A Square-Peg People Book Review
from burned out to fired up
by Leslie Godwin
This book is helpful in assessing what might be missing or what might have gone wrong and pointing you toward the true expert (YOU) - who knows what you really need.
The book is divided into 4 parts:
Part One: Becoming Inwardly Mobile - Leslie Godwin uses the term "inwardly mobile", as opposed to upwardly mobile, throughout this book.
Part Two: Four Types of Burnout
Part Three: Creating Your Synergy Plan - "Your Synergy Plan will get you on the track for personal and business success as you define it."
and Part Four: Reach Higher - which begins with a chapter titled: "Beyond Balance to Meaning".
There's a small section for stay-at-home-moms, and sections for working moms - with information for homeschooling moms and moms who have special needs kids.
She includes many work sheets and journal exercises to help you through the process of rekindling passion. There's even a helpful quiz: "Are you Inwardly Mobile or Burned Out?"
Leslie Godwin uses personal stories (her own and those of clients) to enhance descriptions of burnout and to illustrate how she and others have created a path out of burnout an on to fulfillment.
Leslie tells us that she was a workaholic, and she considers burnout to be "a gift.. if being burned out provides you with the motivation to reexamine your life, not simply to make slight adjustments so you can return to your previous life with a little less pain, then it's a priceless gift."
There's a bit of humor in some of her writing - one chapter division is called "Not Everyone Is Lucky Enough to Fail at Being a Workaholic".
She talks about people (workaholics) using emotion as a fuel source:
"Using emotion as a fuel source quickly makes you dependent on it...when your emotional fuel burns out, so do you."
The spiral Leslie describes - of getting excited by outward things (a new client, being in the paper, etc.) followed by noticing exhaustion from all the work you've done and then "toiling away without anything exciting happening" - looking for more excitement - sounds familiar.
She notes: "Many of the burned-out people I work with started off very excited by their new business or new career. But instead of grounding themselves with a plan based on their values and priorities, or any link to what they find meaningful in life, they were running on adrenaline."
Which, Leslie notes, does work - but only briefly.
In contrast, she says: "Finding the natural flow of your career path is like jumping into a river with a raft and learning how to ride the current."
Leslie stresses the importance of a business plan - there are plenty of books that stress having a business plan (and I probably have all of them). But Leslie's business plan involves knowing what it is that you love - what you are passionate about - and helps you access that information. We need this kind of book to remind ourselves that we can do business with heart.
In the final chapter of the book, "Typical Questions (and Some Answers)", Leslie answers the question:
"Q. Where Do I Start to Transition into a More Meaningful Career?"
"First, I'll tell you where not to start. The worst place to start is by worrying about how you'll make money...(On the other hand, if you never find a way to get paid for what you do, it will be a hobby and not a career.)
The second worst place to start is to simply find something you're good at. Women are especially prone to this mistake...."
from burned out to fired up doesn't offer easy answers (it doesn't really offer answers at all - but gives you ideas and a map out of burnout. And mostly questions - good ones - to fuel your journey). It requires reflection about your situation, how it came about, what you deeply desire - but working through this book and rereading it occasionally to help you remember - can help you do just what the subtitle says: rekindle the passion and meaning in work and life.
Go for it!
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