Confessions Of A Workaholic: ‘I Don’t Regret It’ — Here’s Why…

Written by William Pauwels on December 12, 2017

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.

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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!

photo credit: Excerpted from: Go-tea 郭天 Overtime via photopin (license)

Share if you agree we are all called to work hard to make the world around us better.

William Pauwels
William A. Pauwels, Sr. was born in Jackson Michigan to a Belgian, immigrant, entrepreneurial family. Bill is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and served in executive and/or leadership positions at Thomson Industries, Inc., Dow Corning, Loctite and Sherwin-Williams. He is currently CIO of Pauwels Private Investment Practice. He's been commenting on matters political/economic/philosophical since 1980.


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