The most famous people in history are workaholics

This workaholic had a stroke when he was 26

Koffler PicturesIt should be a normal working day for Jonas Koffler (41) a decade and a half ago. The then 26-year-old had a steep career with a start-up, and within a few months he rose to head a marketing and development team made up of designers, programmers and producers.

70-hour weeks were the norm, and deadlines were worked even longer. "I was the first to turn on the light in the office and the last to turn it off in the evening," writes the current bestselling author in a comment in the "New York Times".

He kept up the pace with a constant stream of coffees, naps instead of real sleep and the general belief in absolute indestructibility: “I was young, 26 years old, what should happen?” Says the ex-tech employee.

A slight tingling sensation in the hands

When he drove to the office on that fateful day in early 2001, he felt a slight pressure in his right eye, his hands felt numb with a tingling sensation. Koffler ignored the symptoms, initially thinking of a general depression in the morning. He'll get going again.

He was standing in front of his team at a meeting when, as a colleague later told him, his chin simply tilted down and he suddenly slurred nothing more than incomprehensible stuff.

Next someone persuaded him: “You had a bad stroke, we have to do scans to find out what is going on. Do you understand?"

Koffler tells his story as a warning to workaholics, especially younger people, who often sacrifice their health in the struggle for a meteoric career.

"Checks the calendar"

Koffler describes the transformation from a careerist who believed himself to be indestructible to a temporary nursing case who could not utter understandable words for a while and could not remember how his name was spelled.

“Since I was so young, I didn't think about the possibility of a stroke,” he wrote.

During a lengthy convalescence phase, he had to relearn spelling and arithmetic - when he returned to work, the “daily sprint” had become a “tedious crawl”.

But that was exactly what Koffler quickly found favor with: "Because of my stroke, I had to readjust my priorities for my career," he remembers: "But with this reorientation, there were suddenly new career opportunities and I learned not to overfill my calendar." All of that would have made him a lot happier. Today Koffler works as an author, tech investor and consultant.

His recipe for the happiest: “I imagined that I the calendar controlled and not he controlled me, ”said Koffler, co-author of the book Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life With Money, Meaning and Momentum.

Everything should be recorded in it, he advises: "Work appointments, fitness, walks, social activities, even sleep times".

Walks with the wife

To this day he would stick to the concept: One hour a day would be dedicated to a “mental reset”. Koffler: "I go for a walk with my wife, I breathe, I smile, I meditate and say hello to strangers on the street". He also keeps a diary in which he enters thoughts and makes sketches.

For his further career, the American took on a number of projects that he knew he could cope with.

Overloading is the norm in today's working world, says Koffler: Ambitions are also engraved in the psyche of many.

Koffler admits that it is often only extremely hard work that will get you anywhere in an increasingly competitive world. But despite all ambitions, one must learn to understand and heed the indications and warnings of possible overload.

And when you step down, you often find opportunities for a new career path - and a happier life.