The Price of Success and The New Year : BURNOUT

Bicycling is AWESOME, really AWESOME. It’s good exercise, gives you a view, and keeps you aware of your surroundings. So here is a silly question… why not then just do it ALL the time? Seriously, if it’s good for you – why not? Just get a little uni-cycle and go around the house with it, go to the store with it, cycle while working, cycle in bed with your feet in the air. You can NEVER have too much of a good thing right? I mean your legs won’t fall off will they?

No, your legs won’t literally fall off but your body will eventually poop out. (Can’t you see the Enquirer headlines? Man’s Legs Fall Off From Too Much Cycling: Wife Finds Legs on Floor Next to Body!!) Like when a car dies as it runs out of gas, so too a body shuts off after an endless barrage of physical or mental effort. This “exhaustion” is the price of success and every successful man (or woman) has paid it, and finds a way to get OVER it.

“Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.'” Isaiah 35:3-4


Doing success can be bad for your health. So we suggest to not DO it. Instead, make becomming a success a lifestyle. It is common place to hear about the detriment of the baddies like too much smoking, drinking, over-eating, spending, gambling, clubbing, etc – but not many people will say “Hey buddy, you’re working too hard.” What would happen if your boss said, “Hey buddy you have been in the office too much, go home and go to bed!” Highly unlikely!

We in America can learn quite a bit about pacing ourselves from other countries. Countries that have Siestas, those that take regular Holidays, and those that laugh in the face of cell-phones. Really can you see a Provencial French Farmer on Facebook? I think not. We as an American society in the last 200+ years have attempted to play “catch up” to our much older more established country cousins by working as HARD AS WE CAN as LONG AS WE CAN to grow as FAST AS WE CAN. What people don’t realize however is that just like getting a drink of water from a firehose, TOO MUCH good TOO FAST can be harmful too.  (The last Indiana Jones where the woman asks to know everything in the Universe comes to mind – she basically explodes from information overload!)


Some people read their Bibles so fast it is like they are attempting to outrun God’s “wrath” by memorizing as much possitive scripture as possible. While this memorization of scripture is GREAT for our self-images and understanding of the Word, it can unfortunately keep us from that sweet by-and-by that God gave us to use to recuperate and rest. The Bible is indeed intended for us to work, but it has just as many wonderful scriptures in it intended for us to use to rest:

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 

I can remember going through periods in my life when I was called to study nearly 24/7, my ministry work demanded it. The season of struggling to get over a lack of knowledge was difficult however, and led me to exhaustion. It was almost as if the succeeding itself was too much to bare. Eventually, the good food gave way to junk food, excersising gave way in favor of couch surfing, and Bible reading gave way to television watching.


How does one “overcome” the exhaustion of success? By making time to rest and recover (even scheduled if you have to) and by selecting various activities that will get you the rest you need in order to stay motivated. Any time you are about to tackle a big project, make sure that you have recovery time worked into the job as well as a finishing reward. It sounds simple… but it never is!

Little things like running a mile to Starbucks to get your coffee, a new magazine on the way out from the grocery store after hours of grocery shopping, a special dessert after a week of cooking, a meal with the family after a hard day of work… all of these will keep your motor running and ensure you GREAT success. We in the Heilman household are extremely active in the area of personal growth, and can have a hard time of it when we overdo it. Some of the ways we “pace” ourself along the way are through family movie nights, board games with friends, breakfasts out as a couple on Saturdays, and long drives to the ocean to watch the sun set.

MAKE 2012 A Winner!

I would encourage us all to make 2012 a winner by primarily NOT overdoing it. Let’s not get to June and begin wishing 2012 was OVER. Instead, let us pace ourselves, grace ourselves, and encourage ourselves to rest our way through it… WE DESERVE IT!


May the Lord bless your New Year and give you all the strength that you need to keep with the program – enjoying it ALL the way!

Sincerely your friend,



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