I’m Gonna Burn Out

Five minutes isn’t very much time.  It’s the time it takes to microwave a small potato.  It’s about how long I let my coffee brew in the French press every morning.

But when is the last time you just sat down for 5 minutes and did absolutely nothing?

A whole 300 seconds without talking, texting, watching something, reading or even thinking about something.

I couldn’t tell you when I did that last.  Truthfully, I’m not really sure I’ve ever done that.  That may mean something.

One day, I will burn out.

When that day comes, I won’t be able to do the things I love anymore.  The drive and enthusiasm will be gone.  I will become a different person.

At that point, discovering my why and aligning my life to best live it out for God will have meant nothing except for the brief time I was doing it.  Considering my purpose is about helping others reach their potential, I don’t want to only do that briefly.  I’d much rather figure out a way to do that as long as possible.

Now how do I know I will burn out?

I’m taking a cue from God.

Even he rested after 6 consecutive days of creation, albeit quite a project.

While there is absolutely nothing anyone of us could ever create or accomplish that equals God’s work then and now, we still need a break from time to time.  Whether it be parenting, working, training for a race, writing or whatever, we can’t do it forever, or at least do it well, without rest.

Harvard economist Juliet B. Schor said in her book The Overworked American that “the average employed person is now on the job an additional 163 hours, or the equivalent of one month a year, compared to figures from twenty years ago.”

Okay stop. Re-read that.

Is that you?  If you’re not employed, is that still you?

When I read that, I see myself as “average.”  Regardless of how much I love my career, writing, teaching, exercising and more, I can only keep up for so long.  Rest, relaxation and reflection has got to become more a part of my recipe for living.

If I’m being honest with myself, I will only get busier.  That means being intentional about rest will become even more important.

I said in Set Goals Like Soccer Announcers Call Them, “goals are all about accomplishing stuff.  They’re active.  Alive. Purposeful.” I later said in Activating Your Why With Goal Setting, “Setting and accomplishing goals…leads to a well-rounded, complete life, not one that…has flat spots…”

What I said I believe to be true.  But incomplete.

We can only charge for so long.  We must sleep.  Vacation.  “Veg out.”

Or risk burning out.

Question:  Are you resting enough?


4 thoughts on “I’m Gonna Burn Out

  1. I think that Americans, even Christian Americans, have a very twisted view of rest. We view it as a necessary evil. Or as something we do to prepare us for greater effectiveness. But there is benefit and blessing in the rest itself.

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