Do you know someone whose primary identity is work? Maybe your spouse is that person and they don’t realize it themselves. Their work identity could be based on their profession or it could be related to their role as a parent, but either way they are consumed with this identity. It’s possible that work provides them the most rewards, accolades, and measurable levels of success. In some cases people are really good at their jobs, but not so good at relationships so they focus almost exclusively on the area they excel in. Other times work provides a wonderful distraction and avoidance from activities or relationships that people prefer to avoid. In fact, some people are running as fast as they can away from their relationships, emotional connections, and commitments to people!
People have all sorts of obsessions, but work is often justified by the lifestyle, possessions, and opportunities it affords the family and is therefore tolerated. Being out of balance with work, relationships, and life is a very common problem. In some cases, the power couple are both striving to achieve great things and accomplish so much that they forget to take care of themselves and their family. Life can be hectic, chaotic, and stressful enough but when you get trapped in success, there doesn’t appear to be any way out. The mindset is that achievement, performance, and productivity rule and relationships function at a lower priority.
How do change your perspective? It starts with valuing people more and shifting your priorities. Another important component is moving out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself to do things you’re not good at. Relinquishing control and being vulnerable are also requirements for relationship building and divesting from work. Find sources of purpose, fulfillment, and meaning other than work and diversify your activities. Invest more in friendships and lean on others for a change. Develop deeper connections with your family, friends, and faith recognizing that like most things in life the more you put in the more you get out. What do you want your legacy to be? Do you want to be remembered for your work obsession? Maybe a better legacy would to be a person who impacted others’ lives and cared for people. Life goes by quickly, don’t let yours be consumed by your job.