Saturday, October 25, 2008

Keeping the Flame Lit for Life - 10 Steps to avoid burnout
by Mike Wien, Partner Creative Growth Group

The following 10 steps to avoid burnout were developed based on a retrospective view of how I kept my flame lit for three years while training for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. What many audiences have discovered is that these ten suggestions can be applied to careers, family, relationships and life.

1. Dream up something really big that you can be passionate about. It must pass the tear test. Set a definable goal.
2. Make a commitment by sharing the dream with others. This will bring in all kinds of advice, support, encouragement, contacts, programs and peer pressure. It will also give you someone to share your setbacks and celebrate your successes.
3. Start eating the elephant – one small bit at a time. Develop a plan that includes a lot of small steps.
4. Set a sustainable pace. A fast start is the surest way to extinguish the flame. You want it to be fun (not painful), repeatable, enjoyable.
5. Keep everything in balance – Life is multidimensional. While focusing on your goal, stay in peak health in all areas – physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual. Keep health, career, family and community in balance.
6. Track progress and celebrate successes. Set intermediate milestones so you will know how you are doing. Keep track of improvements. Recognize the milestones you make.
7. Convert Setbacks into learning experiences. Be optimistic and embrace challenges. Stay focused on the solution, not just the problem. Failure provides a valuable learning experience.

8. Enjoy the journey. In the end, the most memorable part will be the journey to get there, not crossing the finish line. Take the time to smell the roses. Appreciate the present. Be optimistic about the future. It will become your energy source for staying resilient and protect you from getting derailed by minor setbacks.
9. Stay on a steep learning curve. Be open to and seek out advice from others. Ask, listen, observe. Hang around with people who have accomplished what you are trying to do. Associate with people who are better / faster than you.
10. Become a mentor. Know when to stop raising the bar and redirect your energy to helping others live their dream. Take time to pick-up the turtles in the road.

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