Reclaiming the Fire: How Successful People Overcome Burnout
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The definitive work on avoiding burnout, written by the psychologist who is the leading specialist on the issue. An illuminating and useful book for anyone coping with the pressures of work.
In Reclaiming the Fire, Dr. Steven Berglas analyzes the rises and falls of corporate executives, middle managers, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and others as they struggle to handle the trappings of successful careers. How does one deal with encore anxiety, the monotony of having to use talents that are no longer psychologically rewarding? Why is it that our national obsession with wealth traps people in careers that often lead them to wonder, "Is that all there is?" And why do highly successful people often set themselves up for disastrous falls?
Dr. Berglas answers all these questions and many more in this groundbreaking book by discussing real people whose careers have left them feeling pressured, burdened, and jaded.
In his most progressive and striking contribution to the literature on career success, Dr. Berglas debunks the persistent myth that women suffer more stress and burnout than men. He disproves the common claim that women involved both in careers and in family life suffer from trying to have it all, and he demonstrates how the drive to form close interpersonal ties a drive that is intrinsic to women can actually prevent both men and women from experiencing burnout. In a related analysis of the mentoring process, Dr. Berglas shows why it is more important for careerists to build legacies for future generations (a process he terms generativity) than to become obsessed with their own personal success. He proves that the process not only benefits the student but provides the mentor with psychological satisfaction and even improved physical health.
Reclaiming the Fire uses the working world not the psychiatric couch as a venue for understanding the psychological and emotional burdens of success. It is the first comprehensive account of how to balance self-esteem and ambition while maintaining challenge and stimulation throughout your career.
Reclaiming the Fire provides insight into:
*Why baby boomers are currently suffering an epidemic of career dissatisfaction
*Why women are uniquely suited to cope with the pressures that cause men to suffer burnout, and what men can learn from them
*How to escape golden handcuffs: the workaholic devotion to a job that is no longer emotionally satisfying
*How to cope with anger that threatens to sabotage your career
*How all professionals can identify the passions that will allow them to sustain and enjoy success throughout their lives
From the Hardcover edition.
deserved the compliment. Furthermore, when presented without a clear-cut implementation strategy, feedback such as “you’re the greatest” raises anxiety-provoking questions, not the confidence of success that, according to Freud, induces real success. At a minimum the child shouldering the burden of you’re the greatest feedback wants to know how the hell you know that. For example, the child sent off to be a world beater would like to know that your criterion for judging his potential is unbiased,
forces that account for why a law holds true in one context and not in another is relatively simple. In the preceding examples, the contexts (migration, immigration, and high school) in which the law was upheld were rife with physical and emotional threats; any situation that arouses anxiety elicits intragroup support. By contrast, in circumstances that do not arouse anxiety, people experience the psychological safety that enables them to risk affiliating with dissimilar people (yin versus yang)
built into them. Nearly every professional starts in an apprentice mode, where autonomous responsibilities are limited. The next step affords greater opportunities for initiative. As time goes on the successful careerist usually becomes creative and self-directed. Ultimately, every careerist reaches a point where the need for eustress and the predilection to feel in control and protected from the embarrassment or shame of failure achieve a perfect balance. At this point a choice must be made,
no one’s fault: People become accommodated to most stimuli, sex partners and spouses included. Psychologists who specialize in marital relations describe the trajectory of sexual passion in monogamous unions by the penny principle: Put a penny in a jar each time you have sexual relations during the first year of marriage, and you will be able to extract one penny for each time you have sex over the balance of the marriage. Findings such as this are why some anthropologists have argued that
‘It ain’t what you’ve got, it’s what you do with it that counts’? Do you think a person cannot be an effective senior executive unless every idea that helps her company is her brainchild? How many Fortune 500 CEOs actually founded the companies they run?” With that I rattled off the names of a dozen newly installed CEOs who were darlings of Wall Street for their ability to turn around moribund giants, and Jane’s rage began to taper off. Over the next three months Jane and I worked on sorting out