In "The Circle of Care", Karen describes a nice little model that helps thinking about how much you care about an issue - and therefore how much passion (and thereby energy) you should put into it.
To me, this article triggered memories of a similar insight. It has its origin in a session called "Following Your Passion Without Burning Out" at the Retrospective Facilitator Gathering 2007. One result of that Open Space session was that a small group of people met online regularly to support each other fighting burnout. With quite some success, at least for me.
At last year's gathering, I offered a small follow-up session, to report on how it went. The main insight for me, though, came with the report back to the whole group. I don't remember what exactly triggered this thought, but anyway, here it is:
What helped me most preventing burnout was getting passionate about my own well-being. That way, I didn't have to hold off my passion, which always feels kind of depressing. I just had to refocus it!
I have the feeling that this idea can be applied even more broadly. Take Karen's "going to the movies at date night" example. Say I am mildly passionate about watching a specific movie. The Circle of Care might help me think about how much I want to invest yourself into this specific choice.
On the other hand, I might find it a bit hard to make this choice in a vacuum. In that case, I might think about what else I am passionate about that might balance my passion for the movie. For example, how passionate am I about spending a peaceful, or even joyful, evening? What about making my partner happy? What else?
This thought is still in an infancy for me, but I feel that it might be in those situations, where I conciously prioritize my passions, when I make decisions that I'm most happy about.
In fact, now that I've written this down, it all seems so obvious that surely this must be old news - others must have had similar ideas, and probably some of them have written about it.
If you know of resources regarding this topic, or find this to be helpful - or think that it's total nonsense, for that matter - please leave a comment. Thanks!
Now I'm going to balance my passion for writing blog entries against my passion for helping my spouse installing new cork flooring. Already feels like a good decision... :)