The Danger of All Work and No Play

leisure productivity Aug 01, 2019
Mark Struczewski

In 1980, Jack Nicholson was in the horror film, The Shining.

If you're not familiar with the film, The Shining is about Jack Torrance (Nicholson), an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic, who accepts a position as the off-season caretaker of the isolated historic Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. Wintering over with Jack are his wife Wendy Torrance (Duvall) and young son Danny Torrance (Lloyd). Danny possesses "the shining", psychic abilities that enable him to see into the hotel's horrific past. The hotel's cook, Dick Hallorann (Crothers), also has this and is able to telepathically communicate with Danny. The hotel had a previous winter caretaker who went insane and killed his family and himself. After a winter storm leaves the Torrances snowbound, Jack's sanity deteriorates due to the influence of the supernatural forces that inhabit the hotel, placing his wife and son in danger (Wikipedia).

I was 15 when this film came out and when I first saw it, it scared the crap out of me.

One of the classic lines in the film was said by Jack, "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

Apparently, it makes you go insane and want to kill people too!

You need to work hard AND have fun

I don't believe we were created to just work, work, work.

I also don't believe it should be a badge of honor to say that you're working massive amounts of hours...whether that be 80, 90, or 100 (or more) hours a week.

I grew up with a Dad who was a machinist at a steel factory. He was also very involved with the volunteer fire department in our town. I love my Dad. But he would work 10 hours at the factory, come home, change, eat dinner and head off to the fire department.

What I loved most about growing up was playing catch with my Dad - football or softball. I cherished those moments. And now that he is approaching 80 and has physical issues and Mom has late-onset Alzheimer's, those moments are gone forever.

Kids want your time, not your money

My parents took me to a lot of nice places as I was growing up. But I enjoyed the time with them more. I didn't care where we were or where we went. I miss those times.

If you have kids, no matter what they tell you, they want you to be there for them. Whether that means playing a silly game with them or attending their play/concert/game. It really matters.

What will people who love you really say about you when you're gone (and yes, you are going to die!)?

Will they be thankful that you worked so hard so that they could live in a mansion, fly FirstClass or private, or have a butler and/or a maid?


Will they regret that you didn't spend more time with them? I don't know you or your kids. But I'm going to say probably.

Even if you're single...

Please don't let your life be all about work.

Have fun.

And I mean more than once a week or once a month.

But don't go crazy and party every night. That's not what I'm talking about.

I love watching Judge Judy. It's one of my guilty pleasures. But I don't feel guilty about watching it. It's just a show.

My wife and I also take our 16 month-old puppy, Gracie, to the bark park on Fridays and Saturdays. And then, on Fridays, we go out to lunch and do our weekly shopping.

Good days and bad days

Don't kid yourself. You're going to have good days and bad days. Everyone does.

When you have a bad day, don't go too hard on yourself. Tomorrow will be better.

I'm not a millionaire or a billionaire yet and maybe never will be. I know money can buy a lot of things and help a lot of people. But if I never make that kind of money, it's okay. I absolutely love my life and sincerely hope you do too.

Don't be a Jack (unless that's your name).

Don't work, work, work.

Have fun. Let loose.

You and your loved ones will be glad you did.

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