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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Going from Burned Out to Fired Up...

We will all probably face burnout at some time in our lives. Most of us struggle with balance. Burnout is typically caused by an imbalance in one of three basic areas - mind, body, or spirit - or a combination of them. You stand a better chance of addressing your particular issues if you take the time to analyze why you're feeling a loss of passion and enthusiasm.

While there are no sure-fire answers or guaranteed solutions to burnout, there are a number of things you can do to help you break the cycle of feeling "disconnected." The strategies below can help you get "unstuck" when the problem isn't of drastic proportions, such as clinical depression or a serious chemical imbalance.

  1. Learn in a group: Sign up for a class in... well, anything. The creative mind needs the stimulation that comes from new experiences. The topic doesn't matter as much as stretching your mind does.
  2. Learn one-on-one: Pick people you admire, invite them to lunch, and ask about their life experiences. It's amazing what can come out of a candid conversation. Similarly, hiring a life coach might provide just the perspective you need.
  3. Teach: Teaching is an energizing activity. Sharing your knowledge can often be as rewarding for you as it is for others.

  1. Embark on a physical challenge: You don't have to go to the extreme of running a marathon to reap the benefits of setting and achieving a physical goal. Take a class in a new sport or join a team or league to get up and moving.
  2. Change how you eat: Pick a healthy way to eat and stick with it for two weeks. Two weeks without sugar or caffeine might convince you to look at nutrition differently. And whatever changes you make, drink more water; many people who suffer from fatigue are simply dehydrated.
  3. Get "in touch": Trying one of the high-touch healing arts may bring surprising results. There is a mind/body connection, and it is often activated by the touch of a human hand.
  4. Consult an expert: Seek the advice of professionals who help others perform at their physical best: nutritionists, personal trainers, etc. While you're at it, pay a visit to your doctor for a full physical.

  1. Volunteer: Putting yourself outside yourself is a tremendous way to gain insight. Discover the inspiring value that emerges from giving back to the community.
  2. Find a support group: Contact a counseling center or a local church and describe the kind of group you are looking for. Be open minded. For example, even though you may not have a problem with addiction, many groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous welcome interested people to their meetings.
  3. Examine your faith: Too often our faith can take a back seat to the pressures of job and family. A small imbalance in this area can easily snowball and require greater time to correct. Take (and make) time to reconnect with your faith.

Regardless of where you feel the imbalance, it's generally true that these problems don't go away on their own. There is truth in the saying, "if you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you've got." The key is to modify our current attitudes and behaviors.

Here are some great resources:

100 Ways to Motivate Yourself
The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity
The Book on Mind Management
The New Diary: How to Use a Journal for Self-Guidance and Expanded Creativity
Unstuck: A Tool for Yourself, Your Team, and Your World

Adapted from "Light Your Fire... or 'You're Fired'?" by Sheree Clark in the June/July 2005 edition of Dynamic Graphics


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Our complimentary Mp3 version of “100 Ways to Motivate Yourself”
The second half has the file name of "100 Ways to Motivate Yourself (51-100)"
Please feel free to browse our website for the hard copy:

Thank you.

Proe & Proe Associates, Inc.
3522 James Street Suite 212B
Syracuse, NY 13206
315-432-1562 (Fax)
Office manager: Deborah A Lizzi

April 12, 2006 7:52 AM


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