We work so hard to be the best we can be. To make our organizations the best they can be. When does our obligation reach its limits? Ours is a field where there is always something more that can be done more, or better. A system can be improved. A problem can be solved. A success can be made greater. Another dollar can be raised. Another beneficiary served. Another staff member assisted. There are so many pulls on you as a nonprofit organization leader – when is “good enough” finally good enough?
In truth, the real question isn’t “how hard” should we work, but “HOW” should we work. Please remember that there is a deep, divine spark inside of you. This same spark lives inside of every person, place, thing or circumstance you encounter. As a nonprofit professional and as a human being, your first obligation is to recognize, reveal and fan the flames of that spark in yourself and in those you work with. When you’re pushing so hard that your efforts no longer support this objective, it’s time to step back.
No matter how dedicated we are to the missions of our organizations, we cannot turn to our work for all of the meaning in our lives. You are uniquely special because you come from a divine source. We all need to step away from our work and take a break for spiritual and physical refreshment from time to time. We all need to remember and reconnect with the loved ones from whom we derive our identities and our strength.
Ask yourself: “In my work today, is my best self in the driver’s seat? Or, am I burning myself out by chasing “symptoms of success” rather than allowing my inner spark to express itself as I go about my work?”
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