Each person decides for themselves their level of income, security, and future.
“Don’t work too hard” isn’t about avoiding 120-hour work-weeks, but it does leave out the possibility for a deeper flow or curiosity or focus. Actively working hard can take a mere 10 mins. It isn’t necessarily the duration but the dedication.
It’s not about the hours put in – whether 32 or 82 – but the dedication during those hours. “Don’t work too hard” is the antithesis of *work with focus and flow and enjoyment.”
A good life is whatever the individual decides is flow, focus, and enjoyment. “Don’t work too hard” is what someone on the outside says when they have no clue what makes an individual tick. Sometimes focus, flow, and enjoyment is 16-hour workdays or 32-hour work-life-balance 4-day work weeks or 10 years of super-hardcore thinking to produce the General Theory of Relativity or training for the Olympics or taking 7 years to write Ulysses.
Heck, a person could put into practice all of the techniques in Tim Ferriss’s The 4-hour Workweek, while ignoring the *don’t work too hard* trope.
Self care is on a case-by-case basis. Each individual knows whether a 16-hour day reflects their self-awareness or not.