After finishing the university, I jumped into life with many goals. I wanted to earn a lot of money to establish the life of my future family. I was fortunate because I got a good job and earned quite well. However, it wasn’t enough for me; I wanted more. My goal was to begin my own business so that I could lead a life of my own. I worked and learned 10-12 hours daily, even on Saturdays and Sundays. And, since the results came, I didn’t really care about the time and the fact that I was addicted to work. I told myself that I had to push myself to achieve my goals and that it would become easier over time.
Years went by in this way, and my first kid was born. My heart swelled with joy. I became a father, someone who has so much responsibility. However, the weight of responsibility and my family’s reliance on me led me to work even harder. My goal was to keep them safe, and having enough money was a fundamental part of that. So, I drove my business to a higher level which, of course, required more time.
A few years went by again with hard work and dedication. From a financial standpoint, everything was fine. My business was growing. Everything we needed to live a good life was available to us.
The turning point in my life came with my son’s third birthday.
As we sat at the table with the cake, the little guy blew out the candles. The grandparents and my wife were discussing memories of my son’s early years: how cheerful and funny he was as a baby when he took his first steps and words when he started kindergarten, etc.
Listening to them, I wanted to recall the previous three years, but I had trouble remembering anything. Only a few pictures appeared in my mind, but I couldn’t see the whole picture. It was like watching a movie and falling asleep. Although we can put together the plot, we don’t know the exact details.
I felt ashamed that everybody knew so much about my son, and I, the father, had just a few memories. The truth dawned on me that I had spent too much time of my life working. As I looked back, I realized that I lived in a bubble. Physically, I had been with my family, but I hadn’t been part of it. I had been in my office at least 12 hours a day, and when I was among them, my mind wandered around the projects.
Honestly, I was mad at myself for wasting those years that would never come back. What is the point of working so much if we can’t enjoy life with those we work for? We can’t buy memories. Years fly by quickly, and it’s easy to miss what’s really important.
Therefore, I made a drastic change to my lifestyle. Of course, I didn’t give up my job since everyone needs money. I just laid down a few rules: 8-hour workdays, no work at weekends, and when I’m with my family, I only focus on them. To fulfill these rules, I needed to optimize my work. (Nothing serious. I just focused on the most critical tasks based on the 20/80 rule). The exciting thing was that I could complete all my assignments in time, and I didn’t feel any adverse effects on my business. It’s not about working harder but about working smarter.
My life changed completely after those changes. There was a significant improvement in my relationship with my wife and son. They no longer had to live with a workaholic zombie.
Now, I’m a father of three. After my son, I had two cute daughters. And, yes, now, when I look back, I have many memories of my little girls. I did my best to be with them as much as possible. With my loved ones by my side, I can live a whole and enjoyable life.
I still love my job, but my priorities have changed. I learned the lesson that money doesn’t make happiness. A family’s love is what really matters. No one knows what will happen in the future, and it’s impossible to go back in time.
I hope my story of why I gave up my workaholic life gives some motivation to you. There is no problem with working, and I still believe that a job we love is the greatest gift in life. Money is indeed essential, but it is not enough to bring us happiness, despite the claims of this modern world.