I hear a lot about burnout lately. People doing their jobs and getting burned out, people getting burned out at home taking care of their family, marriages falling apart because someone is burned out. There’s a lot of different situations that can create what we call burnout. I do believe that some people get burned out in their lives, but I think that true burnout is fewer and father between than we think. I know I have felt “burned out” sometimes in the things I have participated in. But, looking back, I don’t really think that’s the right thing to call it.
I think that often we see what everyone else is doing, the fun vacations, the perfect parenting, the perfect families and marriages and we compare our imperfect selves to the perfect snapshot from someone else’s life. We get caught up in how everyone else lives and forget to be grateful for everything great that happens in our own lives. I know that when I start to feel “burned out” that’s when I stop looking at social media, stop looking at the things other people are doing, stop watching tv and the news, and I start to have a better outlook on life. My perspective changes and I start to view the world from a much better vantage point.
I had an experience several months ago where I was feeling burned out. I felt like I was hanging on to the end of my rope and that I couldn’t add anything else. I was asked to teach a primary class. I was frustrated because I just wanted to sit with my husband in Sunday school that week without any responsibilities and just be fed myself, I didn’t want to feed anyone else. As I sat and ponder, my loving Heavenly Father chastened me. He reminded me that I already knew the material well because I taught it in Seminary the previous week. He also reminded me that because I am a team teacher at Seminary, I had the opportunity 2 or 3 days a week (depending on the week), to be fed by my team teacher and her wonderful lessons. I suddenly wasn’t burned out anymore, having been given a new perspective, a better understand of serving others, and a greater appreciation for my calling and opportunity to teach Seminary each morning. I gratefully accepted the opportunity. I think that our perspectives can skew our view of reality, as well as our view of any given situation we might find ourselves in. How often though do we use the term “burned out” to give us an excuse to feel or act poorly because we aren’t willing to look at life from a different perspective?
I know it’s not always a change in perspective that is needed, but I also know that small changes in perspective can make a huge difference in the way we see the world, in the way we deal with situations that arise, and in the way we make our lives better, and help others make their lives better as well. I am grateful for the lesson I was taught, and that it still sticks with me when I get to feeling “burned out” in my life. I am grateful also that I can change my perspective at any point in time. When has a change in your perspective made a difference in how you viewed the world or dealt with situations you were faced with?