To reignite my passion for what I do every day:
Sometimes I need a nap.
Sometimes I need to take a walk.
Sometimes I need to play and totally forget about work for a while.
Sometimes I need to talk to someone who reminds me that what I do is valuable.
Sometimes I need to reflect on who I am helping, the purpose of my work.
Sometimes I just need to start doing it again so I remember how wonderful it feels to be in the flow and have a day fly by.
And sometimes, I need a retreat from the world (aka a vacation or “mental health day”) to do a little writing and thinking about what excites me recently about what I do. The itch to do something new manifests itself first as loss of interest in what I’m currently doing.
And if I go away to another location and completely forget about work, my subconscious is always working on the questions I put to it, and I return with some answers.
Then it is helpful for me to talk with a coach or mentor or close friend or colleague about my questions and allow them to help me get to the next phase in my development.
For years I’ve watched high performers burn out because the couldn’t recognize or acknowlege that they needed a recharge, or a break, or a change of venue. Pity, to watch so much talent slide into bitterness, cynicism, and ineffectiveness. Some much needless suffering. When I recognized the symptoms in myself I knew it was time to move on; as a senior leader in the organization I owed it to my colleagues and the company to be an effective leader. I started the job search process, turned in my resignation, and landed a super new position with a pharma start-up. Gotta stay alert for the signs, recognize when it’s real, and take bold action. Great article Julia, thanks!
Great story, Alex. I love that you paid attention to what was going on for you and took the bold steps to move on when it was the right time. It’s inspirational! Best, Julie