work life balance

“You have to grind if you want to be successful”. This means, out working everyone else, and getting little sleep. “Rise and grind”. By out working everyone, all areas of your life will improve. If you want to become rich, you have to grind!

The above statements have become a popular belief in American culture. Motivational speakers like Eric Thomas motivate people to grind and become “a beast”.

Here’s the problem. While I’m all for hard work (see my post on the topic here), this idea that always grinding will make you successful is completely misguided.

Let’s start with the word success. Webster defines the word success as “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame”. Now, achieving wealth, respect or fame is great, but should these really be the things we want most out of life? If you do achieve “success” by Webster’s definition, at the sacrifice of your family and your health, are you really a success?

I contend that someone who is a true “success” will devote proper time to their health, physical and spiritual, and to their family. When I look back on my life, I hope to be remembered as someone who cared for others and had strong core values. I’d rather be remembered for that than someone who accumulated wealth at the sacrifice of his family.

Here are my two main points about this idea of “always grinding” to become successful:

  1. Even if all you want out of life is to become wealthy or famous, working all the time is not the path to get there. We have enough scientific evidence that proves this. People who get enough sleep and have good work life balance are more successful in their careers. Pick any Harvard Business Review article you’d like here for the data to back this up.
  2. By keeping your family and health a top priority, you will be a success.

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