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05 April 2021

Pascal BAL (TBS 2016) - If at 30 you haven't had a burn-out, you have wasted your life !

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I had this thought after watching a TV interview in which an entrepreneur in his thirties announced with amusement that he launched himself into entrepreneurship after a burn-out at the age of 23. Since I had the feeling that it was like a trophy on display, I wanted to put some sense back into this intervention. 

First of all, a burn-out is more like a very difficult time in life rather than a gourmet stop-off over a long week-end. While both leave a taste in your mouth, the former is much more bitter. In my experience, and what I have seen in my own environment over the last 5 years, no one comes out of a burn-out unscathed, even after "bouncing back", when that is indeed the case.  

Yet are we all meant to go through a moment such as a burn-out in our lifetime ? Quite obviously not... or perhaps let's say that it is preferable not to.
Again, through my observations of my own ecosystem, I can say that the 25-35 age group actually have what I would call a "healthy" attitude towards life : 
Enjoying the moment, making sense of professional and personal lives, avoiding (as much as one can) the root of boredom or burn-outs.
In truth, they don't hesitate to resign from unduly heavy positions, to denounce inappropriate management, to run away from a capitalist system that is void of social meaning in favour of money for money only. 

While we acknowledge these observations (acknowledgement is good for self esteem !), what do we have to say about the statement "If at thirty, you have'nt had a burn-out, you have wasted your life!" ? 

  • The first point involves inviting everyone to take time and live in the present as much as possible : the past is over, the future is only a projection of the mind that might be realistic and might happen, or not, while the present is the only moment, the only time in which we can act and interact by being ourselves.
  • The second point is the idea that a word that has influence in our society (the statement) should provide in-depth, kind food for thought about my very own path. In this context, kindness means accepting who we are and the way we are instead of who we might want to be, to become or as we are seen in the eyes of others. That is the fundamental key to keep our feet firmly on the ground and to override any delusional belief that we are superman or superwoman. 
  • The third point comes from oriental wisdom which says that the happiness is the path in life and not the end goal. 

Therefore, a burn-out is not a necessary part or passage in life, nor is it a trophy. 

What are your thoughts ? There is a unique path for each and every individual. It is true that some of us have suffered from a burn-out or are going through a burn-out right now and the important thing is to give support, ... why not through coaching.

This article was written by Pascal BAL, who is a professional coach and member of our Mutual Support section.
To find out more about Pascal, click on 
Pascal's presentation here


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