Over the Edge

I woke up this morning to read a great blog post that hit home for me.

Ty Unglebower, a writer, actor, radio host, movie lover, and recent ‘connection’ blogs about the difference in Passion and Obsession.

This leads to me ask the question, “how does one know they’ve gone over the edge?”. I ask that because I was there and I hope this posting helps others to STOP before they become obsessed. Being a natural extremist, working in a booming industry like higher education, and working in a revenue driving sales and marketing position sounds like a dream to anyone in sales who would like to make money. But, when does that ‘dream’ become your life?

People talk about addictions; drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, gambiling, sex…but i’ve never heard of a group called “workers anonymous”. I contend that people can become as addicted to their career as anything else. The science behind addiction says the reason people become addicted is because they feel a “high”; just as anyone in sales and marketing knows – right after closing a deal, you feel a “high” as well. We know that drugs and alcohol elicit 2-10 times more dopamine in the brain than normal (dopamine makes you happy); hence people getting addicted…gamblers, for example, have the same reaction when they win a bet; the dopamine takes over and they feel a ‘high’; working, especially in sales, can elicit the same response.

5 things I should have recognized but didn’t…and went over the edge.

1. Waking up in the middle of the night and immediately getting on the computer.
2. Refusing to take vacation time
3. Forgetting to eat or only eating at the office
4. Mood is always dependent on how work day went
5. Prioritizing work before family and friends

If you experience any of this, pull back now. I don’t regret my decisions in that I love the life I lead now, but I do wish I had been more aware at the time so I could have made a conscious decision how I wanted to live my life versus letting the business dictate how I would live my life.

  1. April 8, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Thank you for the mention for my blog post. I will say again what i said to you over there. I am moved by your candor about your previous life experiences regarding you “workaholism”. As moved as I am by that I am impressed by your ability to have turned things around. I know it is an ongoing process, but I hope you are proud of the accomplishments.

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