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Can you achieve your goals without being a workaholic?

By April 30, 2008 Blog

The other day I wrote about working and doing too much, workaholics, being in the now and my friend Joe Vitale and his recent health scare. Many people, especially Americans, have come to believe that we have to work all the time. Longer and longer work weeks, less time for relaxing, more stress…is that what life is meant to be? How did we get to this point?

Sadly, it is not just what people do to keep up, many truly believe that is what you have to do to succeed and must do to be a virtuous, “good” person. Whether it is society, parents or school telling us hard work builds ‘character’ or the media telling us we need more TV’s, newer cars and bigger breasts that drives people to work, it is extracting joy from life.

Here is an example of someone I know personally. We used to go to the house of a friend of mine and spend one or 2 nights every other weekend. We had a blast. Chris and I would mastermind with her and her husband all night. We would cook, talk, share ideas, laugh, cry, support each other and have a great time. We would always come away with new ideas, new insights and a deeper friendship. We have seen them now only once in 8 months. She is too busy working. She works 16 hours and more a day for her job (she works from her home, but for someone else). If she isn’t working for her employer, she is working for herself, producing products and trying to keep up with 2- 3 new websites she has created. Recently we tried to get together with them and she said they couldn’t because on top of all this she was doing their taxes. So for weeks before April 15th, she was even busier, doing her own taxes.

For months over the holidays she was sleeping in her home office for a few hours at a time, and never even went to her bedroom to sleep. I think there were days in a row she worked 20 hours a day, maybe longer. Her husband was in his home office and they barely saw each other. This has been going on for 2 years that we know of, and to one degree or another for years before that. She declined joining us this past weekend, on a Saturday night, for Chris’ birthday dinner with a group of friends. It was at a lovely restaurant only a few miles from her house, but she stated she was way too busy and had to work all weekend. Too busy to take 2-3 hours off to eat and laugh with friends!?

Is this a life? I don’t think so. I have ben there. I won’t do that anymore. I won’t put off living for another day because I think I will reach some ‘place’, some goal, and then it will all be fine and i will be happy and have fun then. Never happens.

Perhaps you or people you know do not work quite that many hours a day. But how much do you work? Do you miss your kids events or just being there for them? Do you spend time everyday enjoying your loved ones, yourself, the world around you? I used to work 13 hours a day. I used to put my kids to bed and then stay up most of the night working, after working all day. I was proud of the fact i could sleep so little and work such long hours. I felt like I never got it all done. Like I had some end finish line, that if and when I go there, then I could live and enjoy and be with the people I loved. I kept thinking it was a means to an end. “It will only be for awhile” I would tell myself, “then I will be successful, wealthy, happy and I can relax and enjoy myself”. The problem is, I rarely see anyone that does this ever get to where they think they have enough and stop. Not unless something happens to stop them.

Please comment about your experiences with work and life. I am getting some great responses and I would love a conversation on this topic. It is very vital and affects everyone. Even if you do not over work or put off doing the things you love for the “right” time, I know you know someone who does, we all do.

Here’s a question I would like to hear your answers to : Do you believe you can achieve your goals without working all the time and sacrificing time sleeping, relaxing, enjoying?

Tomorrow I will talk some more about workaholism, some atitudes I see in people and how to start to “do less, acheive more”.

INSPIRED ACTION:Today, take a break more often, sit quietly and just be, watch birds, listen to music that inspires you or to your kids laughing and playing, hold your partners hand or send them a special note. BE totally in that moment, do not think of all you ‘have’ to do. Decide you deserve joy now, consider letting go of the need to achieve and living of the delayed life plan.

18 Comments

  • Amy Grant says:

    Great topic Nan —

    The only reason people work so much is because they have a belief system that says they have to. Common beliefs prevail, such as “earn an honest living,” “no pain, no gain,” “I have to do it myself or it doesn’t count,” “good things don’t come easy,” and countless others.

    When we clear these beliefs from our fields, we can see clearly that “working” is not the way to get things done. It’s possibly the LEAST efficient way of accomplishing anything (especially when it comes to making money!).

    When I was still in corporate America, I worked about 50-60 hours a week and earned about $60k a year. Last year I worked about 20 hours a week and earned a six-figure income. This year so far I’ve been working about 10 hours a week, and I am planning to double my income from last year.

