Over the years, I was often chided for working too much, too long, too intensely. I always gave my job, my employer, my projects six days a week, ten to twelve hours a day. I always felt that what I lacked in ability and intelligence, I could make up with time and effort.
Looking back, I still think my approach — my philosophy — was correct for me, but not right for all. Successful achievement of worthwhile goals always directed my immediate objectives. And while they weren’t always achieved, my goals always gave me a sense of direction and purpose and usefulness.
For years. I worked through my lunch hour. Time was too precious to waste. Dr. James Miller said that was a mistake and suggested I go out to lunch with a valued employee whom I rarely had time for during regular business hours. So I did that during the last fifteen years of my career. And I think it was effective in strengthening the business, in getting valuable feedback and suggestions, and in developing the individual, usually a subordinate.
So I guess, in retrospect, I was the typical and often criticized workaholic. But I don’t regret it. I was usually happy in my work.
Most importantly, I was blessed with a beautiful and outstanding wife and mother of our children — a stellar homemaker and family-maker — for which I will be internally grateful. And I did give priority to special family and children’s events.
One more thing, I was often accused of delighting in my work — that I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I don’t think that was accurate. I simply accepted the reality and necessity of having to work to support my wife and children and to provide for a good life when my working days were over. If I had been born a millionaire, I probably would’ve done other things. For sure, I would have followed my father’s admonition when I criticize him for working after retiring from his lifelong career: “Bill”, he said, “I have to be useful.” And useful he was to the day he died.
Perhaps that’s why God created us — to be useful, to be productive, to accomplish, to make our family, church, community, city, state, and country better than we found it. I think so!