My favorite question to ask people is, “What are you passionate about?” I’ve found that when you’re doing what you’re passionate about, you never actually get tired. You may be physically exhausted and in need of rest, but you won’t get tired. The state of ‘being tired’ is a pretty accurate sign you are on the wrong track and not living your truth. I know too many people who exist in a constant mode of being tired. Not worn out or exhausted, just tired. Tired all the time—even waking up tired. I can relate because I was there many years ago. It’s not pretty.
As a business leader, constantly assessing the state of being of your organization is critical—quickly identifying folks that have ‘retired on the job,’ and those that are tired and infecting others with negative energy. At a recent organization-wide meeting, I asked my team about the difference between being tired and being exhausted. You see a team with a few tired members cannot succeed. It will fall short of meeting its goals every time, because key contributors have essentially quit; dropped the baton and sat down on the track before the race is over.
I often go to bed worn out from giving life everything I had that day, but I’m not tired. Those days are gone. I love every moment of what I do. Even the utterly frustrating parts have some reward, some gift, or some lesson to be learned tied to that pain. I am simply empowered to be living my truth. I am lucky and fortunate here, yes, but I also helped to create my own luck. I cultivated and curated my own spiritual fortunes over the course of my life. I am far from perfect, but I’m perfectly committed to life.
Here are some ways to “fire” being tired and live a fulfilled life.
1. Figure out what you’re here to do, and do it!
Your purpose or passion is essentially what you were put on this earth to do. It’s your very own spiritual fingerprint, and no two are exactly the same. You are a priceless original. Find your “thing” and do it well.
2. Hit reset.
If you don’t actually enjoy what you do every day, it may be time for a reset. Sticking with something that no longer serves you is the wrong way to go. You will only excel at what you love. Change is one of life’s graces, and one of its greatest gifts. It’s OK to walk away, gracefully, and chart a new course.
3. Live big.
All too often, we convince ourselves that it’s OK to settle, but there’s no honor in living a small life. Don’t settle for ordinary and average, when you know you are built for extraordinary and excellence. Show up and shine.
4. Reject boredom.
Boredom is a first cousin to tiredness. There’s too much to make of this life to get stuck in a bored state. I simply cannot find enough time to read all of the articles and books that interest me, meet and talk to the people that captivate me, and bring to life the many ideas streaming continuously through my head. Don’t let boredom get comfortable in your life—evict it!
5. Let optimism and intuition guide you.
I strive to maintain an absolute passion for life, an inner creativity, a commitment to my ideas and my ideals, and a very high engagement level in everything I do. By default, I believe in others. I let my intuition guide my decisions 100% of the time. I’ve learned that when your brain is in charge of your life, it is only a matter of time before tiredness creeps in.
6. Stay in motion.
I’m in awe of people like my mentor and personal hero, former U.S. Ambassador and civil rights icon Andrew Young, who still wakes up every day excited about life—moving and shaking and working to contribute to building a better global community. You should do the same. Give life everything you’ve got!
John Hope Bryant is an American entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, and prominent thought leader on economic empowerment and financial dignity. He is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, Inc., and chairman and chief executive officer of Bryant Group Ventures. He is the author of bestsellers, “How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class,” and “LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World.”