--Emilie Griffin, The Reflective Executive
More specifically it's a combination of ever-present technology, competing demands, doing your job and a third of someone else's, and the inability to turn off the devices--even when you can.
Too much going out and not enough coming in is a problem in terms of health, family relationships, and job performance. All reasons for taking this condition seriously.
Failure to periodically refresh the human spirit is not only damaging to the person but has longer-term consequences for society.
An essential part of renewal is coming to terms with who you are. This is especially true in terms of team-obsessed corporate cultures which tend to diminish the role and necessity of the "individual."
In Self Renewal, author John W. Gardner says, “Good mental health derives from a reasonably objective view of the self—including the acceptance of the self. We run away from ourselves failing to explore and probe the fearful and wonderful world within.”
He sadly concludes, “The individual who has become a stranger to themselves has lost the capacity for genuine self-renewal.”
Gardner, the founder of Common Cause, identifies several principles with qualities that offer realistic optimism about the renewal process, and our part in it:
Everyone is different but we've found the following to be reliable sources of renewal:
- Helping those who can't do anything for us in return
- Timely conversations with persons of great wisdom
- A new challenge or change of scenery
- Periods of quietness often with a good book
- Recreation and rest--the two go together
Taking inventory is a helpful first step. Here are some areas of life upon which to reflect: