Work Hard, Play Hard

Louis - Richmond, Virginia
Entered on February 26, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: pleasure, work
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Working hard is an American value. According to a recent study, 93% of Americans view themselves as hard working. This compares to 31% in Germany and 30% in Japan. Americans work more hours and take fewer vacations than workers in any other advanced economy. This merits a privilege, if not responsibility, to spend our free time playing as hard as possible. I believe in this work hard, play hard mentality.

I think that there are many people who work too hard and many people that play too hard. It is much more than a saying. It is an attitude, a way of life. The benefits of working hard at whatever job is presented to you, has the obvious benefits of escalating you to the elite tier of your workplace. When you get older, you look back on your life with pride or disappointment. I want to be one of those people who like back with pride, knowing that I gave it my all to have the most well-rounded life possible.

There are several keys to mastering this technique. The first being that you must be very self-disciplined. Once you have determined how much time you spend on each, you must be efficient with your time enough that you do not accidentally use work time for play and vice versa. The final point is that you must keep up your health. You must treat your body well and especially get enough sleep.

Why do we work so hard anyway? Working is pointless if you do not enjoy the rewards that it provides. I don’t want to be one of those people who look back on their lives with remorse because they did not “live it up” so to say. Obviously there are multiple contexts of fun and “living it up.” Fun is whatever you want it to be. Whether its sports, music, or drinking a copious amount of alcohol on weekends, just do what you want to do.

My father bases his life around this philosophy. His father left the family when he was a young boy leaving him as the man of the house. He had to work while attending school and had a large student debt when he graduated which he did not finish paying off until after I was born. He has taught me to appreciate this hard-working mentality even though our economic and familial situation is much more accommodating than his own when he was growing up. He has taught me that as long as I am excelling in my field of work, I should spend my free time pursuing whatever makes me happy.

This attitude has made my life significantly more productive academically and socially. When I am older, I want to look back on my life with pride knowing that I took every opportunity I could to work hard and have fun. Basically, what I am trying to say is work hard, play hard, or go home.