Helping the Chronically Overworked Find Life Balance

The Truth About Sacrifices For The Company

Chapter 1 My Corporate Idolatry Part 5

I had been a true believer in my company. I thought the company had a mission to change the world, and I needed to devote myself to help the company achieve these laudable goals.  I was getting paid a lot of money to change the world – what is not to like about that picture?  Nothing, if that is a true picture of what is going on.  In reality, the company’s first, second and third priorities were to make money.  Some very good things did come from the company, cutting edge tools for scientific research that led to thousands of papers in the top journals.  However, the price I paid in terms of my health and happiness was very high.  I was literally killing myself for the company.

At that time, the most important thing in my life was the company.  I am embarrassed and ashamed to admit it, but it was true.  I had always told myself that my wife and children were the top priority, but when I look at my actions, decisions and time spent, it was all about the company. I thought about work in the shower.  I talked on my cell phone as I drove in to work, and as I drove home at night.  I worked after dinner, and I had trouble falling asleep because I was going over the day in my head.  The next day I would get up at five AM, to work on email, and to call my colleagues in Europe.  I worked at least a little on most weekend days.  The more I sacrificed, the more important the company became to me, which in turn led to more sacrifices.

But it didn’t have to be that way, and in the next post I will start to outline what I did to change things.

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