Ambitious people are pretty notorious for working themselves into the ground, while allowing as little time as possible for things like leisure, adequate sleep, and relaxing weekends.
Just checking entrepreneur-focused hashtags on social media for five minutes will probably give you a pretty quick and clear insight into the culture of “constant hustle.”
But between working to develop your business ideas, planning your terrace house extension, trying to learn new languages, and trying to keep up an effective fitness routine, there comes a point when burnout is all but inevitable.
Here are just a few reasons why it’s essential to attend to your well-being as an ambitious person.
Because life is unpredictable, and you need to be able to enjoy the present in addition to working towards the future
There’s plenty of evidence out there – both in examples of famous successful individuals across a variety of fields, and also in the science of psychology – that planning for the future and practising deferred gratification is essential for allowing anyone hoping to achieve their full potential in life.
All the same, life is unpredictable, and you never know when your plans will be shut down and your time will be cut short.
You need to be able to enjoy the present in addition to working towards the future – and this can only happen if you are taking your own well-being seriously, and are doing what you can to attend to it in the present day.
Eat good food, get enough rest, and savour free time with your loved ones.
Because your ability to be consistently productive will depend a lot on your overall well-being when all is said and done
There’s a strange and sad irony in the fact that many people end up essentially sacrificing their own well-being and health, in order to become more productive – while the truth is that there’s good evidence that optimising your own well-being is one of the best and most reliable ways of being consistently productive and effective.
In her book “Do Nothing,” the author Celeste Headlee cites research evidence that professionals who take their full annual vacation allowance outperform those who subscribe to an ideal of working around the clock, and throughout the year.
Evenings off, weekends, and vacations, all contribute to recharging your batteries and allowing you to be truly productive when you get back to the office. By the same token, you will always be mentally sharper and more resilient if you’re eating well, sleeping well, and exercising regularly, too.
Because people who genuinely enjoy what they’re doing, and who enjoy life as a whole, are able to be deeply creative in a “spirit of play”
The famous physicist Richard Feynman had gone on record stating that he believed his achievements would have been impossible if he had operated in a more contemporary academic environment.
The reason? Too many KPIs, and too little opportunity to “play.” It turns out that Feynman came up with his most striking revelations by “playing around” with different ideas, unsupervised – and by literally playing games with a ball in his classroom, too – until insight came to him.
People who genuinely enjoy what they are doing, and who experience a high degree of well-being, are often able to be deeply creative in a “spirit of play.”