Refresh Your Mind

Written by Dave Rothacker on October 20, 2020

Refresh Your Mind

Today’s RadioBack comes to you by way of the wizard Merlin. In her book I Could do Anything: If I Only Knew What it Was, author Barb Sher talks about how Merlin came up with a cure for burnout.

You never know where the next lesson will come from. But if you remain open, they have a way of materializing right before our eyes, as if conjured by a wizard.

I bought the referenced book here when I did a deep dive into the field of education about 9 years ago. I thought it might help me in coaching young adults to explore their areas of interests in possible careers.

I consider my ideal reader today a ceo, president, gm and or manager. This book is written for none of the above.

Here’s what Barb has to say:
If you’re burned out, learning something new or doing something creative is the cure. Plain and simple. It not only begins the healing process immediately by refreshing your mind, it wakes up the imagination you forgot to use. It rests the part of your brain you used too much by waking up the part you hardly used at all.

Two Keys

One key is to find something that is creative or interesting to you. Whatever you do, do not take a class in your field. And do not try to enhance a work skill that you already have.

The second key is to use neglected senses. Take myself for instance. The last thing I need if I’m burned out is to read another book or write another essay. I find that riding my bicycle exposes me to smells and views of the park I don’t normally experience at my keyboard. There are actually many more types of senses than the common five.

“But I’m burned out because I have too much to do! I don’t have time to explore interests.”

A wise person told me last week something to the effect, “If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person.” Busy people take action!

So, that’s a tactical approach to pursue something that interests you. Just do it. But that can be like trying to muster up olympic willpower and forge through that last half of a marathon. It’s a push method.

I prefer the pull method.

One reason we do not take action is that we try to figure it all out. We try to calculate and plan every step of the way.

That’s one reason people don’t write books. Experts tell us the way to overcome it is to show up at the typewriter everyday and write. And you know what? They’re right.

I call it, “way leads onto way.” (From Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken)

You can’t get up and around the bend unless you walk up to the bend. Prior knowledge and understanding compounds with what you learned around the bend. Most of the time we don’t know what we’re going to write next until we’ve written first.

Part of life on the road is to pursue those ahead of us for knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Although they can tell us what’s around the bend, they cannot replicate how that knowledge and awareness will affect us. Their world-views and filters are different than ours.

Along with dispatches from those ahead, your new knowledge, awareness and wisdom adds to the stew of you. Excited about that, you yearn for more. You pulled forward.

On the road of life, lessons are everywhere. Remain open.

If you’re feeling stagnant or burnt, pursue something that interests you. Engage unused senses.

We shortchange ourselves if we try to figure it all out in advance. Way leads onto way. Get underway.

Move forward and refresh your mind. It’s magical.