Addicted to work?

We were created for work.  We need to work to live – whether that be working for money to buy food, clothes etc, or working on the land to feed yourself.

However, many people use work as an excuse to:

  • get away from family because they don’t want to be intimate with them
  • gain approval from others – because they have not been approved in many areas of their own lives
  • be successful – they see that winning at all costs is the only route to success and all the trappings that can go with that
  • fill a gap that is missing inside them

I remember that I used to think that working hard and putting in the extra hours would bring me to the Managing Director’s attention.  It did, but not in the way that I had hoped.  What it did do was set a precedent and there was an expectation put on me to get into work early and go home late.  This began to cause stress, both at work and at home.

It is well-known that people go to “things” to comfort them from time to time – things like food, chocolate, good food, the gym, and work.  However, there is a danger that things can get out of balance, and those things we go to for comfort become an addiction.

Addictions don’t have to be of a chemical nature i.e. drugs or alcohol.  There are other addictions too, and many people become addicted to work.  They justify it with excuses such as:

  • If I don’t get this job done then people won’t consider me for more important work.
  • I’m part of a team so I need to be seen to be pulling my fair share.
  • My wife is out for the evening, so I will do extra hours so that I can get a head start on tomorrow.

Work is important.  I fully accept that.  However, when you use work as an excuse to not relate to people, isolate yourself, not face up to reality – then you could be walking a line that may not be healthy for you.

Check out your motives for working the way you do.

Is it self-centered, or other people-centered? 

Can you spend time resting, without looking for things to do all the time? 

Can you turn off the Blackberry and not be bothered by that at all?

If you find that you are unsettled by your answers to these questions, then it may be time to re-evaluate a few things in your life.

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About katehobbs

Mother to two who are now independant and living away from home. Wife to Steve, for the last 26yrs and looking forward to many more years. I have enjoyed 18 months in the Okanagan, something that I have longed to have the opportunity to do for a while. Living a dream, you could say. Now, I am interning with Living Waters Canada based in Vancouver until end of April 2013. I love to grow my own food - it tastes so much better. I also build up, train and encourage others to achieve more than they thought possible.
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2 Responses to Addicted to work?

  1. Hi Kate,
    I’ve never really been addicted to work. My issue for a long time was not giving my best effort. As a example when I was in school, I honestly thought that any grade over a C was overkill. My mistaken rationale was that a C average was all that was needed to graduate. Being married to someone that lives life to the fullest has made me aware of the error of my ways.

    • katehobbs says:

      Hi Riley, so glad work is not an addiction for you. But you have pointed out that our attitude to work will still affect the way we live. An average attitude to work could reflect an average attitude to other things, and you have pointed out that it wasn’t until your wife showed you how to live another way that you recognised this.
      Thank you for sharing. Kate

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