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Man's heart attack inspires list of 'what near-death has taught me'

CNET logo CNET 4/22/2021 Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
a man sitting on a bed: Jonathan Frostick has been rethinking his priorities. LinkedIn © Provided by CNET Jonathan Frostick has been rethinking his priorities. LinkedIn

It took a heart attack to inspire him, but Jonathan Frostick, a program manager at a London investment bank, is rethinking his work-life balance, and his overall priorities. Frostick posted a photo taken in the hospital to his LinkedIn profile along with a post outlining the do's and don'ts for his life going forward, and more than 240,000 people have liked his post in one week.

As the attack hit, Frostick said he didn't see his life flash before his eyes. Instead, he started worrying -- about work, his will and his wife's reaction to finding him.

"I've since made the following decisions whilst I've laid here, on the basis I don't die," wrote the 45-year-old Frostick. He went on to say he won't be spending all day on Zoom anymore, is restructuring his approach to work, won't be "putting up with any s#%t at work ever again," wants to make his work days count, and plans to lose 15 kilograms (about 33 pounds), and spend more time with his family.

a man sitting on a bed © LinkedIn

"And that, so far, is what near death has taught me," Frostick wrote.

His post has hit home: More than 10,000 people have left comments, with many describing their own work burnout and steps they took to adjust their priorities.

"Been there, had to make decision about going back to my business or being a stay-home father," one Linkedin user wrote. "Now, it wasn't an easy decision at age 41, but the best move of my career."

Frostick told Bloomberg News he manages more than 20 employees, and his work days can run to 12 hours, all with a wife and three young children. He doesn't blame his employer, HSBC, saying, "I don't think this should reflect badly on the place where I work, I think it's fairly consistent across the industry, and I think that's why it's resonated with so many people."

An HSBC spokesperson told Bloomberg News, "The response to this topic shows how much this is on people's minds and we are encouraging everyone to make their health and wellbeing a top priority."

For now, Frostick is still recovering and thinking about the bigger questions, some of which he is grappling with on LinkedIn.

"I took my health for granted," he said in a follow-up post. "It was something off of my radar and something that 'wont happen to me.'"

And he encouraged his flock of readers to avoid his mistake.

"So promise me one thing," Frostick wrote in one post. "Just book a slot each day for you (to rest the brain), and another slot which is dedicated for exercise -- and prioritize them as if you're in front of the CEO -- because, actually, everyone is the CEO of themselves."

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