In search of lost energy
The problem of professional burnout is everywhere. I too have experienced burnout a couple of times. I’ve also seen it regularly in managers, CEOs, entrepreneurs, athletes and artists. The usual advice in such cases is to take a break or change the context. In mild cases this does help. But what do you do when it’s like a scorched earth inside a person? When not only is the fuel tank empty but the battery is dead (or maybe ruined?). Outwardly the Founder may look fine looking and move forward like a gliding aeroplane when both its engines have failed. The form remains, but the essence, i.e. the vitality is gone. He who has been in that state would not wish it on anyone.
But what is vitality? Why is this vital energy pouring out of some people like a fire hose, while others have it only in the morning, like dew on the lawn? Why one is vigorous even when he gives out a lot, and the other loses energy even when he saves every drop? My hypothesis is that Vitality is proportional to Interest. It’s not about what seems important, sensible, cool, worthy or useful to you. It’s about your personal underlying interest in something, which sometimes you don’t even understand yourself. But it’s not about the reasonableness or relevance of the interest, it’s about its existence. It can be felt unmistakably in the body, like a hunger or a sneeze. Either you have interest (in a wide range of values) or you don’t.
As long as a man is alive, interest is capable of manifesting itself in him. Yes, if you force yourself for ten years to do a boring or annoying job in a society of people alien to you, your soil will burn out several meters deep. Your black earth becomes a wasteland where nothing else can grow. This means that it may take years for nature to repair the damage you’ve done to itself. But even when nothing seems to be happening, and only the wind is chasing the tumbleweed, it is not so, for the process of soil regeneration is happening non-stop inside you.Surely it is better not to sit sadly on a stump, but to go and help nature. Your lost interest must be found. And immediately your vitality will begin to flow.
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