Burnout is an interesting topic because people confuse it all the time when it’s at its extreme - depression, actively lashing out, mental/emotional exhaustion, being sensitive to moments that trigger you into an unwarranted frenzy of aggressive poor behavior.
That’s not burn out, that’s already being burnt out.
It’s painful and life seems to be a vicious loop always fire fighting responsibilities and juggling work for the sake of work.
If you feel you are already burnt out, this also applies to you - our ultimate goal is to turn it around rapidly.
I describe burnout as a path. The truth is in our modern times, we think about and do more things in short amounts of times consistently than we have ever!
Think even times where queens and emperors ruled kingdoms; now we’ve got simulated games that mimic that where we can download to help us kill extra time.
How much information we create and consume. The speed of near instant communication; our texts, emails, etc. The need to always buy things… new gadgets, toys, gas for our cars to even simply our 3 meals a day!
We even “hack ourselves” to be even more productive to cope… we can crunch a 40 hour work week into 4 hours so we can can then do at least 8 times more work to up that new competitive edge!
Taking the philosophy of doing more with less to do even more… and then mix in a slew of first world problems...
To keep up with this pace, we are always on a burn mode as we continue to live a lifestyle of always pursuing growth.
Our pace of life is not just getting worse, it’s going exponential! The challenge then is, can our mental, emotional and physical bodies keep up with that burn rate?
Can we recover faster than the damage we do to ourselves?
Learning on the frontiers of the human potential movement and even observing our own environment on our precious planet we call Earth…
The simple answer is no. It goes much deeper in the way we think individually and collectively as a human species.
It’s a destructive path, and quite often is a path and recipe that leaves us empty and unfulfilled.
All you have to do is answer the simple question honesty:
Is your career an expression of who you are and passionately fires you up and makes you feel alive and energized most of the time? Does it give you meaning and the fuel to express your fullest potential everyday?
So burnout is a process, of small unconscious behaviors that slowly eats at your life’s energy - in small doses and very consistently becomes very difficult to reverse consciously because it’s developed at the unconscious level as a multitude of habits.
Each email. Each advertisement. Each bill payment. Each work task. Each YouTube video.
Each instant message. Each Alexis or Siri request. Each time we multi-task from one app to another. Each time we swipe left and right and zoom in and out on our touch screen devices.
The soup of neurotransmitter chemicals like dopamine, endorphins, epinephrine are all unnaturally stimulated in our bodies to turn our burnout habits into mentally addictive behaviors.
With each of the many convenient micro decisions you now have to make…
It swells into a set of modern day behaviors that bakes into our identity as a productive citizen of a globalized world.
So how do we beat burnout while still progress forward with our positive impact in this world?
That’s my Nobel Peace Prize winning question...
Without throwing away the baby with the bath water...
It takes a shift in how you think, and ultimately a shift in what you want to identify with that includes who you are at a deeper level.
While we can’t change our modern day conveniences, nor would we want to…
It’s using this rare opportunity to connect to who you are and who you want to become…
And instead of spamming intellectual activities - it’s being more purposeful.
It’s only focusing your energy on things that make you feel alive, and expressing your natural talents and skills in areas that you can most effectively make a difference
It’s creating out of your values so the value you add to the people, communities and causes important to you, are used more meaningfully, thoroughly and fully.
It’s creating a positive perpetual cycle of behaviors and solutions that identifies with higher values like love, happiness, wellbeing and prosperity that as a species we deeply yearn for.
And slowly will be gone are the days of meaningless work, a life of a paycheck, the rat race and societies that are unhappy, unhealthy and constantly fighting and consuming themselves.
At the Burnout Clinic, our focus is to rapidly turn burnout around, and most importantly use that as a opportunity to change people’s behaviors so they can move forward in their lives with the leadership, skills and ability to create meaningful work for themselves and others.
It’s more than an intervention - we call it a breakthrough.
A little about me... Hi! I'm Duncan So, Executive Director at TheBurnoutClinic.com, the Founder & Chief Catalyst of Phinklife.org, a Systems Change Agency, and the Head of Global Education at the Phinklife Institute for Social Impact empowering leaders for social impact.
Want to breakthrough your burnout and creating meaningful work for yourself or your organization? Start here at: www.theBurnoutClinic.com