Daily Touch of Inspirations
July 25th: What's on your tombstone?
Ryan Holiday, The 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living
Sometimes our professional commitments can become an end unto themselves. A politician might justify the neglect of his family for his office, or a writer might believe her "genius" excuses antisocial or selfish behavior. Anyone with some perspective can see that, in fact the politician is really just in love with fame, and the writer enjoys being condescending and feeling superior. Workaholics always make excuses for their selfishness.
While these attitudes can lead to impressive accomplishments, their cost is rarely justified. The ability to work hard and long is admirable. But you are a human being, not a human doing. Seneca points out that we're not animals. "Is it really so pleasant to die in harness?" he asked. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn put it better: "Work is what horses die of. Everybody should know that."