You can live full-out without burning out. One of the keys to finding fulfillment is to seize unique opportunities within your current kairos rhythms. When it’s play-off time, go full-out to win. When it’s the off-season, rest and rebuild your capacity. When you are young, with more energy, use it. When you are older and have more wisdom, share it. To carry out your life’s mission, seize the opportunities that are evident or latent in your current life stage and seasons.
By fulfillment, I am not referring to self-actualization or some superficial psychological state of well-being. Rather, fulfillment is the carrying out of your life’s mission. It is being a responsible steward in each stage of your life.
Burnout comes from trying to seize opportunities that do not fit the current season of your life; it is created by trying to meet unreleased false expectations. I am often guilty of taking on more than I should. One personality profile told me I was prone to “get too many irons in the fire.” It was right. I do.
Does that mean we should stop setting ambitious goals? Bob Biehl wrote a book titled Stop Setting Goals if You Would Rather Solve Problems. Though the title is obviously provocative, the point is well taken. Goal setting is wise, but we cannot predict what tomorrow will bring. It may bring a huge opportunity for which we haven’t set a goal. We need to be prepared to seize the opportunities that come our way in each stage and season of life.