We get burnt out not so much by sheer hard work or exhaustion. Most people who work and work and eventually gives way, either through Karoshi (death from exhaustion) or committing suicide; not so much because they are being made to do more and more. Too often, it is because work life involves many things that one may not be comfortable with. And I thought to highlight a few matters that I find really burns people out.
- Misrepresentation: Whether it is figures or qualitative facts, work in modern world often involves some form of distortion of truth (which is not necessarily outright lying) either to fit a narrative or make a case. This simply doesn’t sit well with our natural inclination towards truth and in long run, one starts doubting not only the information they receive but also themselves.
- Buying into worldly motivations: Frankly, while we know that we are not genuinely motivated by colleagues’ recognition or money, but these are rewards of life that seem a lot more within grasp than the elusive feelings of security, affirmation from friends/family. So we work for the easier fulfilment and realise only later they do not fulfill.
- Lack of completeness: The breakdown of work into bits and pieces that increases productivity makes all crafts just a series of tasks handed out to different stages of work. And as a result, most of us are only involve in part of the production. As long as we cannot see how our exact inputs feed into the eventual output, we find a lack of completeness in our work. Worst, because we are not a real assembly line, there’s less clear demarcation of when the work leaves our hands. So most ‘work’ just drifts off after we touch it a little. Craftsmanship is lost, and so is the pride along with it.
So I was really grateful for this article on grace-paced living. Frankly, I haven’t really been appropriating the grace that is extended to us from God – especially not so for the workplace. And perhaps I should really start.