Burnt to a crisp: Part One

Passionate and driven with no motivation.

Not a contradiction but rather a description of burnout. I believe burning out is best described as a growing dissatifaction in a paticular action over a period of time. Burnout itself is when that dissatisfaction reaches a threshold where the action is viewed as sapping enjoyment out of your life. Quite a mouthful for which I cannot think of a more succinct definition. Burnout is common in most everyone’s life be it at work, hobbies, in the home or even in gatherings.

Ironically when I first resolved to write about burnout I found great difficulty bringing myself about completing it. As I reapproach the issue now I find that it isn’t burnout from which I suffer but rather attempting to tackle a concept much larger than I orginally anticipated.

That is why I decided that this really needs to be done in three seperate parts for both my attention span and anyone who decides to read this. Part one (this post) will be about what causes burnout and how it manifests itself. The second and third parts will address burnout in our jobs, or activites in which me must partake in as the former, with the latter being about burnout in areas of our lives that we enjoy.

What actually causes us to become dissatisfied with what we are doing over the course of time? I searched again for a simple solution, but in reality the answer is far to complex for a handful of words able to be consumed in a short amount of time. To be true to this concept of burnout we would have to take into account every single area of life and incorportate it into our answer.

Instead I believe a small set of generalizations will do the trick. As I said before burnout is caused when you can’t stand something you’re doing so much that your interest is dwarfed by the sheer desire to be unaffiliated with it. Vaguely speaking we can say that it’s happiness which effects burnout. When your happiness from all areas of your life (net happiness) is less than the the stress and monotony of your task it will dig into any happiness you may have saved up. When that runs out, burnout occurs.

What you choose to do will either add to or subtract from you overall happiness. Unfortunately there are no ‘Aha!’ moments to let us know that we are on a downward slope. Most of the time we don’t even realize it’s happenning until after we’ve past the threshold. I hope the following parts will aid in the identification of this before it is too late and help in the remembrance of techinques to alleviate it.

Perhaps I will return to this idea someday and spend more detail on it, but for now I believe this is sufficent introspection for a basic understanding of burnout. Now let us hope I didn’t lead myself into burnout picking a difficult topic. I plan on finishing this series.

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