‘Workaholism’ If You Can’t Define It Correctly, You Shouldn’t Criticize It

Written by William Pauwels on May 1, 2018

I recently read an article expressing opposition to “workaholism”. I guess I’ve been seen as a workaholic for most of my life – so I wasn’t surprised by it.

I must admit that I’ve always felt the need to be productive and/or to be learning. Wasting time – being unproductive – always bothered me.

My father always worked ten hours a day during the week, and eight hours on Saturday. My mother always gave high praise to individuals who worked long and hard. And she worked in a factory as a seamstress until she was having her third child. And each one of us kids had household jobs on Saturday, no excuses. So I suppose that environment programed my subconscious to favor work and productivity and achievement.

It’s interesting that my college classmates still think of me as the guy that was always studying. Hey! I was taking electrical engineering – a tough subject to say the least.

Please don’t misinterpret my sharing these thoughts with you. I’m not advocating workaholism, but I’m not condemning it either – as long as you provide sufficient time for your wife and family. Don’t miss the important things. Use your time wisely – to achieve your goals and objectives – and to have a happy and successful family life and marriage.

A bit further to this, I recently came across an internet meme declaring: “The older you get, the more you appreciate being at home doing nothing.”

I disagree with this thought.

I think many retired people need to feel useful, accomplished, productive. Many volunteer. Others have hobbies. And some have businesses they run from home.

Retirement enables one to do things he/she couldn’t do in the past, for lack of time, e.g., reading, studying, taking a course, perusing the Bible, praying, meditating, etc. I personally devote an hour-and-a-half each day to these things before turning my attention to my investment practice.

I find semi-retirement to be very refreshing and rewarding.

Image: Excerpted from: https://pixabay.com/en/office-freelancer-computer-business-620823/

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.