Keeping Busy IV: Obsessed With Hard Work?

In my first ‘Monthly Update’, I recommended the book If I Could Tell You Just One Thing by Richard Reed.

Something that I’ve noticed as I’ve been reading is that a lot of the quotes from famous, successful people have been about hard work. I don’t doubt that these people are incredibly ‘successful’ in the material sense and perhaps too, they are content and happy with the lives they are living.

But it worries me how we live in a culture that worships ‘busyness’ and hard work. We associate putting in overtime, 50+ hours a week and sacrificing self-care/family time/social time with success.

There was one man in the book, a successful music producer, who was interviewed while jogging on his treadmill because ‘it was the only way he could make time for exercise’.

Perhaps this is an extreme example of the ‘hard work’ I’m talking about here, but the message rings loud and clear all the same. 

We have to work ourselves silly to be successful. Or something has to give.

In a similar vein, I’ve also been watching a Netflix docuseries called Street Food: Latin AmericaThe amazing people on the show, many of them women, have talked about how hard work and their street food has been their way to escape poverty and hardship.

I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know why we have created and disseminate the idea that ‘busyness’ and extremely hard work equals success. 

Perhaps it is an escape. Perhaps, it brings us financial security and safety. Perhaps, it’s what it takes to escape poverty and hardship.

What do you think?