Listening to Lessons

I read this article by Jeff Hadden yesterday, and had to close it.

Sometimes a lesson comes your way right when you need it. Either you’re facing a situation that you either have no idea how to handle or facing one that you have no idea is a situation at all, and it hits you. A big fat You’re doing it wrong! drops in your lap to let you know what you need to change. Sometimes you’re absolutely grateful to hear the message, and sometimes you want to run screaming from it. That was Jeff’s article for me yesterday. I didn’t want to hear it.

I haven’t given myself much time away from work lately. There are deadlines to be met and still much to do in order to meet them. I recently recounted that the stress of said situations is causing some interesting health effects. My diet has been awful, consisting mostly of ramen and coffee, and I haven’t been drinking enough water. Sleep has been an afterthought. I desperately needed to read Jeff’s article and listen to the advice contained therein. I did, by the way, read it in it’s entirety today.

There is a takeaway from this. When those lessons come your way, take the time to pay attention. Reflect on what’s going on in your life and figure out if your current trajectory has long-term gains that outweigh the short-term risks to your health, relationships, and everything else that matters in your life. In most cases, unless the risks are tiny, the gains will never be worth it. Pay attention to the long-term gains that matter, like your family & friends, or your impact on society. If you’ve got deadlines that force you to overwork for a short time, compensate for it afterword with a brief getaway. Most of all, remember that you don’t live to work.

Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.