Put in work, but don't forget to live.

For those of you who know me, you know I’m a firm believer of the expression “work hard, play hard”. For those of you who don’t, here’s a quick background story. I was very applied and disciplined with my academics.  In addition to that, I was also the one going out every weekend, partying and staying out ‘til the sun rise.

Thanks to my parents, I have incredible work ethic and discipline.  Maintaining the fine balance of work and having fun isn’t always easy as we can sometimes get carried away and overdo one or the other.

However, what you need to keep in mind is that there’s an absolute need for both of these qualities in order to be productive, and find success while avoiding stress and burning out.  I speak from experience when I tell you that it’s all real.  I personally went through phases in which I didn’t want to do anything except work and study, and it affected me on so many levels.  If you do it long enough, you’ll subconsciously project it out into the world and the people around you.

Why do you think companies grant vacation time and encourage days off?  It’s because they know that when people become overwhelmed, productivity diminishes. You become more prone to committing errors, your morale fades, and sometimes, you don’t even feel like working, and that’s when you get that urge to call out sick.  In extreme circumstances, you may even have an anxiety attack or mental breakdown.

It's a fine art.
It’s a fine art.

Having fun is absolutely essential for your mental stability and overall health. You don’t need to party to have fun, everyone is different, but you need to do what makes you feel good and what makes you happy.  When you partake in something you enjoy, your brain secretes four chemicals: endorphin, oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. It’s proven that triggering the release of these chemicals makes you a more productive person.  So make it an effort to do what makes you happy, whether it’s reading a book, hitting the gym, or going to the club.  Whatever it may be, ensure that you’re creating positive vibes for yourself, but do it in moderation!

I was inspired to write this as I sat with a friend in the parking lot of a night club who was telling me about his first grey hair.  He mentioned his desire for going out a little more because he works so hard and he’s only getting older.  The fact of the matter is, he was right, sooner or later, we’ll retire that scene for one reason or another and regret not having done just a little bit more.  Even if your mind says yes, your body will disagree.

Think of it like this, you eventually get to a point in which you’re working with individuals across a broad age spectrum, and they all like to have fun too.  Whether it’s going out late night, enjoying family time at home, or playing golf, everyone has an outlet. However, discipline is absolutely essential.  You must never lose sight of your focus.  You must have the proper mindset and continue pursuing your goals.

My advice to you, is to put yourself on a reward system.  Earn your right to have fun.  Put in the work, do something productive, and create that sense of accomplishment prior to engaging in your activity.  To be honest, this is how I operate, and it’s an extremely satisfying feeling that keeps me constantly motivated.

Put in work. Pursue success. Have fun and live your life!Click To Tweet

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Elliot is a Northeastern graduate and the editor for ElevatedPost. His mission is to help motivate, inspire and teach. His passion is driven by his desire to help others self-improve and realize their untapped potential so they may find success and prosperity.