Have you heard about the guy that wanted a red Ferrari?
Story goes, it represented a symbol of success, of working hard and finally making it in the business world. He could visualize it parked in his driveway, for all the neighbors to drool over and turn green with envy when they drove by.
The red Ferrari would mean he had achieved a status that set him apart from others. It told the world that he was not a failure.
He had to have that red Ferrari.
This guy worked hard. He worked long days and often worked nights. He worked weekends and holidays, all in pursuit of his goal. He was exhausted, but consumed.
His wife and children rarely saw him. Family time that included Dad was almost non-existent. He was gone before they were awake and often came home after everyone else was in bed.
He was driven. Driven to drive that damn red Ferrari. Not only would his neighbors be envious, so would his friends. They would all see that red Ferrari in the driveway and they would finally understand why he had worked so hard. His family would know that he did it all for them.
The guy was so tired, but he knew he would never accomplish his goals and his dreams without working as hard as he did. He was stressed, but so determined to drive that sleek red machine that was his symbol of success.
The thing is, his kids didn’t care about the car. All they wanted was their dad to throw the ball with them, to attend their soccer games and school play and to just hang out like their friends’ dads did. His wife didn’t care about the car either. She was tired of raising the kids alone, of not going out as a couple like they used to, or as a family.
But there weren’t enough hours in the week for those “leisurely” activities. He barely slept, because his mind was always racing with all he had to do. “Stress” was his middle name.
One day, he found himself in a most unusual situation. His afternoon client cancelled and he had no one else scheduled. His reports were filed and his boss told him to go home. Imagine his family’s response when he showed up. He played with his kids, ate dinner with his family, laughed and relaxed and had the best night’s sleep in a long time. The next day, he awoke rested, another feeling he had forgotten about.
He was so refreshed he surprised himself with how much work he got done the following day. With a clear head, his focus was on point, he accomplished more, in less time, and was pleased with the results.
The following week, he purposely scheduled an afternoon off and enjoyed more family time and again, was incredibly focused and productive at work. By the following week, he added a day off on the weekend. He discovered his productivity at work increased 25 percent although he was working less. His family life improved even more.
In time, the guy made an important discovery. As he learned to take time for himself and his family, his ability to balance his life enabled him to achieve more — more money, more success, more quality family time, more rest, more focus and perhaps most important — he could finally afford that red Ferrari.
And suddenly, he didn’t want it any more!
Here are three things “this guy” wants you to know about life and work balance:
Success Isn’t a Thing
You will never feel fulfilled if you gauge your success by an object – the fanciest car or the biggest house. Yes, they represent wealth, but not necessarily success.
Giving up Family for Business is a Lose/Lose Situation
You will never get back the time you could have spent with people that you love. Or have time to develop a relationship. You lose and they lose
Without Balance in Your Life, Your Health Will Suffer
The stress will never be worth it –- the I-never-have-enough syndrome creates stress that can affect not only your sleep but your quality of life.
Having things does not equate to having a life. Money will purchase objects, but it won’t purchase the feeling of being fulfilled. That comes from within and from having others to share our lives with and create memories with. You can’t recreate what you miss out on.