Regret #2: I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. We are all wired to have a hunger and desire for growth. Growth comes in many forms: success, achievements, accomplishments, contributions. Our need to be challenged is ingrained and important. We weren’t placed here to be static or stagnant. Life itself is ever-moving and dynamic. However, when we mislabel success and achievement for growth, life becomes work. We find ourselves looking forward to the weekend, and we spend Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday wishing it was Saturday. Come Sunday, and we already dread Monday. How much time do you spend loving what you do, and doing what you love? Take a moment to calculate the number of hours you spend per day truly enjoying being alive. Now divide that by 14 (I assume you get 8 hours of sleep, with 1 hour of commute to work each way). What percentage of your life do you enjoy being alive?
There is an epidemic in Japan called karoshi, or in South Korea called gwarosa. Translated to mean overwork death, people in Japan are literally having heart attacks and strokes due to the stress and malnutrition from working too hard. They’re leaving behind their young children, spouses, parents. Why do we pour so much of our time and energy into work? Is it the money, or what money can buy? Material things don’t last – we habituate to better houses, better cars. It’s said that people who win the lottery aren’t any happier even a few months later than when they were before they won the lottery. So think about what you’re really after when you’re working so hard. Is it the ability to go on vacations? How can you do that when you’re already spending so much time working? Are you really doing what’s best for your family? Ask them what would really make them happy – the new toy or your presence at home? Is it to rise to senior executive level? What does that senior level position get you? In the end, it always comes down to love. We work hard for love. Whether it’s from providing for our family, from gaining acceptance by colleagues, or envy from friends. What we’re really after is love.
Don’t spend your whole life mindlessly working or wishing for more time, to only wither away on your deathbed wishing you can redo your life. Save a lifetime of regret by taking a few minutes to evaluate your life.
1. Evaluate your goals. What do you hope to achieve professionally? Personally? Consider thoroughly what your values are and how you can align your goals with your values to live an intentional life. Examine where you are professionally and how that relates to where you are today. What do you have to do to get you one step towards that goal? That’s it. Ask yourself that one question every day – your efforts will build momentum faster than you think.
2. Set a schedule. Schedule activities in your day that you know will absolutely light you up. Make sure you schedule in time to spend with your tribe, your family, and loved ones. Schedule in time to contribute to the world, even if it means carrying someone’s groceries to the car for them. Make sure you stick to your schedule, because life will definitely “get in the way.”
3. Learn from those who’ve already done it. Famous entrepreneur and international speaker, Tony Robbins, says success leaves clues. That means you don’t have to work so hard, or recreate the wheel when it comes to meeting your goals. Learn from others’ mistakes and their experiences. Get to your goals faster, with more efficiency.
If you’re feeling stuck and need more support, reach out today. Let’s see how we can get you back on track.