When chasing our passion, burnout is inevitable.
We put in hours of necessary work into our passions. It’s what we love to do. Though at some point… we push ourselves to the limit. Somewhere in the middle of it all, we miss a step- a break of routine. Some external force (peer pressure, crisis, etc.) causes us to go beyond what we’re used to. We are creatures of habit, and when habits are interrupted, we’re forced to adjust (usually making us uncomfortable).
If you’re human, you will have days like this. Days where you feel exhausted from the pressures of our daily lives. When you’re in this state of internal/external pressure your quality of output may not match the quantity of your input. Without knowing it, the spark inside of us reduces.
Whether you already took your “leap of faith,” or simply looking for ways to unleash the best version of yourself, these unorthodox, yet psychological tricks should remind all of us why we took the path less traveled.
Remember what drives you(literally).
Look at past failures to remind yourself life has been worse.
From a macro perspective, this is your “why”. The reason you’re here. But let’s take this to a whole different level… a deeper psychological level. Ever notice realize the heated tension that builds up inside when we’re caught in an argument? It's like that person hit a certain nerve connected to our past. You feel attacked, and the only sensible response is to lash back.
Use this to your advantage. Acknowledge and embrace the pain. By simply internally reversing the role you play in this scenario, you can re-light the spark in an instant. Use your past as a mirror to encourage yourself to do more. Welcome the moments that make you feel on edge. By confronting past paints through a mirror, you then remind yourself keep going. You’re in this for the long haul and you cannot be discouraged by the past.
For example, there were moments where I wasn’t deemed “good enough”. Moments where I felt inferior compared to the rest of society’s standards. Times where I fell just short; what could’ve been is now lost in the book of imaginations. During times of idleness, I follow these simple steps.
- I welcome painful memories. Any memory that would give me a reason to want to keep going. A “chip in my shoulder”.
- I take the memory and write it on paper. In my case, I can even pull up a picture from the past (visually seeing failures gets me even more fired up).
- Take the built-up energy and release it into your work.
- Get after it.
Yes, this may sound unhealthy, but I got over it. Use it as fuel.
Check out this mental equation:
Pain from the past (initial motivation) + Desire = Internal Fire
Sometimes, talent needs trauma.
A journal is your time machine to the past.
My journal fills a lot more than my mind can handle
In times of laziness, we often just lack motivation. As I said, burnout is inevitable. Your page is blank after several hours. Your standards of good work aren’t hitting the mark. There’s this saying, “The easiest way for you to travel back in time is to read books of people who have done what you dream of”. By acknowledging that there are other people we can look up to, we can begin to build a journal of quotes from those more superior.
The most common sources for motivation are buried in books, magazines, podcasts, you name it. Whatever the source may be, I always found it helpful to write meaningful quotes on a small journal. Preferably, one that you can take anywhere.
I keep a small black journal with me at all times. On the first page, I have my goals written down. After, are endless pages of advice/stories from the likes of Steve Jobs, Ray Dalio, Robert Greene, etc. These quotes serve one purpose; adding a spark to your temporarily unlit fire. Whenever I lack the energy to keep going, I turn to page four…
“Memento Mori. Remembering you are going to die is the best way to know you have nothing to lose- there is no reason not to follow your heart”.
Take notes. We consume so much content in a day we tend to forget most of it. By keeping a journal of quotes from icons of the past(or present), you will carry that needed injection of motivation at all times.
Turn bad days into lessons.
Passion derives from the latin word passio, which means to suffer.
Not every day is perfect. When chasing our passion, we often suffer. This game we decide to play is all mental. The simplest solution to getting past bad days? Knowing they are in the past. I once picked up this book titled, “Passion Paradox, A Guide to Going All In, Finding Success, and Discovering the Benefits of an Unbalanced Life”. In short, this book discussed the journey and mental state we should all be in when chasing our passion. While reading, I came across this quote that provided me a fresh perspective…
“Doing the work has a special way of putting both success and failure in their respective places, after a massive achievement or devastating failure, getting back to work serves as an embodied reminder why you are in this. Enjoy your success, grieve your defeats, but in 24 hours get back to your craft”
Start living to your standards. Acknowledge negativity is right around the corner.
Emerge yourself to new experiences. Find your comfort zone.
Remember when we talked about routine? How, when broken, we often feel off? I recently gained a new perspective of a “day off” and I hope this realization serves you well in the future.
In my own right, I live a fast pace life. I work as a social media intern in New York and when I am not in the office I am constantly reading and self-educating. My commutes are long and the amount of coffee I drink on a weekly basis should be illegal. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer this style of living.
I recently took a trip to the more countryside of New Jersey to visit a friend. I was instantly driven back. Here, there were more trees and land than people living in it. Loud truck engines were replaced by the slight bliss of wind. Tall industrial buildings were replaced by empty farmland. There were more animals than people. All of a sudden, I was at awe. I felt out of my element.
The best part of the day? Simply throwing a frisbee in a backyard surrounded by apple trees. Though my friends merely saw it as a backyard sport, I imagined the activity as an escape from my reality. We played for several minutes and my mind wandered. I was lost in my thoughts and free from any external forces.
I’m not saying that you should go throw a frisbee around and expect sudden relief (though you should try it). I’m telling you to temporarily break your pattern. Free yourself from the hustle. If you have the privilege, taking a vacation would be the most ideal, but a simple activity would do its justice.
During this journey, we’re told to step out of our comfort zone. However, in this case, stepping back into your comfort zone to enjoy your surroundings is your best case scenario to getting back your edge.
Switch up your daily playlist, watch the sunset, do anything that allows you to day-dream. Your next big idea may just be sitting at the corner of your imagination.
We deserve everything we work for.
The biggest barrier between you and your goals? You.
During your journey to the top, know you will eventually tire out.
Use these tactics when you feel it’s necessary.