Plenty has been said about Elon Musk’s struggles. Between the erratic late-night tweets, skipping birthdays, and sleeping on factory floors, one thing has become painfully obvious: It’s not working. What’s worse is the addiction to work has brought on the brag of the 120 hour workweek—an unhealthy prospect at best, a deadly one at worst.
Here’s what we’re left with: a great moment to step back and ask ourselves: How are we working and how is our workweek working for us?
I remember years ago talking with a friend who gave everything—countless hours—to a company for decades. To the breaking point. Literally. One day, his heart stopped. It wasn’t until he was lying on the hospital bed, staring up at the doctors with scalpels readying to cut his heart open that he realized the seriousness of his problem.
He stopped working the crazy hours and got his life back.
It may not seem that simple for a CEO locked on a company goal, and dead-set to hit it at all costs. But why shouldn’t it be? Why shouldn’t he be just as willing to do what it takes to be healthy?
Life is meant to be lived with wisdom, but wisdom coaches us only as we listen closely to our bodies, minds, and souls. And then do the right thing.
There’s no life-changing technology without life. And there’s no way of making the world a better place without putting our work in the place it belongs in our lives.
Someday, Elon may reflect back on this moment as his turning point. The wake up call from the universe to change. When he started changing the world by first changing himself.
Maybe we can all do that a little more.