Thursday, 22 March 2012

It’s an addiction, after all

To the wise, there is clearly a case for denouncing the workaholic! It isn’t a wise idea to be so busy making a ‘living’ that we don't have time to make a life! Like with any other addictions, it isn’t easy to kick this addiction. It calls for realisation, commitment and support.

Remember the old line? “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The new school of thought has confirmed that Jack is lucky. All work and no play can make one not just dull, but depressed, mentally ill and even ruin everything for which one supposedly works! Yet we tend to raise a halo around a person who works and works. The tribe of what’s called as workaholics is growing globally at an alarming rate!

What’s a workaholic? The Wikipedia defines a workaholic as “a person who is addicted to work.” So a workaholic is someone who overdoes work — long hours, can’t stop working even at night, obsessed with work, to the detriment of other parts of his life.

So ultimately it’s an addiction. Then why do we honour the addicts when all other addictions are frowned at? What’s so special about this addiction? What happens when a person get addicted to work? Let’s look at the ‘payoffs’ of these great charmer. Like any other addictions, it hurts the addicts and hurt the people around them. Families break down and their children suffer abandonment. Workaholic themselves suffer from medical and psychiatric conditions like high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, anxiety, depression, and eating disorder.

Is this something that make us hail the addict as role model? No. Then why does their tribe keep growing? Because addicts rarely recognise the magnitude of the consequences of their behaviours. And more so in the case of workaholics as society tends to see them positively unlike other addictions. Add to it the short-term benefits to employers.

But to the wise, there is clearly a case for denouncing the workaholic! It isn’t a wise idea to be so busy making a ‘living’ that we don't have time to make a life! Like with any other addictions, it isn’t easy to kick this addiction. It calls for realisation, commitment and support.

Firstly, let’s realise that work is a very important, but only a small, part of our life! There is a vast world outside the cubic for us to find fulfilment. It’s no such a great thing to live to work when we very well can work to live! Once we realise there is a problem, then we need to make a commitment that we want to change it. For a workaholic, work is the solution because he thinks it brings comforts. So simply stopping the addictive behaviour will make them feel worse and show withdrawal symptoms. So support would be needed. So rope in the family members, friends and even a skilled psychotherapist. There is nothing to be ashamed about one’s efforts to kick an addiction. So what it’s a glorified one!

And finally, work smart, not long and hard. Often there is s smarter and shorter way to accomplish a task. I once heard a renowned spiritual guru tell his devotees that only those who lacks intellect and intuition need to work hard. I see a lot of points in that. Once we are relaxed and not feverish, our intellect becomes sharper and intuition becomes more powerful. With a sharp intellect and powerful intuition, we wouldn’t need to work 24X7. So kick the addiction and relax!

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