Next up in the BURNOUT acronym is the letter U for upheaval. 

 Burnout can create a situation where your life is completely upside down, and create upheaval all of your life. When I had my burnout in 2009/10, you can say that my life was upside down and an upheaval took place. For those of you that are not familiar with my over a period of time over 369 days, I had a heart attack that should have killed me. I lost my job during an economic recession. The family vehicle was repossessed. And then finally our home was foreclosed.  All in a year. I don’t want anybody to go through that. It was not fun for my family or myself to experience those losses. But we did. And as I said in an earlier post, burnout is a choice.

 I chose that path. The decisions and choices I made led up to those 369 days of worst-case scenarios.  No one wants to lose his or her health. No one wants to lose his or her job. Having their family car towed away is not a pleasant sight. And going up to your house and opening up a screen door and seeing the hugest padlock in your life with a foreclosure sign on the door is not pleasant. It wasn’t fun, but I’ll tell you what, I’m thankful for all of those things because it woke me up. 

Many people are asleep at the wheel when they make these choices that lead to their burnout and they think, OK, this is where I am. And they don’t give themselves permission to change that. You chose burnout. You can choose a different path your life. You can do what you want. You should choose not to be burned out, Yes, there are external factors, but you put yourself in those situations. 

Now, I’m not about to tell you that you should believe this instead of that or change your faith or anything like that. That’s not that’s not what this is about. Your life is in upheaval and you made choices that created this situation. Did you choose to be burned out? I say that the burnout is a choice, and that’s the outcome of your choices.

 Would you say, “you know what I want to do? Next year, I think I’m going to burnout.”?

 Nobody does that. But the choices you do make can lead to it. So you have to make better choices and you can get out of burnout. I talked to a lot of people and they say, oh, I’ve had burnout a couple times. And my first reaction to that is it once is enough. Why twice? They obviously applied some Band-Aid approaches to deal with their burnout, which didn’t eliminate it, but basically they numbed the pain as a good way to describe it, but it was still there festering and then it flared up again and then they dealt with it again. And my hunch is unless they did some deep-rooted work to figure out why the burned out in the first place. Spoiler alert, it’s gonna come back. 

 My goal and when I work with people is to identify the root causes of why they burned out so we can address those issues to prevent it from happening again. 

 Burnout once in your life is definitely enough. I don’t want another 369 Days ever again. I don’t want anybody to go through that. And it’s preventable. But the key is you have to choose that.

 So is your life in upheaval or are you offside as mentioned in an earlier post? Are you in balance? Are you living the life you choose to live?

 The final letter in the BURNOUT acronym is the letter T.


  • Michael Levitt

    Chief Burnout Officer

    Breakfast Leadership, Inc.

    Michael Levitt is the founder & Chief Burnout Officer of Breakfast Leadership, Inc,, a San Diego and Toronto-based burnout prevention firm. He is a Certified NLP and CBT Therapist, and is one of the world's leading authorities in burnout recovery and prevention.  He is also a Fortune 500 consultant, #1 bestselling author, and host of the Breakfast Leadership Show, a top 200 podcast on iTunes. He is a 2x Top 20 Global Thought Leader on Culture with Thinkers360. He is a former Healthcare executive, CIO, and CFO overseeing $ 2 Billion budgets, so he’s seen and done it all.
    His main keynotes are:
    1. Burnout Prevention: How To Avoid Your Own Year of Worst-Case Scenarios 2. Workplace Culture: Create A Workplace That People Will Beg To Work With 3. Working Remotely With Boundaries: How To Accomplish More At Home, Without Burning Out