10 Things My Second Heart Attack Taught Me - #8 Giving Your Whole Being is a Recipe for Disaster
Giving Your Whole Being to a Job is a Recipe for Disaster

In the last post I talked about how you are not indispensible to any thing but your family......but I missed someone very important in that point. 


You are not indispensible to YOU either and when you give "everything" to your job, you are ignoring the most important piece in this -- YOU are MORE important than any task, role, title, job, wage, social standing, or accolades.

We are brought up in a culture that encourages self-less-ness as a sign of saintliness, of social mobility, of true achievement when in fact it is only a tool in a greater societal drive towards so-called efficiencies. 

If every person did only what was required in their role and prioritized their own well-being over work, then the gap between work needing to be done and work getting done would widen significantly. It would require a mass hiring.

How many times have you see a person leave, get sick, retire only to be replaced by two or three people into the exact same role?

Self-less-ness only serves to keep the issue of overworking from being discussed. You are in fact complicit in your own overworking.

Now some may come back to me on that and say "well it is a requirement of my job to work more" and to that I say, it will remain so until people stop accepting that as a condition of employment. 

Just think about what self-less-ness is actually saying -- it is saying you are agreeing that your "self' can be sacrificed to an external obligation - an implicit modern day human sacrifice. 

Because the impact of this kind of self-less overwork is loss of motivation, poor mental health, burnout, physical sickness and for far too many of my colleagues, death. 

NO that isn't hyperbole. 

Take a moment to consider colleagues, friend and family who have had health issues, who are off on stress leave, who have suddenly died. Could self-less behaviour have contributed to that result? If we don't ask this question, we will never truly know the enormity of the problem.  

So where does that leave us. 

Well, we first need to start by re-evaluating why we are doing what we do. What stories do we tell ourselves about what makes a "good employee", "good leader", "successful person"?

Where did those stories come from and being honest in evaluating if those stories are actually getting us the results that we want. 

Then we need to look forward -- is this way of being healthy for me in the long term? 

What other stories are out there that show an alternative? Could I adopt those as my belief system? Could they feel comfortable to me in my situation?

Then start working on how, when you are focused elsewhere the old stories just pop up and engage you in behaviour that is more automatic than mindful.  You can be different, but it does take recognition there is a problem and then focus on changing it.

It's time to shift the narrative and save a life -- YOURS!

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