The Race Towards Burnout

Burnout.

We are all capable of it. That moment when everything stops. That moment when that big assignment that you enjoyed so much just stops mattering. The moment when you feel like you can’t go on any longer the way you are going and something has to change.

There are different ways it appears. It may come as a sudden sickness; it may come as a feeling of depression and nausea; it may come in other ways, some of which I personally haven’t experienced, and you may not even be able to verbalize. But as you’re reading this, you understand exactly what I’m saying. You know the feeling of burnout.

Over the past two days, I’ve experience a lethargy unlike almost anything I’ve ever experienced. I say almost because I have been this lethargic once. But then I was presenting with a multitude of other symptoms, and that’s a story for another time. My current lethargy has left me unable to do much of anything, even if I am motivated to do so. I’ve come to realize that this could simply be the feeling of burnout, manifested in a new way in my life. The last time I felt burned out, I almost had a mental breakdown. That was bad, but through God and my wife, I was able to come out of that situation in tact. This one shall have the same result.

I’ve been watching the series “Mad Men” as of late. While I can’t agree with much of what goes on in the story, I find it very interesting and even inspiring and convicting as of late. For example:

“We’re flawed because we want so much more. We’re ruined because we get these things and wish for what we had.” ~ Don Draper, Mad Men

Quotes like these are swiftly adept at explaining the reasons for burnout. We want so much more than we have. So we work and then work some more. And then, we are ruined; because after we achieve our goal, it is either unsatisfactory, or we have spent all our energy achieving it and have none left to enjoy it.

That’s the question life asks, isn’t it — “What do you want and how far will you go to get it?”

We all need to remember that life is a journey, and we need to enjoy it, not rush through. Burnout stops us from enjoying the journey because you can only go so fast for so long until it begins to take a toll on your mind, body, and spirit. Either prepare to take time and relax during the journey, or you will experience burnout by the end of the it.

We all have dreams and many of us have responsibilities that we would rather ignore to be able to focus on our dreams, but it’s a balancing act. You have to keep your dreams focused and take care of yourself, while balancing daily responsibilities.  Let’s do the best work we can, while taking care of our body, mind, and spirit, by letting ourselves relax before we get to the point of burnout. This can be done, and we can do it.

Will you race towards your dream, or will you race towards burnout?

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