Many clients come to me saying they desire to provide greater service through their work - either to change the nature of their work to do something with a more positive impact or to expand the good they are already doing by serving a greater number of people. There is a necessary pre-requisite to elevating our work in either of these ways and this will surprise you.
The pre-requisite to growing in our work is that before we can give more, we must first become skilled to receive more.
Why would this be? Contrary to how some of the workforce treats us, we are not robots who can just give output, output, output, and more output without some method of refueling. As my friend Dawn says - and she knows as someone who's grown to serving thousands of people worldwide - "we need input to give output." And the greater output we provide, the more input we need.
What is this input that we need to grow in our careers so that we can enjoy and serve in our work even more? Input includes anything that fills us up like fuel, to function at our best, and this is really about individual preference. Generally speaking input includes various forms of rest, play, and support - things like:
- a morning off, a hot shower or bath, or a massage (rest)
- watching a funny movie, participating in a beloved sport, or going on a date (play)
- listening to an inspiring podcast, talking to a compassionate colleague, or working with a coach (support).
As wonderful as all these activities sound, the reality is we often don't allow ourselves sufficient time to get the rest, play, and support we need. And that is why we stay stunted in our careers. We are depleted and cannot give and serve at our full capacity. So remember, when we fill up more, we can serve more.
Spiritual Practice: Prayer to End Burnout
Many of us wear burnout as a badge of honor and this perpetuates career unhappiness. Overwork is part of the current work culture in many spaces. We brag how little sleep we get or how much coffee we drink. This is unhealthy and bringing out the opposite of our best. We show up cranky and closed off at work and often we bring this home! A prayer can work miracles to reduce burnout and help open our minds, hearts, and schedules for greater rest, play and support. Here is an example:
Dear God/Universe/Angels (fill in whoever you pray to),
Work feels overwhelming at times. There is so much to do and it feels like not enough time. I don't know how to open my mind, heart, and schedule to more rest, play, and support. Please guide me to see what I can do differently and please guide me to the resources that will best serve my highest good so that I may love the work I do and serve others lovingly at a greater level. Thank you. Amen.