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There are tons of people in the world who are filling their life with activities, chores, jobs and practices which they would rather not do. We are told from a young age by the people around us that there is a certain way we have to be and a certain path of life we have to take.

This of course offers security and that is its appeal. Our parents and loved ones have much greater peace of mind when they know we will be pursuing a way of life which they know ‘works’. If we go to school, get good grades, go to university and become a /lawyer/accountant/doctor, our future and quality of life will be secure.

On the other hand, if we choose to deviate from this path in any way one could conceive, we go into the unknown. It is not clear whether this path will bring security and good quality of life. This is scary and therefore not the popular course of action.

I don’t believe that one course of action is better than the other. There is nothing inherently better in the unconventional path than the conventional and visa versa. However, I can tell you one thing: If you spend your life and your time doing things which don’t make you feel good, inspired and fulfilled, it’s only a matter of time before you break and start hating life.

Some people call this burnout. You work really hard for a long time at things which don’t speak to you and don’t motivate you and eventually you just get really tired of it and can’t continue anymore. At that point you feel lost and confused because the thing which you’ve done until now you can’t do anymore and you’re not really sure what to do about it. And the fact that you know that everyone else around you is expecting you to do it just makes you feel worse.

The solution to this problem is simple. You have to do things you want to do. You have to do things which motivate, inspire and bring out the best in you. With time your energy levels and motivation will only increase. However if you continue to do things you don’t want to do, but you feel like you have to, your energy will slowly get drained from you until you experience burnout.

The reason why most of us haven’t taken this route is also quite simple. We are scared to do things we want because there are consequences. People may not approve. People may not like it. It’s unpredictable. But from a purely logical perspective the alternative, doing things which you’re not really inspired about until you have a crisis isn’t that much better.

Life is too short to spend it doing things you don’t really want to do. Time is too precious to waste it on things you don’t find meaningful and fulfilling. If you’re experiencing burnout and having a bit of a crisis , take the time to ask yourself the following question: What is missing in my life? What do I need to do to feel good? To feel inspired, to grow and become a better person. Think about what things you have always wanted to do but never taken the opportunity to do them.

I know it’s difficult. I know it’s scary. But this is the price we pay for living beautiful, meaningful and fulfilling lives. And it’s 100% worth it. Everyday brings with it countless opportunities for tremendous happiness and fulfillment, the only thing is that sometimes we have to go somewhere which may be uncomfortable to find it. Go there. Break the boundaries. That’s how you avoid burnout.

Another Very Important Thing About Avoiding Burnout

Even if you are doing all the things you want to be doing, if you’re putting yourself under a lot of pressure you are also going to experience burnout. For example, say you always wanted to write a book. So you want to get some inspiration and you start reading other people’s books. And while doing this you start to realize how amazing their books are and realize how much effort it would take to make your book as good as theirs. This is incredibly daunting and intimidating and won’t help you get anywhere.

I feel this way when I read other peoples blogs and see their websites. I feel like it would take me years and endless work to even have a chance to build what some other people have built. It is extremely demotivating.

So what do you do if you are feeling like this? Remember a simple rule: if it’s not feeling good, it’s probably not serving you. The whole point of doing things which are meaningful to you is to make life good. If it’s not doing that, you need to think about things.

If you are doing something which you thought would be meaningful and fulfilling to you, but it’s not making you feel good, that doesn’t mean that you should stop doing it. It might mean you should reassess the way you are doing it or relating to it. There are no rules. There is no law of how you should write a book, or do anything for that matter. Do it the way you want to do it. Do it the way it makes you feel good.

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© 2019 Janet Goldblatt