Join me on a remarkable transformation journey, where the power of tough love shapes my story of beating workaholism. Balancing career and family can be challenging in our world of constant hustle. Walk with me as I uncover the heart of my journey—a tale of overcoming workaholism after a rude awakening.
Confession time: I used to be a full-fledged workaholic. Constantly juggling multiple projects, obsessing over excellence, and pursuing outcomes relentlessly. But, oh, how things have changed!
The pivotal shift didn’t come easy, let me tell you.
Rude awakening and tough love
A decade ago, at the peak of my career as a surgeon, life threw me a curveball. My world was about to change drastically when I recognized that my over-ambitiousness and workaholism were taking a toll on my young family. It was a crossroads where I had to decide between my career pursuit and the well-being of my loved ones. It was a crucible or defining moment, and I had to act fast.
You see, my amazing wife was eight months pregnant and had our first son to look after. They struggled with my workaholic tendencies – the endless work hours and countless on-call days. Relocating to Australia for work had its own challenges, and the stark contrast in support systems for young working families between here and back home in Nigeria was an eye-opener. It was a brutal reality check.
Adding to the pressure, my unborn child eagerly kicked, reminding me that time was running out for contemplation. Did I need to decide: career or family? It was the most demanding professional choice I ever faced.
“I realize now that life is short, and we are very foolish if we do not keep a balance between work and family. If in trying to be a success, you lose your wife and family, you’ve lost it all.”
As a world-renown Relationship Coach, Gary Chapman inspires me, and his words deeply resonate with me. I knew something had to change. Fast!
At that high-pressure moment, I requested a “time-out.” At that moment, I made a challenging decision to overhaul my activities and place my family at the centre of all I do. I realized it was crucial to know how I spent my limited time consciously. I took a month-long annual leave to welcome my second son and, more importantly, to dive deep within myself. I needed clarity and courage to make a decision I could live with, no matter the consequences, and without regrets.
Seeking Balance: A Journey of Growth and Family-Centric Living
With introspection and prayer, I found my answer. I chose my family over my career pursuit. It was a leap of faith into the unknown, an uncharted path that scared me yet felt incredibly right.
I won’t lie; the journey wasn’t without challenges. But as our family grew, I knew I had made the right choice. And the best part is that I found a way to keep my professional dreams alive while putting my family at the centre of it all.
I pursued further gruelling education and certifications, mastering Forensic Medicine and completing specialist training in two reputable medical colleges. It wasn’t an easy journey, but it was worth every effort.
I also instituted healthy boundaries, learning to say NO to activities and programs that didn’t align with my objectives or stretched me too thin.
Though I’m still busy, I’ve become more engaged in what truly matters, creating a more integrated and fulfilling personal and professional life.
Of course, there is always room for improvement, and I strive for better balance.
Practical Tips for Work-Life Balance
So, how can you embark on a journey to strike a balance between work and family, integrating your passions and personal life effectively?
Here are some practical tips that I’ve personally found invaluable
- Prioritize Family: Make quality time for your loved ones a non-negotiable. Schedule regular family activities and cherish these moments to strengthen your bonds.
- Set Boundaries: Learn to say NO when necessary. Focus on what aligns with your values and goals, and don’t be afraid to decline opportunities that may throw you off-kilter.
- Time Management: Efficiently manage your time by creating daily schedules. Reduce your time on mindless TV, endless scrolling through social media and other low-utility activities.
- Self-Care: Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Practise regular routines of physical exercise, meditation and reading. Nurture your well-being to be more present and energized for your family and career.
So, if you struggle with balancing work and life, remember this: it’s not about sacrificing one for the other. It’s about finding harmony between your passions and your cherished ones. Take a moment to pause, reflect, and connect with your core values.
Trust me; it’s worth it! Tough love might be the cure you need. It takes courage to change your path, but with determination, you can rise in your career while cherishing precious moments with your family.
I encourage you to embrace your journey wherever it takes you. Believe in yourself, lean on your values, and remember that the key to a fulfilling life lies in striking a harmonious balance between work and living.
Finding the perfect balance between work and family life is an ongoing journey that requires introspection and the power of tough love. I discovered that prioritizing family without sacrificing career ambitions is possible and immensely rewarding. Let’s embrace this transformative journey, and with practical tips and lessons learned from their inspiring stories, may we all find our unique path to a balanced and fulfilling life!
Are you struggling with workaholism?
What could you do with a better work-life balance?
Hello, I’m David Onu, a Relationship and Life Coach. I can work with you to better balance your professional, personal lives while nurturing intimate relationships.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for your time.