    If you talk to me in a year, I’m quite sure I’ll tell you there’s no reason to work 10 hours a week, it’s far to much!

    When we continue to clear the old beliefs that are holding us back, we can begin to move with ease and velocity! Ask me how!!

    Love
    Amy

  • I think most people have to have something big happen to them to make them change from being a workaholic.

    For me it was contracting with a company that went out of business in one day while I was overseas. And the stress from the executives who were immediately broke.

    I took six months to recover from the severe stress. Then my best friend died at a very young age. It made me have a flashback on my life and released that I worked way to much and didn’t enjoy life at all.

    I purposely changed my life.

    I focused on business automation and have been doing that for five years. I help people automate their lives.

    To your prosperity,

    Chris Sherrod – AbundanceUnlimited.com

  • Nan says:

    Amy , I am so thrilled for your great success! I am always thrilled when someone finds success as not just money, but time to do, be and become! Enjoy the moment!
    Love, Nan

  • The real question is do you have congruent goals, or are they set by what your THINK you want or desire? There is only one true underlying goal and that is: HAPPINESS! All you need do is work out what would give you this and if you are true to yourself it will not be £Ms, vehicles, houses, etc. look at these “things” as accessories, not goals in themselves and WORK will also fall from grace as a “must-do”. If you WORK you will never experience true happiness, look to where your passions reside and move forward from there. And remember my two “A”s: Accept everyone and everything , but assume nothing!

    Have a great life!

    Love and energy

    John.

  • Rhonda says:

    Hi Nan,

    Like you said, I think it’s the drive to get to where you think you want to go. It’s the illusion that “I’ll be happy then.”

    Thank you for this reminder.

    This is a trap I get caught in a lot. Right now I am workging a lot, but I am enjoying it. I do not sacrifice time with my children. I’m working hard right now so I can take off a lot of time during the summer and be with them. And still. ..I think there must be an easier way. I am an entrepreneur and I am ambitious and driven. My office is in my home and I am never really “away from the work.”

    I want to build our company so my husband can leave his “day job” and we can be Internet Marketers and live happily ever after. Then, you see, we’ll be truly happy. Ha!

    I know exactly what you are saying and thank you for the reminder.

    I am a human “being”, not a human “doing”.

    The thing to remember is that you don’t have to figure it all out. If you have a dream or a goal, you ask and receive. Let go and let the universe deliver. Sure, you need to take action, but certainly not like a workaholic. That’s not necessary, is it? Not when you have the Universe on your side.

    Rhonda Ryder
    http://www.kidsawakening.com
    Helping Parents share The Law of Attraction
    with their kids and teens.

  • John Digby says:

    Hi Rhonda,

    You certainly seem to have the right outlook on the subject but from reading between the lines my observation is that there might be a lack of congruency.

    If you really do love what you do any you have all the time you wish with your children, there should be no issue here. What are you NOT admitting to here? What part(s) of your life give you unease?

    When you can truthfully answer these questions you will have a starting point for healing your life. Take these answers and apply liberal doses of EFT and watch your unease melt away.

    I know this sounds simplistic, but if you have EFT in your virtual medicine cabinet, you will have the remedy to anything and everything.

    You keep referring to “working hard” and I don’t want to sound patronising, but is there as any way you could “work smart” as this will give you focus for what really needs your attention?

    Share the load, look for like-minded people who will be looking for just such an opportunity to contribute, set up a “Yahoo Group”, make lists and prioritise… it goes on and I’m sure you have already thought of all or many of these. The thing is – keep trying! Remember Thomas Edison.

    Keep me posted.

    Love and energy

    John.

  • Nan says:

    Rhonda and John,
    Thanks for being a part of this conversation. I appreciate both of you sharing. One thing I do believe, and have not mentioned yet, is that I am talking about the feeling that many people have that the have to work “hard”. I am not at all against getting inspired, being passionate about what you do and following that passion through. I find there are times when I “work” many hours on a project that I am inspired by. When I am tuned in and on fire, it does not feel like work, it is not hard. It flows and it is fun. So the point may not only be the amount of hours, but whether we are lined up with what we are doing, and enjoying it. It is much easier, and more fun, when we do it from a plase where we want to do it, almost, ‘have’ to do it, it is such a strong and exciting impulse inside of us. I love those moments, those times. They can last awhile too.
    Doing what we are passionate about and what expands and inspires us is a big key in the equation.
    I also love EFT and use it and teach it, and find it very helpful to release emotional attachments to what i am doing or outcomes, or others attitudes and actions.
    Lastly I am a huge proponent of getting help, outsourcing, finding others who are excellent at something that I am not and doing only what i am good at and passionate about. Many people think they can’t afford’ help, however, I encourage everyone to re-examine that and be creative. Pay on commission, trade, pay a % of the profits and other ways to get help and keep costs down.
    Great conversation, thanks
    Enjoy the moment!
    Nan

