• Nisha Jackson, PhD

Confessions of a Workaholic

My name is Nisha and I’m a workaholic.

It has taken me time to admit this reality to myself. Unlike so many vices, you’ll rarely have someone outside of a few loved ones intervene if you are working yourself into exhaustion. Our society puts productivity and accomplishment on a pedestal, fetishizing choosing work over recreation and especially above rest.

I chose the path early on. The warning signs should have been there when I turned age nine and wanted nothing more than a chance to work in my father’s restaurant for the day. A born entrepreneur, my dad agreed that it would be a good opportunity for me to learn the value of hard work – a lesson I may have overlearned. That day as I cleaned tabletops and cleared trays with the gusto of a freshly minted member of the workforce, I first gained a taste of the addiction for work that would grip me for a lifetime – and I liked the taste.

I juggled multiple jobs throughout my school years. I did indeed develop a strong work ethic, but can’t help but think of all the formative social experiences I missed out on – lazy afternoons with friends, meandering conversations about nothing in particular. I was in such a hurry to make my own money and become independent that I missed out on much of what makes childhood so special.

As high school came to a close, however, I found myself at a loss for what I would do next. I had been so focused on grinding and hustling throughout my school years that I had never taken the time to truly explore my interests – to ask myself what type of work would most make me come to life, where my passions lay.

I realized I had no idea what I was going to do with my life and hard work alone couldn’t answer the most pressing questions we must ask ourselves in order to find our path. My family had rarely talked about college, having never attended university themselves. I had all the work ethic I would ever need – but no idea of where to focus my energy.

In time, I would find my passion for healthcare and helping others to live truly healthy lives in the most holistic sense of the word. But I learned that one can also truly hear their heart’s passion and purpose if they take a pause from the chain of workaholism.

Would you consider yourself or someone you know a workaholic? What are the signs you have noticed of someone with an unhealthy connection to their work?


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© 2018 by Nisha Jackson

*this degree is from an unaccredited college and is not approved for use in Oregon