In my coaching practice, a word that comes up ever so often is “burnout”. People seem to be ‘burning out’ very early in their lives.
That made me start to wonder whether I had it really easy in my career of over 3 decades as a corporate banker or maybe we just took it in our stride as one of the challenges of employment and life? Did we have exhausting stressful days? Of course, we did! Likely we saw that as being par for the course.
So, either the contours of today’s greens have changed or younger people can’t handle work and life stress the way my baby boomer generation could? Or is it that millennials, generation x’ers and what have you are just not prepared to sacrifice something to get what they really want at that point of time in their lives.
There is a need that everything has to be just perfect at all times– my career, my relationships, my wealth….the list is endless. This is the selfie generation- one that wants to look good and feel good all the time even if that’s like living in a world of virtual reality.
Social media has likely accelerated the feeling of dissatisfaction. So, whereas earlier I could compare my life only with people around me (colleagues, family, acquaintances, friends et al) today’s generation has the entire world to compare itself with…another 20 something living in another country who just made it big as an entrepreneur or earned their million-dollar salaries or closed a big deal and became famous?
Since they now compete in the virtual world, their sense of frustration at not making it as good, not having the apparently perfect life as someone else on social media only makes it more aggravating. A stranger somewhere did it so how come I can’t? And in the process, you kill yourself trying to achieve that perfect life here and now. Not in the future, not in well=defined life stage building blocks…I want it all now! And if I don’t get it all I push myself even more until I burn out. Sounds familiar?
If you think you are “burning out” and want to deal with it, you will need to learn to prioritise. Which of my goals are the really important ones I want to focus on NOW? Park the rest for later and focus on achieving goals one at a time.
Career, friends, family, me-time, happiness are all possible to achieve with patience, planning and focus. You will get it all eventually. Each day is still 24 hours the way it was when I was in my 20’s– manage your time and prioritise. I don’t believe we were the perfect generation but we were willing to work hard and be patient. And we had our bad days but we didn’t say “I’m burnt out”! Think about it- you won’t get it all today but if you plan well, you get most of it in good time and without burning out!