I guess the first question that needs to be answered is “what the hell do I want to do with the rest of my life.” Actually, first, I need to decide what makes me feel alive. I have to figure out what makes me happy and then figure out a way to make what I do mirror this. I like helping animals and people, but I am tired of the way working for the non-profits I have worked for drains the soul. Would burnout happen if this is what really set my soul on fire?
The question really becomes-Is the burnout caused by the environment I am in, caused by the reactions I have and how I do the work or a mixture of the two? For the last eight years of my life, I have worked in some fairly toxic environments (some became toxic and some where always that way). I know, that in part, I have not done enough to stop this and have actually helped to contribute. I am working on myself-trying new things to help make me a happier person, reading as much about professional development (and personal development) as possible and seeing if there is a way to make myself a better person, employee and leader.
I truly believe I have more in me than I have ever let out. I have thoughts and ideas and concepts and abilities that have not been utilized in the best ways, if at all. The hard part is figuring out what these strengths are, building them to be even stronger and then unleashing them to get the things done that need to get done. We all have the ability to make change, we just have to move past the fear, inaction and demotivation to actually do.
Doing is what makes people great. It’s not the ideas...it’s not the money...it’s the doing. Great people get things done. It doesn’t matter if you have the greatest ideas in the world-ways to do things better; inventions to make the world a better place-if you don’t do anything about them and give them to the world, they are worthless. The doing is what makes things great and what makes people great.
Getting things done requires starting. Getting things done requires not listening to the fear. Getting things done requires follow-through. Getting things done requires standing up for your ideas. Getting things done requires challenging the status-quo. Getting things done requires commitment. Getting things done is what separates the good from the great.
For me, starting seems to be the hardest part. I have to get beyond thinking I have to have a good idea to start. I need to just start doing things until the good idea comes along. I need to open myself up to more experiences. I need to talk to more people. I need to stop thinking and over analyzing everything and just do. I need to sit down each day and write. It doesn’t matter what I am writing about as long as I am writing. I need to experience life and art and friends and nature and laugh and learn and hope. I need to have fun. I can no longer allow fear or laziness or lame excuses to stop me from experiencing all that life has to offer.
As I continue to do (or really begin to do), I am certain the good ideas will come. The more I am open to new experiences and living instead of worrying about what I am supposed to be doing, the more and more I will see things I can do, enjoy and work on. The idea that life is a journey is a good adage. The thing I have to keep in mind is that it isn’t the destination that matters-it’s what I did along the way that makes the destination all the more sweeter.