Personal Development

An Open Letter To Workaholics Who Aren’t Getting Results

Will Chou
Written by Will Chou

Am I a workaholic? Yes, but I also have no problem taking time for myself.” -Chris Jericho

It’s gut-wrenching.

They told you that working every moment of your free time would lead to happiness. But when you get there, you’re disappointed.

And you look over and you see others working half as hard and getting more results. Sometimes, it’s not the show-off’s on social media that bother you most. It’s the people you see in real life.

They may not have perfect bodies, but man, are they above average. They may not be filthy rich but it seems they do not have to worry about anything: their dating lives, financial lives, happiness, everything is fine.

It’s frustrating seeing them do well when they’re clearly not smarter or any harder working. In fact, they could clearly be working less.

This has happened to me many times throughout my life. Recently, it’s snapped me out of my funk of hard work. I can feel burned out or frustrated when it happens.

What’s the point of working so hard to achieve a perfect body and financial freedom when others are putting in less effort and already happy? Why do I feel so much frustration?

I realized it was because my alignment was off. I had been slowly pushing the line between enjoyment and discomfort. My theory is that I was sacrificing more and more of my time to do activities I did not enjoy to achieve some future goal.

Seeing people who just did what they did naturally and enjoying life so much snapped me out of it. I had to add more fun into my life.

I say in a lot of my personal development blog posts that it’s not all about luck, that you have to work hard, and that you sometimes have to put off what you want to achieve your goals. But I am sure I can do that in a way that is more fun.

The truth of the matter is that luck does matter. When there is such a vast, diverse world of 8 billion people, there will definitely be outliers and variance. There will be people who lucked out in every possible way.

My new main objective is to have fun and focus. My old main objectives have become secondary.

Why? Because why do we do what we do? Often, it’s to be happy or enjoy life more. We get better bodies or make more money because the material gain we get (better dates, possessions, or experiences) we think will make us happier.

But science has shown that many of those pursuits do not actually improve our happiness in the long run. We quickly get used to them. So why are you tolerating years of suffering for some future pay off decades down the road? Is it really worth the “happiness” you will supposedly get at the age of 50 or 60?

In fact, a lot of successful people (Will Smith, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Michael Jordan) had fun throughout their entire journey. We need to toss this idea of “30+ years of suffering for some pay off when we are old and out of energy.”

Buffett calls this “saving up sex for old age.” My new goal is to make the climb more enjoyable than the destination and if I can still make it productive so I move towards a better body, more money, and better dates, then I will. But if not, no big deal.

I will still work towards improving my career skills, having a better body, and all that jazz. But it’s not worth the burnout.

It’s OK not to be perfect at everything yet

You need to stop beating yourself up. Do this exercise that I do when you feel the beat of perfectionism and comparison set in:

Walk onto a public street and count 100 people. Observe how they are. You will notice that 99% of them have not achieved great success in a single area of personal development. They are overweight. They are rich and dress broke. They are not productive with their time. Their personal finances are a mess.

You realize that it’s okay to not be perfect at everything yet. Most people die without achieving any success in a single area of their lives. You need to stop comparing yourself to the 1% and assuming it’s average or your standard. It’s not healthy.

In the not-so-distant past, I have been stretched in too many directions at once:

  • I wanted to improve my emotional intelligence.
  • I wanted to be an expert conversationalist.
  • I wanted to be more funny.
  • I wanted to be rich.
  • I wanted to be an expert marketer, copywriter, SEO, and networker.
  • I wanted to have a muscular body.
  • I wanted to be a leader in my industry for my YouTube channel and blog.

The list goes on.

You can imagine how frustrating it is when you are devoting so much time to everything when you see little results and other people who are doing so well in life with a goal list like this:

  • See what’s on Netflix tonight.
  • Hang out with perfect boyfriend.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett said focus is one of the most important things you can do to succeed in life. I have known for this years. Yet it’s so hard to actually do because of all the temptation out there and “social media experts” like Gary Vaynerchuk screaming at you to jump onto the next hot thing every day.

It’s time to just focus and enjoy life more because I believe life is counterintuitive. The more fun you have at something, the more you enjoy it and the harder you work and focus on it. And the more you succeed.

Because the truth is it’s never enough. I discover successful entrepreneurs almost every week on podcasts that “have it all” but wanted more. Once they made a million, they compared themselves to the guy making ten million.

Once they made ten, they look at the person making a hundred million. The same chase happens for a lot of people in different ways: some want to be taller and some want to be even more ripped and fit.

If you let yourself fall into this cycle, it’s vicious. It never ends. You are always miserable, chasing more. Females, stop comparing yourselves to those supermodels and men, stop comparing yourself to millionaires.

About the author

Will Chou

Will Chou

Will Chou is a personal development blogger who uses science-backed evidence. He has a free gift, 5 Life Changing Books, for you at willyoulaugh.

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