Take it from me—the original type “A” personality. It pays to keep yourself rested and healthy. I worked 60 to 70 hours a week for many years while I started and ran my businesses. Yes, I enjoyed it, but this stress took it’s toll.
At around age 35, my doctor told me he’d be putting me on medicine for high blood pressure. I casually asked him how long I would have to take it and he answered “the rest of your life”. Well, that got me thinking ! It’s easy to pretend that we are invincible, but you can’t fool Mother Nature. If you are far out of balance, something will go wrong!
I never did take the blood pressure medicine, rather I went right out and purchased a bicycle. I started pedaling the 5 miles to and from work, and slowly started to get back into shape. But I still continued the 60+ hours per week. Soon this pace took it’s toll. I became so stressed out that I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat and wasn’t having any fun. One day ran into the next until I finally went to see my doctor, complaining that I thought I might be having a heart attack. He took one look at me and said ” Craig, I think it’s stress—I’ve been seeing a lot of it lately”. He took a bunch of tests and confirmed it was all in my mind. But folks, to me it was very real.
You could call it a Mid-Life Crisis, but I thought long and hard about the things that were important to me. I made a decision that I would like to spend more time doing things with my family and more time learning new skills and improving myself and helping others.
So far I’m doing pretty good. I take at least 3 or 4 vacations a year and I’m not out of bed till after 8. I play tennis regularly, strum on my guitar and also enjoy ping pong, skiing and other sports. My blood pressure is now constantly normal, and I feel much better. One strange result of slowing down: the more I take it easy, the better I’m doing financialy. I have more time to think about the right actions, and therefore I can “work smart” instead of working hard. So, even if you are healthy as a horse and happy in your work, taking it easy can reap you some good dividends!