Burnout

July 7, 2017

I love to watch Youtube.

A lot.

 

In fact, I probably watch enough to become a case study for those people who say, "Watching more than (blank) hours of T.V. a day will turn your brain into tapioca pudding". 

With all honesty, I think I could set a new curve for them to base their research on. One of my favorite things to watch are "epic fails". Those videos where people think they are mountain biking, parkour, gymnastics, parenting, demolitions, or life experts, and their failed attempts are immortalized for fantastic repeat watching. 

 

One thing I have found mesmerizing recently are vehicle fails. Racing accidents, tractor-pull disasters, boating break-ups, you name it. The one's I can't seem to get enough of are those involving drag racing. 

Usually it's the kind where there are some super souped-up dragsters that barrel down a long track at pee-your-pants speeds to beat out their competitor. What typically takes place before the green light signals the drivers, in a massive show of force, do a "pit burn" where they spin their wheels like crazy while in a standstill to show off their skills and the thousands of dollars that have been poured into their vehicles, making them elite performance machines.

 

I feel like that right now: spinning my wheels and going nowhere after a TON of investment.

The aptly named "Burnout".

 

Burnout happens easily and often because of great things. Excitement, passion, opportunity, and encouragement; all of these can lead to unchecked and mismanaged passion. 

 

I'm experiencing what I am because I love my life. I love my family with all of my heart. I love what I do because to my very core I know it's what God has called me to. However, it's precisely because of my passion for the things I care most about I am in this current state.

When burnout hits, the same instinctual response arises every time: 

 

Run.

Hide. 

Forget.

 

This mania inserts itself into my already exhausted self (which includes some mania in normal times) and says, "You can't do this to the excellence you desire, so it's time to stop. Everything and everyone will be better off without you continuing on". The story of my life includes so many times I did just this. I felt enough responsibility and subsequent guilt for failing at things that I checked out from what I cared about most. I've done this in easy things like jobs. I've done this in friendships. I've even broken my own heart and others by doing this with family and to my oldest kids. 

 

What's different now vs. then is that I have people around me who won't let me quit, give grace and space to rest, and gently (or when needed, forcefully) give council and provide a safe space to unload the pressure my own passion has placed upon me. 

 

And we all need this. 

We all need people to hold us up when we are too weary to continue, who apply the brakes for us when we are flooring the gas pedal. To keep our lives from becoming an epic fail. 

It takes community to go the distance and win the race

 

So who do you have in your life that does this for you? 

Perhaps the big question is: Do you need someone who will?

 

So I'm going to go call my people

Reach out if you need a person and I'd love to help.

 

Nate

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