After establishing the true definition of success and understanding it well, let’s now discuss the original topic which deals with having the negative habit of working too much. The people suffering from this problem usually work too much in order to achieve one kind of professional success or the other and in doing so, they don’t pay the required attention to the other important spheres of their lives as already mentioned above. This practice starts creating problems in other spheres of their lives and though they may get good results in their professions, they suffer on other important fronts of their lives. When that happens, the overall quality of their lives goes down, the impact of which starts reflecting on their professional sphere also, sooner or later, in many cases.
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To be Continued
Lord Shiva Bless You