  • […] of great comments and conversation going on the blog “Can you achieve your goals without being a workaholic?” Check them out and add […]

  • Hi Nan,

    You must have missed the last paragraph of my last reply as I did address the “Working Hard” ethos in fairly good detail. Working Smart is exactly what I meant by the ideas which you offered.

    Peoples idea of working hard is a societal belief that has to be nipped in the bud or for so many people HARD WORK = SUCCESS. So what happens to their programming when they work all the hours in the day and still fail? They go into a tail-spin as their model is flawed.

    Perhaps it should all begin in school, where children would be taught to follow their passions, desires and dreams, instead of the best/quickest way to get “rich”. And that’s another topic completely – what does RICH mean? If the answer involves finance you’ve missed the point!

    Love and energy,

    John. X

  • Amy Grant says:

    Dr. John I would have to disagree with you completed in your last paragraph. And respectfully, I would say what you wrote sounds exactly like something a broke person would say. Why would you think we cannot follow our dreams and passions and still earn more money than most people see in a lifetime? There is certainly enough to go around. I believe it is faulty thinking to assume that you cannot get rich (as quick as you can stand it) by following your passion and doing your life’s work. Besides, children are NOT taught the quickest way to get rich — they are taught to study hard, then work hard, then get a good job, then find a better job. And they’re taught by overworked, underpaid teaching professionals who are struggling to make ends meet.

    No thank you sir, that’s not what I’m teaching MY kids at all.

  • By “Broke” I take it you mean financially? This means your goals are purely financial as you use money as a filter to judge others. Perhaps you can see that this is exactly what I have been saying; it is all to do with our “drivers” and if you driver is money, you stand a good chance of never reaching the bottom-line-goal; happiness, as you will always want more.

    So go ahead and teach your children to worship Mammon and I sincerely hope it works for you and you are all happy.

    Love and energy,

    John

  • Amy Grant says:

    Ah, interesting. More assumptions? Why would you assume my goals are “purely” financial? A healthy income is part of a balanced life, and I’m quite sure every mentor I know (including Nan) would agree. To me, “rich” includes money and a whole lot more. To keep money OUT of the picture entirely is to suffer, and I do not believe suffering is necessary for any of us.

    John, I have no idea who or what “Mammon” is and I can’t say I care to know, but I am picking up on quite a bit of anger and mistrust that you have for the wealthy.

    Personally, I believe we can have it all — including happiness AND wealth.

    I’d love to hear Nan’s take on all this….

  • Chris says:

    I would too Amy like to hear Nan’s take. She’s out with a friend enjoying life right now. Having a great time. Which gives me time to write with the whole house empty and quiet. She focuses on having a great life, money makes that possible and we love making it.

    I use to hate the wealthy and then it became hating myself so I changed. I now see the wealthy as fantastic people. And I admire many of them. Richard Branson being my favorite. I blog about how he is changing industries and providing unbelievable customer service. With his inspiration I’ve built up my company to have fantastic customer service. The help desk support ticket system give my web clients a fantastic way to see how their website changes are going. I can help my team take care of my clients. If you focus on your clients and offer kick ass service then the price to do it all will be well worth it to the clients.

    I like to focus on service first and then price it at what is needed to have a successful business. The money is very very important otherwise the business will go out of business.

    I love making money because I know I’m help people and because I love money. Money is your friend, it’s a tool and asset that attract other money buddies.

    Chris Sherrod – http://www.AbundanceUnlimited.com

  • John Digby says:

    1. Bible. Riches, avarice, and worldly gain personified as a false god in the New Testament.
    2. often mammon Material wealth regarded as having an evil influence.

    There you go Amy!

