The Workaholic

From our e-book “We are Here to Celebrate”

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Joey works very long hours. She cannot understand why she is never able to complete her work. However, she feels proud when she in running all over the place and getting things done. When she is with her colleagues, she will always talk about the various projects she needs to handle and how there is no one else capable of handling them. Her
colleagues could sense the pride within her and just allow her to express herself.

She does not notice the stress that is taking its toll on her body. Joey has a toddler son at home and she is feeling very guilty about the long hours. But when she is spending time with him, she feels guilty about not spending time on ‘more productive’ work. So she starts to think about her work. Although she is physically next to her son, she is not present with him and he could sense it. This takes the joy out of being with her son.

One day, after some of the projects were completed and no new ones were assigned to her, she suddenly found herself feeling guilty about having some free time. She began to worry about her job even though her rational mind knows that her company needs her terribly.

Joey was raised on the belief that if there is no pain, there is no gain. In a way, it also arises from the habitual need to compete and win. She feels a sense of importance when she works long hours but she is unaware of it. However, her colleagues are clearly aware of this but found it impolite to tell her. Because of this belief, she often places herself in a position to be assigned more projects than she could handle.

If one holds on to the belief that ‘if there is no pain, there is no gain’, then there is a possibility that one gets a sense of importance from working long hours. That is probably what most ‘workaholics’ believe. If we want to let go of this belief, we first have to let go of the need for gain. So, this popular phrase is changed to ‘if there is no expectation of gain, there is no pain’. This is the very foundation of Karma Yoga which will be covered in a later chapter.

When we are with our children or grandchildren, be fully present with them. Enjoy every second, from moment to moment. Let them remind us how to be a child again. Let them help us to forget the false ego that we have created for ourselves. Let us laugh with them and forget ourselves. Imagine that there is no one else in the world but you and your children; really play and enjoy yourself. Put away the toys. Play the simple games you used to enjoy when you were young and create new ones. You will be impressed how creative you can get. Your children will love them. They will forget that you are their parent and see a friend instead. Be in love.

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