If you follow my blog, you are likely a person with great ambitions and larger-than-life dreams. You want to express your unique purpose in a way that serves others and builds into something greater than yourself.
Many people with larger than life aspirations–and frankly, big hearts–become surprised at a hidden enemy that works against their goals.
This enemy’s name is “Burnout.”
Last week, I shared the story of Tommy Nelson’s unexpected plunge into depression.
“I was at the top of my game,” he shared.
Tommy found himself face to face with a mental health crisis because he neglected rest and life balance over an extended period of time.
He pushed himself too hard pursuing grand goals.
“I didn’t know you could burn out doing something you loved.”
This week, I will share the story of an equally ambitious businessman–Michael Hyatt.
Michael Hyatt was on business in New York when he experienced a health crisis that changed his life.
At the end of dinner, Michael felt deep chest pains. He said it felt like the room was closing in on him. After 5-10 minutes, which felt like forever, he embarrassingly shared with his colleague, “I think I am having a heart attack.”
His friend immediately took charge, called a cab, and got him to the nearest hospital.
After running a series of tests, the physicians told him that he did not have heart trouble, but they monitored him overnight. He continued to not show signs of heart problems, so they released him with the recommendation that he check in with his cardiologist when he returned to Nashville.
Well, Michael was back in the hospital twice over the course of the next year. He even checked with a counselor to see if he was having stress-induced panic attacks (which can mimic the feelings of heart attacks.)
Finally, he saw a renowned cardiologist in his area who had saved the lives of professional associates he knew. This cardiologist told Michael, “about 30% of my patients who think they are having heart problems have an acid reflux problem. The symptoms are very similar. Fortunately, it is easy to treat.”
He then warned, “Stress is also something you need to address, primarily through rest and exercise. If you don’t make this a priority, you could be back in here with a real heart problem.”
Michael realized that over time because of the demands of work, he had let his health slide. “I wasn’t working out regularly, resting as much as I should, or eating very well. But suddenly, I was motivated!” Michael said.
Michael made his first “life plan” after this experience. He felt that he was suddenly looking at the end of his life, and it changed his point of view. He has since released a book Living Forward that helps people walk through a process of evaluating their life-long goals–creating concrete steps in each area of life.
His brush with what he thought could have been the end of his life refocused the rest of his life, and now he serves others with a new message. “Never sacrifice sleep for work,” he shared on a recent Lead to Win podcast.
It is wonderful to be a person of high aspirations. It is just very helpful to also know that you may, if you are not intentional, also be a person at risk for burnout.
Even though our dreams are larger than life, we are not. We still live within bodies that have limited capabilities. If we try to cheat our limits, we will find out that they are in fact that–limits.
We must honor our bodies and accept their limitations if we are going to thrive for the long haul, and a way we so this is by proactively protecting our health.
How are you protecting your health? What are you doing well? What could you do better?
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Tweetable Highlights:Are you a person with great ambitions and larger-than-life dreams? Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunzDo you want to express your unique purpose in a way that serves others and builds into something greater than yourself? Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunzMany people with larger than life aspirations are surprised at a hidden enemy that works against their goals. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunzHow are you protecting your health? What are you doing well? What could you do better? Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunzTo learn more about how you can proactively protecting your health go to think-time.com. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunzOrder a Purpose Planner and enjoy our Free Online Coaching in the Think Time 3DR Life Leadership Process. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunzEven though our dreams are larger than life, we are not. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunzWe live within bodies that have limited capabilities. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunzIf we try to cheat our limits, we will find out that they are in fact that–limits. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunzMake addressing stress a priority. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunzBuild rest and exercise into your routines. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz
We must honor our bodies and accept their limitations if we are going to thrive for the long haul. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz
Protect your health to thrive in the long haul. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz