How often do you say one of the following:
I’ve worked 21 days in a row.
I worked 4,000 hours last week/year.
I was at work by 6:00 a.m. this morning.
I worked until 11:30 p.m. last night.
You repeat these sayings as if each is a badge of honor. Without knowing it, you wear that badge of honor hoping someone will praise you for it. You want to be acknowledged. You want to be seen as a hero.
A badge of honor is pointless! What are you really saying? In most cases, you’re flaunting that you are a workaholic. You’re pointing out that you don’t have a life. Why do you want to be praised or receive recognition for that?
I’m just as guilty as you, if not more guilty of polishing my badge of honor for all to see. I’ve learned, however, that the badge of honor I wore did nothing except scare people away, not bring them closer. I remember wearing the following badges of honor in my career:
I worked 28 days in a row.
I worked more than 2,800 hours in a year.
I was out of town for six straight weeks, including weekends.
I put more than 35,000 miles on my car a year.
All these statements are true. But, telling people about them does nothing for me or them. It may make me feel good at the time but, in essence, I’m bragging about working too much.
There are certain people who can work an unbelievable number of hours and still have a fulfilling personal life. They’ve already worked a normal half day (in hours) before we even get out of bed. Good for them. I’m not one of them and don’t want to be.
I love my job and I don’t necessarily mind working a lot of hours. My work is fulfilling and challenging so that is why I continue to do it. Flaunting my schedule or how busy I am is pointless though. My goal in life is to enjoy my family, not work every waking minute.
What if your badge of honor looked something like this:
I played with my kids for two hours each day.
I go on a date with my spouse at least one day per week.
I have not missed a church service in an entire year.
I volunteer one day a week at a children’s home and take my children with me.
We have taken a family vacation every year for 10 years.
Those are meaningful badges of honor. If you flaunt these badges of honor, people will be impressed and maybe even jealous. It is my belief that the majority of society wants to do these types of things but they make excuses as to why they can’t do them. You could be the person to affect change in others. Now, that would be a great badge of honor!