Emotional Attachment To Work

As I went through the carefully preserved file of creative-work I’ve designed, I came across the content-blue-print I created for PickMe’s app and website. With a blue pen, I had scribbled content ideas and sketched out the design on a single-ruled A5 paper torn off some notebook. I let myself become a little emotional and waved the pieces of paper above my head and exclaimed at the rest of the team on the floor (who were sitting with their heads buried in their own affairs…): “Hey guys! These are the first sketches of the app and website, I made!”

Two of my colleagues from the initial team from 3 years ago came up and examined them with interest and made equally emotional remarks. But the rest of the crew pretty much didn’t give a shit.

I eventually moved the precious pieces of paper from the rather lonely position above my head (where it was being ignored) back to the bosom of my work station where I stared at it for a few minutes longer, before I picked up an envelop and put the papers in it.

I have often been told that I’m addicted to my work. This is NOT a good thing. It eats into your health and well being just like any other addiction does. And just like any other addiction, the actual attachment to the addiction is not a physical one; it is an emotional one. The satisfaction of a job done to the standards of perfection as defined by oneself is extremely addictive to those like me. The praise and recognition the piece of work brings after it is published adds further to the bliss. And knowing that others respect you for your work and even depend on it sometimes, is why someone like me would keep working, keep pushing, keep raising the bar… But somewhere in this whole exercise of collecting feathers for the hat, one needs to realize that at one point one needs to take a break, at least to wear said hat and step out – literally.

You must not let this one emotion consume your life and limit your reasons for happiness. The wicked truth that a workaholic needs to understand is that not everybody has the time to give a shit about what you do, no matter how good you are at it. There will come a day when your peers / bosses are so used to your “brilliance” that they are immune to it. They will not value it anymore, and on the contrary even begin to think that they need to look for someone else to do what you do, even if you think to yourself  “Finding someone to replace me won’t be easy”. Maybe you’re right, it isn’t easy to par the quality of work of a workaholic with someone else who doesn’t consider ‘work’ their supreme priority. But STILL your peers / bosses are going to become immune to what you do – mark my words – and they are going to take you for granted. When that time comes, you must be able to let go. For that to happen, you need to slowly but surely snip off those emotional ties you have with your work.

The “high” you get by doing work is not worth sacrificing your integrity for. The “high” is not worth that beer belly you’re beginning to grow. The “high” is not worth your diminishing eyesight. The “high” is not worth the stress-diabetes you’re about to introduce yourself to. And the “high” is not worth the relationships you have taken for granted back at home. The “high” is only yours, no one else gives a shit. People don’t enjoy constantly being in the company of your achievements, they need time to embrace their own. No one is constantly following your work for the sake of your work. They will come to you when they need you for your work, never without that reason: So allow them to need you. Allow yourself the choice of independence from your work. Treat your work like a son or daughter, though extremely dear, you always know they will have to be let go of…


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