During my stint in the police service, when senior officers called me, they would sometimes ask, “Where are you?”
The implication was that if you are in office, you are working – so you are a good boy. But if you were at home, you are slacking off. Nobody said it out loud, but the implication was pretty obvious.
Whenever I came home late from work, if some officer saw me, their eyes would twinkle – they were happy to see the youngsters slogging hard (even if they themselves were taking it easy).
In the early days of my career, because of my insecurity, I did not take the time to relax and recover. I was glued to work virtually round the clock.
The result? My health suffered, my fitness declined, and I often felt burnt out. For the first (and only) time in my life, my blood pressure went up.
It is not that I did not love working hard – I really did. But working hard when the situation demands is different from being glued to your office chair because you are worried about what people will think.
In this whole saga, I can’t blame anyone else. It was totally a self-inflicted wound.
In retrospect, I should have ignored what anyone thought or said, and just let my work speak for itself.
In general, whenever you start worrying about what others think, bad things happen — I have never seen an exception to this.