Burn out is a natural part of life and work- especially in today’s always moving economy. It is often hard finding the balance between grinding away on the daily hustle and moving too fast that you fall of the tracks.
I have spent years juggling multiple professions. I work two jobs during the day, take private boxing lessons, and I am training for the 2019 Los Angeles Marathon.
With all of that, I still have found a way to reduce my exposure to burn out.
How have I done it?
I made sure to leave the job that was holding my soul back.
Though it was not entirely intentional…
I was fired from a sales job that I held for just under 3 years. When I started at that job, things were great. It was just passed startup phase and me and my team were making a lot of money for ourselves and for the company. More importantly, we all felt like we were building something that was bigger than ourselves.
That all changed when we were purchased by outside investors.
We were told we needed to do our job a certain way in order to reach certain metrics. This didn’t mesh with how I roll.
Probably like you, I am a free-thinker. I like to do things my way. I was always good at math in school but quite frankly thought the teachers were dumb when they said we had to draw out the formulas “correctly.” If I get to the right answer my way, what does it matter? It was similar with this job.
I became unbelievably burnt out both mentally and spiritually.
I wasn’t building what I thought was something bigger than me. Quite the opposite. I was being shrunk into a confined space of rules and regulations of how to do something.
My burn out caught up with me and I was fired from the company.
For a while I was crushed. I was fearful of where I was going to find an income to help me survive. I questioned all the choices I had made up until that point.
I reevaluated what made me excited in life.
I come from a decently large Italian American family. Food- especially shared food, is very important to my family. It is a time for storytelling and constructive argument and laughter.
I realized at a very young age the power of food and the special energy around a dinner table.
With that, I found a job serving in fine dining. This was a hard thing for me to grasp my head around at first. I felt I was taking a “step down” in life if I were to serve in a restaurant (my mother still thinks I’m stepping down in life).
With this new job, however. I learned an extraordinary amount of information about food, wine and hospitality. I learned how to host for a guest or a group of individuals.
I was experiencing a lot of joy with this profession. With that joy, I found I wasn’t feeling burnt out as much. I was feeling excited to go into work and learn more about this life.
When I found the joy, I built upon that.
I believe that one should always be seeking to learn and improve on their life. People should be taking up different hobbies and learning new skills.
I have always been an active person. I played lacrosse in high school. I always liked to jog and workout in the gym.
As I got older, I realized I needed to increase the workload of what I was capable of. Again, I was at a place where my job was a reflection of what made me happy in life. Taking on more didn’t seem like anything that scared me or exhausted me beyond belief.
I took up taking private boxing lessons. I aways wanted to learn how to fight and push my body past my [perceived] mind’s limit.
On top of a physically demanding job of being a server, I took on boxing. I can remember the first session I took. Afterwards, I was having trouble walking. I had never worked out that hard in my life. After while, you make it part of your normal day. The human body has an amazing way of acclimating to the demands of your daily rigmarole. It’s also extremely hard to feel aimless and depressed when you are engaging in serious physical workout.
Since having boxing in my life and building up my energy levels to sustain such a workout, I have also taken on training for the 2019 LA marathon. My colleague challenged me to do it. Maybe it’s my Ego but I cannot turn down the challenge.
Again, I’m adding this to my day and still feeling the vigor of life. The more I add, the less I seem to be experiencing burnout.
I kept building, adding one more block to my pyramid everyday.
I love writing. I remember being a kid and writing up short stories and songs and poems. My favorite classes growing up were always my English classes. Those classes didn’t have many boundaries. You could do and create what you saw fit.
On top of all the activities I was engaging in and the job I was performing; I took on the daily pursuit of writing.
Again, it amazes me still that taking on this daily promise (I write everyday), I kept feeling more energized and was waking with more vigor in the morning to get out of my bed and work on capturing my daily “hunt.”
I write everyday. Most of the time I’ll write for several hours. I write multiple articles and work on the book that I am writing.
After I write, I’ll still have to go to work and work as a server. I feel energized as I drive in the car to my restaurant. With boxing, writing, running and my full time job, I am feeling more energized and more alive than ever.
Burnout is a result of performing a role inconsistent with your true self.
When you are doing someone else’s bidding (working for a big corporation where you perhaps don’t feel your value, working at a job you plain old hate, living with a partner you aren’t finding joy with etc) you tend to feel burned out because it isn’t consistent with who you truly are.
When you align yourself with yourself- you find that you have more energy reserves than you may have once thought.
No one wants to live a life inconsistent with their dreams. Perhaps, it’s an unfortunate truth that many people will. But perhaps not you. My hope is that when you read this, you take a piece of my life and apply it to yours.
Again, I am college educated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurial Studies. Now I am waiting tables.
But I’m happy.
With happiness comes energy and a fire in your belly. When you have that fire and a pure fuel for it- burnout becomes hard to experience.
Find your happiness and your burnout will diminish.
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