    Not wanting to know (ignorance is bliss – NOT) is hiding your head in the sand and denial seems to be a recurring trait of yours. Your assumption that I harbour mistrust and anger for the wealthy is false and comes from a place of insecurity. Almost nothing angers me and my mistrust has to be earned. I start from a base of trusting everyone to do the best they can with the resources available to them; then if they mess up they have made that decision to do so.

    Your belief seems to be that security (which for you equals happiness) issues from financial abundance. So, would you be happy if you were poor? If your answer is “NO” then you are basing your life on the acquisition of wealth to BUY happiness and we all know that can’t be done!

    John.

  • Chris says:

    I think it is a shame that people can’t get along better. I very nice post about not working yourself to death has ended in shouting match over who has the right opinion.

    You are all wrong about it. Your own opinion is good for you and no one else. You create your own reality. You have the choice. I’ve met very happy people that are poor or rich and very unhappy people that are poor or rich. I have on the back on my iPod “The purpose of life is to be happy”. For me money helps in that. For others is doesn’t. Your choice.

    I see nueve rich (the new rich) to be a little force-able about their opinion. Some people are draw to those types and some simply hate it. And of course the very spiritual or fundamental religious can be the same.

    Be civil, express your opinion but don’t get into pointing about what you perceive to be problem with another commenter. It makes you look bad for one and has a tendency to back-fire. After all a fully realized being wouldn’t do that. And don’t beat me or anyone else for stating the obivious.

    Now go out and enjoy life. And hug someone for the heck of it.

    Also you can join me in the Above All is Love World wide champaign at http://www.AboveAllisLove.org

    Chris Sherrod – AbundanceUnlimited.com

  • Nan says:

    Hi all!
    I was out enjoying a fabulous day by the river with a friend, meditating and communing with nature yesterday. SO far today i have been cleaning with my family making room for more space and new energy. I put loved ones, joy, happiness above all. I no longer works long hours unless I am so passionate about something it IS what will bring me the most happiness.
    I started this because I believe many people are taught, as I was, that hard work is virtuous. I feel the entire world could use a shift in self worth, and start to believe they can have ANYTHING they want, and they do not have to prove anything to get it. The power is in your own mind, your own heart. The beginning is belief. If you quote things that others told you to believe, then you may want to see why you feel they are true for you. Do they serve you? Do they create o joyful, abundant, wealthy, healthy, love filled life for you? If not, it is time to see why you beleive them and decide to find your own beleifs and install those.
    I do not have any interest blaming others, as we are all 100% responsible for ourselves. I do not judge others, I allow them to have their own thoughts, opinions, desires, likes, dislikes. It serves no purpose to make assumptions about others and try to prove yourself right. You CAN’T Create in anyone else’s reality anyway, no matter what you think or how right you feel you are. If you see things that anger and upset you in others, it is a reflection of you… and an opportunity to see what you believe and why it is causing a reaction in you. We can only change ourselves. So beginning by valuing ourselves, discovering who we are, without anyone else’s opinions, and then creating what we want in our lives, is the real path to a joyful life.
    Changing our beliefs is where the power is. Not following what others say is right is vital to finding your own truth and your own path. We are not here to conform, not here to please others. That may sound selfish, but it is true. You have nothing of value to give, unless you love yourself and respect yourself enough to do what you want and not worry what others think. I know this because I have found it within me, where my truth lies. Not because I am right, I am only right for me. I have had to create suffering on all kinds of levels to come to this. We all come to it in our own ways.

