When pigs fly. Quick as a bunny. When the cows come home. Your goose is cooked. The hair of the dog that bit you. When doves cry. Stubborn as a mule. Sly as a fox. Free as a bird. Hungry as a bear. The memory of an elephant. Soaring like an eagle. A lion’s pride. Busy as a bee. A bum steer. Don’t be a chicken. A snake in the grass. Something smells fishy around here. Strong as an ox. A fly on the wall. Stubborn as a mule. Can’t teach an old dog. A leopard can’t change his spots.
Human attributes have long been compared to those of animals. I suppose this has something to do with the fact that we often behave like animals. And this is a good thing. Monkeying around every once in a while, and working like a horse when necessary is what leads to a fulfilled life, one which proves that balancing hard work with the right amount of play pays off, in true balancing the gain format.
The Risks of Losing Balance
When we lose that balance, when we shun responsibility or, on the contrary, burn the candle at both ends, we risk losing the focus and stability that is requisite for success – both in business and life. Many have heard me say that I am my work, I am what I do. There have been those who say I am wrong and that I should not equate my worth to a paycheck or number of hours worked. This is not what I do and not what I am saying.
My meaning is that when I put “me” into my work, then my personal pride is attached and I have a placed vested interest in intersecting that pride with my accomplishment, in reaching my personal responsibility goals, my department’s goals, my company’s goals, the goals of my industry; this is a reflection on me. And the opposite also holds true, when I take my work with me, when I think about work while away, I usually have more clear thoughts, ideas flow freely, and my creative juices are once again renewed. The energy from both sides of me crosses over each other and my equilibrium is reset.
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Do not be afraid to work hard.
Do not think, for one minute that you can succeed without working hard. But also, take a vacation or an afternoon here and there off. Do not be afraid to do this. You cannot go, go, go without the rejuvenation that play or relaxation affords.
It is odd to think that something as carefree and non-directional as being free as a bird will lead to the success and even greater freedom of soaring like an eagle. It is true, it has worked for me. It can be easy to fall into the trap of laziness or becoming a workaholic.
You can have it all, just don’t neglect the “all” when you get it.