By Rinith Taing
When a friend of mine first joined the workforce 7 years ago, his boss told him that, “Work-Life balance and career success cannot exist together.” He bought into that, and in the year that followed, he was working hammer and tongs.
Apart from 9 hours of working in the office, my friend was hustling like crazy, from tutoring to copywriting. Being young and longing for an early prime in his career, he told himself that sleep was a nuisance, and walking around the office shall be adequate for exercise.
“I am still young, and I can do it,” he told me whenever I warned him about working too much.
For a very long time, he was enjoying the fruit of his hard work. Yet, simultaneously, he had forgotten that no one can be young forever. He, unfortunately, did not realize that, until I was hospitalized for the first time due to a serious health problem due to years of fatigue, unbalanced diet, and lack of exercise.
When I visited him in the hospital room, he broke out to me that most of his savings, the fruit of his diligence and thrift, would cover the medical bill. He was crying as he told me that his effort was now null.
I agree that career success and a relaxing life don’t usually go together, but my friend’s story reminds me that giving up your health, which should be the most important asset of your life, for the sake of your career is not worthwhile.
Don’t get me wrong. Work or business sometimes requires sacrifice to go smoothly, but what is the logic behind receiving the money or benefit which you work so hard for but end up not being able to enjoy. Are spending days in a hospital room and putting your life on the line worth it?
I strongly believe the balance should not be about working less and taking more rest. It should be about working in a job that you are passionate about. When you do something that you love, you may feel that it is no longer work but a stimulating game or puzzle that you enjoy. Another key is to get the most out of your spare time by spending it meaningfully with your friends and family. Lazing around is neither a part of the balance nor a healthy habit!