One Thought Changed it All
“I’d love to, but I just have to finish this one thing first.”
Does that sound like you? Because I know it sounds like me.
As a person who has treated work like a newfound love in the honeymoon stage, I frequently have exalted projects over people. Unfortunately, those people have often been my family and dearest friends.
Indeed, I have spent many hours staring deep into the eyes of my computer screen with a strange sort of addiction. It is the ever-present thoughts of “one more task… I’m almost finished… if I can just do this… that CANNOT wait…” It is as if time stands still for hours and hours and hours on end.
I can’t be the only one.
In fact, I know I’m not.
According to a recent article, 48% of Americans identify as workaholics. In terms of how many people truly fit that classification, it could be less. But is it really?
We often find that even in moments when our computer is in another room, or our phone is lying face down, curiosity is still consuming our minds. We know the thoughts.
“Did I miss something in that project brief? Did I update everything in the CRM? Oh shit… I totally forgot to reply in Slack!” So, the story goes until we’re compelled to just “quickly” check.
Of course, our “quickly” turns from minutes to hours like a magical time machine. In the process, sleep is sacrificed, family is sacrificed, and personal development is sacrificed.
After we come back from that workaholic’s daydream, of course, the regrets start to hit. We promise ourselves that this is the last time we will do that. We promise ourselves that tomorrow will be different. We give ourselves ultimatums.
None of it happens.
So, we often wonder why we know the problem, discover the solution, and still fail in the execution. As those thoughts occur, we descend into the easy task of berating ourselves for being lazy, incompetent, or without discipline.
So, what is the truth?
The truth is that it all starts before the action begins.
It starts with a thought.
At 24 years old, I booked a supporting role in a movie that would eventually be released on Amazon. For the film, I determined that I wanted to lose 50 pounds.
I had 2 months to do it.
I had never even lost 50 pounds in a year. I had zero belief that it could be done.
In fact, it seemed ridiculously stupid, totally impossible, and obviously unhealthy. (For the record, it is unhealthy)
After some thought, I concluded that it wasn’t going to happen. And, I accepted the loss.
Hell, I was even relieved.
Then I started listening to an audiobook: Lone Survivor.
I remember furiously powering through chapter after chapter- feeling more inspired by the minute. I thought, “if this run-of-the-mill dude can start training for the U.S. Navy Seals at 14, go through all of that hell, and make it to the other side, I can lose 50 fucking pounds in 2 months.
Now, I can talk about the training that I did and the diet that I followed but I’m not going to do that.
Because it didn’t start there.
It began with a single thought: If he can do THAT, I can do THIS.
And, from 245 pounds down to 195 pounds, I never let that thought go.
There are some of you, right now, who have let so much living slip away.
Your personal dreams, hobbies that you love, time with your family, and physical fitness have all lost their place in your life.
Work is your god.
And, you know what? I don’t judge you. I’m right there with you.
I want you to know that you’re not alone. I think you, like me, are probably doing what you believe to be right. I think you’re feeling, as I have too, that this is just part of life if you want to be successful.
But it’s not true.
When we sacrifice our non-work goals, our hobbies, our family, our fitness, etc, it all comes back to haunt our work. It lives in our mind as an ever-present reminder of “unfinished business.”
It makes our work feel like servitude. Eventually, we feel out of control. And, if ANYTHING happens with that business or job, our world feels like it’s crashing down.
Is all of that sacrifice really worth it?
There is a better path.
Our best path is merely a thought away.
In fact, did you know that resetting your mind with non-work-related things has been shown to improve innovative thinking and increase productivity while at work?
Beyond that, it is a phenomenal way to affirm your purpose. Because let’s face it: eventually, work, even fulfilling work, runs into the question of “why am I doing this.” Your answer to that question is your fuel for progress.
Your mind, body, and soul are crying out for a chance to breathe. They want to experience life to the fullest.
They want more than lonely kids, unhealthy bodies, bad relationships, and dying goals.
They crave the things that live in the fertile fields beyond workaholism.
So, why not give them that chance?
You owe it to yourself.
You owe it to your family.
You owe it to your future.
And, you actually owe it to your work too.
Make the leap.
You’re only one power thought away.