<em>Are You Driven? Here’s a Reminder to Slow Up</em>

Are You Driven? Here’s a Reminder to Slow Up

There are those of us who are incessantly driven.

Driven for what?

Whatever the next shiny thing there is. No other explanation.

And when we latch onto something, it’s like this addictive nature seizes us and consumes every molecule within. A flame burning brightly long after the lights go out at night.

Then the wall approaches. It’s called burnout.

Doesn’t matter if it’s work or play, it approaches hard and fast.

Sometimes we see it coming, others not so much until…splat!

Sprawled out on the face of the wall with nothing left. Not a drop of life or enthusiasm mingles in our members for whatever it was that caused us to go hard and fast at it.

It could take a few years, but normally burnout comes quicker to us than most. All because we didn’t pace ourselves.

And the act of pacing ourselves is not part of the vocabulary. Why should it be?

We reason that we’ll be the one who sets a record, outperforms, excels, and shows everyone how to do it in the shortest time ever.

It’s easy to lose sight of a work / life balance.

Yet, that’s the problem. No one ever teaches us to slow up and how to relax.


Work / life balance is a foreign concept. Why? If we slow up, we’ll lose out…we won’t excel…we’ll fail for sure…we’ll miss the mark…and, who has ever relaxed and succeeded?

If you haven’t figured out how to relax, slow up, and take time to take care of yourself, you’ll wind up burned out to the point that you’ll hate the very thing you love right now.

Burned out to the point that just the thought of putting any further effort into the thing that consumed you makes you physically ill. And by the time you get to that point, unless you make some major shifts in the thinking and change how to go about it (usually our work), the best medicine is it to quit and do something else.

The very thing we need is the very thing we’re afraid of, at least on the surface.

We need to relax. We need to pick up a hobby that causes us to lose time, and yet refreshes us after we come up for air. We need to do nothing else but listen to a good comedian make us laugh.

Laugh? Yes, laugh.

Kids laugh about 300 times per day. Us, at serious adulthood? We might eke out a laugh 3, and if you’re lucky, 5 times a day.

Where’d we go wrong?

Just learning how to laugh again was tough. I’m not talking about a fake giggle when the boss or a coworker makes a crude or stupid joke that no way in the world we’d laugh to, but we do because we want to fit in and be accepted; all because we’re afraid of losing our job or won’t get that promotion.

What if we are on this serious burnout pace because of not just fear we won’t succeed, or won’t look good, or won’t excel, but of death.

I write and speak about living life to the full, and being self-aware because we need to remember our days are short. I preach we don’t have all the time in the world and we don’t have a promise that we’ll wake up in the morning.

Yet that very thought scares the crap outta me and I smash the gas peddle through the floorboard on just about everything I do or am involved in…not to mention the addictive nature I have.

In all of this, there’s a case of fearing not getting in enough time to get stuff done and accomplished, all because of the fear of dying…deep down…it’s there, it’s always there.

What a paradox though? To go at something so hard without a break, you can burnout earlier than you should and deal with sending yourself to an early grave with stress, lack of sleep (because we’re staying awake all night doing whatever we’re consumed with), and more stress.

If we could pace ourselves, slow up, and learn how to just be without being driven so hard, life would ease up on us and gives a few more days to get stuff done.



At this point, it seems a bit contrived or overdone or oversaid, not to mention oversimplified…and that is to relax.

It’s not simple to teach, preach, or even figure out when your gears are configured for fast and faster…all the stinking time(!), but it can be done.

To actually slow up and enjoy the fruit of your labor. That means making an investment in yourself and getting into a hobby you think you might like.

It means maybe, just maybe, finally take that trip you’ve always dreamed about.

It means unplugging the devices to sit and watch the clouds drift by and look at all the shapes you see morph into others.

It means taking a little break today, to breathe, to reflect on all you are grateful for, and release some endorphins into your system by laughing out loud.

It means that when you do find a way to slow up, relax, and laugh (even at yourself!), you’ll discover that life isn’t the drudgery it once was.

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Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in Burnout, Change, Living Better, Self-Improvement
<em>Frustrated, Bitter with the Past? Time to Pull Off to a Rest Area</em>

Frustrated, Bitter with the Past? Time to Pull Off to a Rest Area

It’s been said that life is best understood by looking in the rearview mirror.

We travel upon life’s highways and byways, not knowing what’s ahead, but we can sure see where we’ve been.

The clearest picture of who we are is by reflecting back upon our past: viewing the decisions we’ve made, where we’ve been, and who we’ve been with.

But who knew how this thing in life would turn out? Who would have been able to predict where we are today?

And the older we get, the more miles we can see behind us.

Given our naturally pessimistic nature, we tend to see the dark spots in the mirror, the collisions in our roads traveled, and those individuals who are responsible for wrecking our car.

We all have regrets: those missed opportunities, bad choices, horrible relationships, and the things we should or shouldn’t have done (or said) can come glaring in through the mirror and blind us to our future course.

Forgiving and being kind with ourselves in times when we consider the past is the best thing we can do for ourselves.

Our minds can whip up the past with, or without triggers. It’s frustrating at times when our brains work that way.

Yet, instead of slamming our foot on the accelerator because looking in the rearview mirror is so upsetting, perhaps we could slow up a bit, or even better, just stop.

Stop everything—think of pulling off the highway and parking in the rest area.

Then let the bitterness, regret, remorse, anger, frustration over our past—like dirty old laundry in the backseat—air out.

This means, embrace it as you pull it out of the backseat; walk it over to the trash can nearby; open the lid and drop it in.

Sounds easy? It was even easier to write it just now. But it does take effort.

Many times we’d like to forget it’s back there and just open the windows and pretend the stench doesn’t bother us…but it does and it will until we either finish our travels at the end or throw it out.

And that’s what forgiveness is.

Us deciding that we will let go of the hurt. Letting go is tough, and it does require us to spend time with ourselves, alone at the rest stop.

BTW…before heading back out on the highway, make sure you kick out any passengers that have been allowed to ride with you who create drama in your travels.

These are people who complain the whole way about our choices; filling our vehicle with drama, judgment, and condemnation.

They always seem to sit satisfied with themselves, thinking to be the moral police officer on scene, fixing the world’s problems by telling us what we did wrong, how terrible a person we are, and what we should do next.

Their advice is usually bestowed in a demeaning way and only heightens the fear of moving forward. They hardly lend a supportive hand unless they can appear to be the savior in such situations AFTER gossiping to others (usually to other family members and neighbors) about how we screwed up badly.

As hard as it is, you must kick them out of the car.

Then…only allow passengers in that are genuinely supportive and caring, not just kiss-asses, but folks that care that you travel forward, not letting your past bog down your travels, and keep you accountable for the choices now that you’ll be able to navigate a better future.

Be kind to yourself. Learn to love yourself. Take care who makes the journey with you.

May you be blessed in all your travels.

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Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in Burnout, Change, Life Hack, Living Better, Reinvention, Self-Improvement, 0 comments