    I believe that life is to be lived, now, not later. I believe that there is enough of everything for everyone. I believe that people create their own reality, so even though we are all in this conversation, each person is creating what they see, think and feel about what is said. We attract to us what we believe. We choose what to believe. There is not ONE right way. What we believe is based in our feelings and our repeated thoughts we give power to. What we have believed in the past is not necessarily what serves us now, we need to regularly look at our beliefs and make sure they are in tune with what we want now, who we are now. We are evolving being, changing all the time.
    OK, now that said, I also believe wealth, riches, money, cash and any other name for it is energy. It is made from the exact same substance everything else, even our bodies, is made of. The MEANING we give it, the good or bad attitudes we put on it is completely our choice, in our own minds. MONEY IS NOT BAD. The belief money is bad/evil/not necessary and so on, makes so many people miserable. If you think having, wanting, enjoying, appreciating, making money is wrong or bad in any way, it will cause much emotional upset and conflict. Conflict within you as well as with those around you. My 26 year marriage ended for several reasons, but for my ex, his number one reason was money. Many, many relationships end due to conflict over beliefs about money.
    Money itself is neutral, it is here for our use, our joy, our pleasure, But because we are taught so many confusing, incorrect, emotionally charged attitudes about money, we judge ourselves and others over it. For not having enough, having too much, making it in the ‘wrong’ way, hoarding it, not saving it, giving it, not sharing it, what you do with it and on and on. If you look honestly within and around you, you will see that unless you have already addressed this in your life, you have emotional reactions, beliefs and judgments about money and yourself and others.
    If you judge anything to be bad, it will never come to you or serve you or be a joyful experience for you. So changing our beliefs about money is vital for happiness to arrive. Happiness, is our #1 goal, everyone here seems to have this in common. All we do, all we want to achieve, be and do is ultimately to find joy, to live happiness.

    Money IS a vital part of that. Whether we like it or not, we have chosen to live in a world that uses money everyday. It is not right or wrong, but you do have to have money to live on planet earth. How much is up to you. Wanting a lot of money is great, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Not wanting money is fine too. But understand why you do or don’t want it. If it is because you feel guilty wanting it, if you think you are taking away from someone else to have it or do not think “good” people want it, then you have un-serving beliefs, and money will never come or stay. Also if you want money, but it is because you think it will make people like you, make you important, give you happiness or anything else, just because you have it, that also will not serve you well. Wanting money so you can live a happy life, harmonious in all ways is wonderful. Thinking money in and of itself will give you value is only ego, and that does not being real happiness. How you feel about it is key though, it must be from a happy, self deserving, loving, ‘there is enough for everyone’ place, or it will be a confusing experience. Money is here to enhance and compliment your healthy, joyful, loving life, not be the reason for it.
    This is the same with work, as we were discussing. Do what you love, choose to do less and still have all you want, so you can have time and energy to enjoy your life. Also choose to have plenty of money so you can do what you enjoy when you have created the time for yourself. Enhance your health so you can enjoy life, and cultivate love of self and other, and being in joy. All these come together to create a harmonic life.
    Many people want money, don’t get it, so become resentful about it. They feel bad in them selves so they begin to project it out. They blame others, they hate people who have or who want money. They are jealous or judgmental about people who are comfortable talking about money in a happy way and who say i have it, I want it, I appreciate it. This is not a belief/feeling that will never attract money to them in a permanent or joyful way. It has taken me most of my life to be comfortable about money. I could make it, but I had to work hard, and then, because I had been told I did not deserve it, or the people around me did not approve of how I handled and spent it, it would fluctuate. This happened because of my self worth and the things I chose to beleive about money and myself, that came form other highly judgemental people who had their own self esteem and money issues. Because I chose to follow their beleifs, I created that experice of money in my own life. I am fully responsible for what I have created.
    In the end, I have decided, I believe for me, that I do not have to work hard for money, I can do what I love, make a lot of money, be happy, be with whom I love, go where I want, when I want and help people who are attracted to me. I appreciate, love, enjoy, share, ask for, intend to make lots of,
    I also believe there is no evil, and ‘good and bad’ are your own creations. We are all one, we are all divine, we are all connected and from one source, so is money. We are here to enjoy and love, and for me, money is a big part of it because it gives me opportunities to do the things I love, to give to people I love and want to help, to bless my family, to create books, art, businesses, experiences, opportunities, videos, audios and on and on. Thus is how I share my joy with the world, and I know I deserve to be incredibly wealthy , even if I didn’t want to do anything but sit and watch the birds in my yard. Life is to be lived, full out, my way! Enjoy your life your way, you have my full blessing!
    To everone’s abundance….in joy, welath, health and most if all love!
    Nan

  • John Digby says:

    Thanks Nan & Chris,

    You have both said more eloquently just what I was trying to get across. Money is necessary in life, but its importance and status is over-inflated. I always have enough; chasing more is a waste of energy and resources.

    Love and energy,

    John.

  • […] week I wrote 4 posts about working hard , health issues and doing less, working smart from inspiration and what is your “why”. […]