Updated on December 17, 2014
Owning a business or being self-employed has its advantages. However, losing yourself in the work is far too easy, because it never ends. How much you make is determined by your own time, efforts and innovations. Nobody is blowing the whistle at the end of the day, except maybe your wife.
My business requires me sitting in front of the computer staring in to that glowing screen for countless hours. When I’m trying to solve a problem, it’s impossible to pry myself away from the task at hand. If I didn’t have hobbies, live in a location with perfect weather or have the privilege of being able to take a couple hours to myself during the day, it’s likely I would end up like Cartman:
I read recently, “By the end of this decade, most Americans will exert only slightly more energy per week than if they slept 24 hours a day.”
It seems crazy, but makes total sense. I’ve been trapped in that cycle before — spending entire days on the comupter. It was killing me.
“This year, 5.3 million deaths will be attributed to physical inactivity. Smoking is responsible for 5 million deaths per year.”
Some might get the impression I surf and swim with turtles all day. That would be awesome! Unfortunately, most of my time is spent in front of the computer.
It’s easy to feel guilty when I’m out surfing, jogging, swimming or doing anything that isn’t considered “work”. It could be a harmless Facebook comment, voice-mail from a disgruntled customer or feeling the emails stacking up that breeds the guilt. The pressure to be constantly “wired in” is always there.
However, those outside activities are just as important as the actual work. While playing may be considered unproductive, I would argue to the contrary. It’s productive to your mind and body. As the Dalai Lama said, “…We sacrifice our health in order to make money. Then sacrifice money to recuperate our health. And then we’re so anxious about the future that we do not enjoy the present; the result being that we do not live in the present or the future; we live as if we are never going to die, and then we die having never really lived.”
We’re not designed to sit in front of the computer and television all day. It’s killing us. Health and happiness are directly linked to physical activity. Balancing work and play can be difficult, but a necessity if you don’t want to end up like Cartman. If you feel trapped like I once did, work yourself out of the situation — or it will be the death of you.