Recently, I was talking to my mentor who is much older and wiser than me. I told him that I was exhausted from all the activity I had been involved in lately. A big smile came over his face as if he knew something that I did not know. When I questioned him, he said, “Actually, I think you are just tired, but I do not think you are exhausted.” I asked what he meant. He told me that he had discovered that being tired is actually a good thing. When you know how to do something and you work hard at it for a long period of time, you are going to get tired. That is a very normal, natural experience. Anyone who works hard doing something that they are gifted to do or have been trained to do will get tired working in their daily routine.
He went on to explain that for him, being exhausted came from trying to accomplish something that he did not know how to do or was never “called” to do. That immediately got my attention. As we talked about it further, both of us concluded that trying to do something you do not know how to do, or was never intended to be your responsibility, will indeed, exhaust you. It may even kill you. One of the greatest challenges in all of life comes when you try to accomplish something that you have no idea how to do or, have no business doing.
How many of us have ever tried to “fix” another person? Perhaps you have been in a marriage or in child rearing family relationship where you tried to force another person do what you wanted them to do. Were you successful at it or did you simply get exhausted in the process?
Work is not a dirty, four-letter word. It is something that all of us should love to do. It causes us to understand success and fills our lives with many wonderful opportunities. So, the issue is not work. But, if you are trying to do something that you were not called to do, gifted to do, trained to do, or have no experience in doing, I can assure you that you will quickly become exhausted.
Perhaps you are in a new job, or a new relationship, or some new situation that is completely weighing you down. You may be exhausted because you do not know what you are doing. If, on the other hand, you are learning new things and the process is becoming more understandable, more tolerable and, perhaps even a little easier, then you can expect to get tired in the process but not exhausted.
That little distinction made a big difference in my mind. The next time I feel as though I am flat “worn-out”, I am going to ask, “Am I tired, or am I exhausted?” If I am tired, that may be a good thing because I am simply fulfilling and accomplishing what I was made to do. If, however, I am totally exhausted, I may need to check my agenda to see if I am trying to do the impossible or worse yet, doing something that is killing me. After all, I am not Superman and a few years ago I even gave up trying to help God resolve all the issues in His universe. He was very relieved to receive my resignation!
Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, says the difference in being successful financially and being broke, oftentimes is in understanding financial terminology. Perhaps understanding the terminology difference between being tired and being exhausted will help re-energize your life in the days to come. I trust that will be the case.
Tip: There is a big difference between being tired and being exhausted!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm