Candace is a senior executive in a large commercial firm. A self confessed work-a-holic she’s dedicated and highly successful. She works long hours and spends a lot of time away from home. Home is where her 3 kids and partner are.
One morning as she was frantically chewing on a piece of toast whilst checking her emails she said to her daughter that she would try and make it to her kinder concert that day. Her daughter very innocently and in a very matter of fact manner said ‘it’s ok Mummy, Daddy will be there. I don’t really need you to be. You won’t be able to make it any way. I know your work is very busy’.
That was like a knife through her heart. To have her daughter tell her she didn’t need her there. However, it was the reality check she needed. What was she doing? Was spending the majority of her time at work and then being consumed by work when she was home worth it, even though she loved her job?
Too often we craft our lives around our business or career rather than crafting our business or career around our lives and what is really important to us. This is evident from the high growth rate of depression and anxiety. We’re not happy and in part this is caused by doing things that conflict against our values and by us constantly sacrificing the people who are most important to us.
We’re often focused on the wrong things. We don’t focus on what really matters for us. We’re often focused on the bright shiny object, the thrill of the chase, the dazzle of the dollar or whatever else it may be.
I speak with many employees and business leaders on a daily basis and what comes up in conversation all too often is the sacrifice they make for their professional life. They believe it has taken over their life, the demands are too much to handle and they don’t feel fulfilled. They have lost control. When I ask them ‘is it worth it?’ sadly the common response is ‘no’. That’s the problem right there.
You may be able to relate to Candace’s story and if you don’t have little kids you may have other significant people in your life that may be feeling the effecting of your busyness. Her story isn’t uncommon. Is what you’re doing worth having your little four year old tell you they don’t need you and understands you’re too busy for them?
If the answer is no, you know you need to make some changes…and fast.