Why the Gods hate workaholism?

In this let us see Why the Gods hate workaholism, yes you have read it right. Workaholism isn’t heroic, and doesn’t benefit anyone. In fact it’s counter-productive and hurts everyone starting from the workaholic!

Using up the day mindlessly and priding oneself as a Karma Yogi is foolish. The real Karma Yogi is someone whose figured out a faster way to get things done.

Reference from chapter 3 of Srimad Bhagwad Gita that elaborates on the yoga of action i.e. Karma Yog is conveniently misconstrued as workaholism. The true interpretation of Karma Yogi is a doing work with realization. Realization of oneself, the work itself and its impact on the ecosystem.

Lessons from our scriptures and sacred texts debunk workaholism! Sages, intellectuals and our revered elders in the past have provided for sufficient rest and breaks that are intended to rejuvenate the mind and the body. The Hindu culture is replete with examples that emphasize on that work life balance.

Temples and shrines have a break, the concept of ‘shayan’ and representations of  Mahavishnu resting comfortably on Adiseshan or Shiva in deep, relaxed meditation symbolize the importance.

Even the great war of Kuruskhetra had a sun down wind up every day! Yet today, it’s common to see workplaces full of workaholics. People doing all- nighters and working through weekends is an epidemic that plagues almost all organizations. Strangely it’s considered as martyrdom, and most institutions reward such people.

Working more based on the premise of ‘martyrdom’ is not just unnecessary, it’s also foolish. Working more does NOT EQUAL get more done, it just means you stayed on for longer than others. And God forbid if you’re a manager, then you end up guilt tripping people who in turn stay late out of obligation. Really, even the hardest of such work isn’t going to be much, because no amount of work is too much work…the future comes in installments, we get only one day at a time.

Workaholics are exactly like the ‘mudhas’ as described by the Lord in verse 15. And they end up creating more problems than they solve.

Workaholics try to fix problems by replacing smart work with hard work and make up intellectual bankruptcy with brute force. Eventually not just is this unsustainable but also produces lousy output. Workaholics are as unproductive as the lazy weasels who do nothing all day.

Remember the smaller, smarter army at the Kurukshetra that walked away the honors?

Hence learn to take a break, not the big vacation that you planned for but the smaller one, your daily dosage, and your weekends…the break that your mind and body wants! Work smart, and discourage workaholism because it’s pathological. A workaholic in your team can make the people who don’t stay late feel inadequate and that leads to guilt and poor team morale.

Do you or your team member’s stay late out of obligation? Are you genuinely productive on a 150 hour work week? Reflect on these questions because it’s time to rethink.

Because if all you do is work, you’re unlikely to have sound judgments.an an ability to decide what’s worth extra effort and what’s not.
And you wind up just plain tired. No one makes the right decisions when tired, even in the pursuit of Jaydratha before sun down the Lord gave a much needed break to the horses.

Right in the middle of the critical 14th war day, with time was furiously ticking away and Arjuna had to get to Jaydratha before sun down…the break was taken….and eventually the goal was accomplished too.”

Don’t feel guilty, go ahead and take a break. Give yourself one and your team the breaks that will rejuvenate. As a Karma Yogi, you have a huge contribution to make…Bounce back after your rest, the Gods are waiting!


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3 Comments on “Why the Gods hate workaholism?

  • Absolutely correct mr srinivas chari, only the five men army won.Karma is one which is just doing your duty and work alone not the fruit of your work.Keep doing you will hit at it. NICE JOB EXPECTING MORE SUCH THINGS FROM YOU

  • Nice article. Renovating Man in a new way definitely to be shared with my team mates thanks for this great work

    • Nicely said, but just to look at it from a different perspective, workaholics can also be a good thing. The key is for the urge to work to be self-driven rather than demanded by a demanding boss. There is a difference between being a workaholic and being overworked. The former means you have a passion for your job and a different work-to-life balance than the rest of society. The latter means you’ve got a persistent boss who insists you work long days and long overtime.

      A healthy workaholic is energized by the sense of accomplishment and the feeling of reward when goals are achieved. An unhealthy workaholic is motivated by the fact that he could get fired if he doesn’t do enough by the next morning.

      As long as your motivations are positive, then there’s nothing wrong with being a workaholic.


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