Workers of the world, Unite

“You work too hard!” “You need to get a life.” “Where’s your work-life balance?”

I hear these, and similar statements thrown around me all the time, with greater loudness and frequency each passing day. And I find myself getting more intolerant to these statements, and people.

Let me get this straight…

I am not a workaholic. Neither am I a slave-driver. I believe people should have life outside work and that they need to, and should take breaks. I do that myself too. We are humans. We need to re-energise.

However, I do not believe that there is anything wrong in working hard, working long hours, and pushing the needle constantly. I do not believe that we need to look down on folks who don’t take weekends, who push long hours because they are passionate, or because they need to. There is nothing to be sorry about them — they don’t need that.

Work-life balance is over-glorified

For each of us who is lucky enough to be reading this, there are perhaps a 1000 men, women and children out there (if not more) who have no homes, no food and an endless saga of misery.

We owe it to these people, we owe it to the world, to push our lucky asses and work hard. We owe it to fact that we were given an opportunity to do something with our lives, in this world of limited resources and chance happenings.

We need breaks in our work patterns — but we don’t need to obsesses about those breaks. We need to have weekends off when needed, but we don’t need to plan our entire lives around weekends. We need to travel and have fun. But that shouldn’t be the raison d’être of our existence.

Instead We need to obsess about building better, faster, smarter, more efficient things. We need to firmly believe that each of us is part of a great global continuum — our actions, no matter what we do — will contribute towards building a better world. If all of us think this way, we will get there faster. Before we burn up all humanity’s resources.

Each one of us needs to find our ikigai

A close friend, recently told me about this beautiful concept, that the Japanese have. Its a person’s “reason for being” and you can read all about it here

Some of us are lucky to have already found their ikigai. Some haven’t and will surely find it sooner than later.

To all my friends, acquaintances and colleagues — my point is simple. We are on borrowed time on earth. There is no reason for us to be where we are other than a simple roll of dices. Therefore, let us find our ikigai, and work tirelessly to attain it.

Let’s rejoice in hard work — because the opportunity to work hard is a luxury that many are denied.