Some people try to label me a workaholic. They seem to think that because I stay up late or get up early to get work done that I must be a workaholic. But there’s a difference. I realize not everyone will see it and you might not agree but let me see if I can persuade you to think about it differently.
The dictionary definition of workaholic is as follows: A person who compulsively works hard and long hours.
This means anyone who is compulsively working long hours or hard hours is by very definition a workaholic. However, let’s dig into that definition a little bit more. The interesting word in that sentence is: compulsive. Compulsive means a result driven by an irresistible urge, especially one that is against one’s conscious wishes. And now I hope you see the real root reason why I would fundamentally disagree with the label of workaholic.
If you’re in a situation where you are working obsessively on something, but loving what you do, you are driven to see its success and you are hyper-focused on seeing your work brought to completion…that is not a workaholic. That’s focused, intentional, and deliberate choices made for a very specific purpose.
In those late hours (or early mornings) when I am diligently striving to create something never before seen I am motivated and driven by a goal and a vision. My “why” statement is the foundational belief upon which I build my work schedule and my calendar. I am consciously and willfully making choices which will enable and empower me to accomplish the goals I have set. This is the exact opposite of compulsion.
Compulsive behavior by its very definition is an irresistible, uncontrollable urge to work, regardless of desire, motivation and purpose. This behavior lacks the fundamental basis of “why”. Therefore, workaholics are not driven by their goals and their desires to accomplish something, they are not driven by an innate inner fundamental belief, instead they are controlled by an external force. Workaholics have lost their basic human right to freedom.
So as I hope you can see, I very strongly object when someone would suggest that I am a workaholic. There is no situation in which I would consider myself a workaholic. Yes, I spend a lot of time creating something incredible. I pour myself into what I do and I am highly motivated to see its success. But it’s a conscious choice. It’s a daily decision I make to wake early, stay late, and change the world. I’m driven by my “why” and my vision. And I hope you are as well.