Personal success author Napoleon Hill once said, “Great achievement is usually born of sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.” Even mega-hit songstress Beyoncé Knowles said, “Power means hard work and sacrifice.”
Perhaps your parents or someone else once told you that you had to sacrifice to get ahead. Many people believe that.
According to CareerBuilder, 38 percent of people surveyed continued to work after they left the office. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2014, about half of top executives in businesses of all sizes worked more than 40 hours per week. While it may be correct that success takes hard work, your life outside of work should not be sacrificed. To be successful, you must ensure that the following areas of your life also receive your full attention.
The five areas never to sacrifice are:
If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything, so taking care of your body should be your number one priority. It is easy to let the everyday stress and struggles creep into what should be your health time. Stress has a tendency to come on gradually, therefore it may be hard to notice, but once the symptoms arrive, they are impossible to ignore. Set up a healthy routine and keep it consistent. Include daily exercise, healthy meals and snacks, and some fun time after work. And don’t neglect your annual check-ups.
According to New Jersey divorce and family law attorney Bari Z. Weinberger, work stress and obligations are one of the top five reasons for divorce. “When one or both spouses have demanding, all-encompassing jobs, this can, over time, lessen or sever the bond that originally brought them together,” she said. Create separate work and home life hours, and once you get home focus on reconnecting with your family. Set your electronic devices aside and set aside some time to talk and share a meal or an activity together.
Many of us allow ourselves to be identified by the work we do, however, work should be a percentage of who we really are and not the whole. Be sure to develop interests outside of work, like hobbies, sports, travel and family activities, for example. Keep your mind and body active. This will help you reduce stress and return to work refreshed, and you’ll have something other than work to talk about at the next business function or cocktail party.
The relationships you build throughout your career are yours, not your employers, and need to be nurtured in order to remain active and healthy. Make time to call or email some of your key clients or customers, or set aside a day a week to enjoy lunch together.
Stick to what you believe, no matter what, and ensure that your actions match your beliefs. If someone asks you to do something that might jeopardize your morals or integrity, decline and consider whether you want to remain in a relationship with this person. The stress that results from working outside your boundaries can be considerable.
It is easy to let work overwhelm you; what is difficult is making the conscious decisions to ensure a well-rounded life. But the payoff is well worth the trouble. No man ever proclaimed on his deathbed that he wished he had spent more time on his business.