chapter  6
20 Pages

Burnout and the Battle for Your Own Happiness

ByEdwin A. Locke, Ellen Kenner

This chapter shows that there is a fundamental, deeper cause of burnout. Burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a diminished sense of personal accomplishment, as described by C. Maslach and S. Jackson. Burnout on the job is a serious concern, for the individuals experiencing it, and for businesses managers concerned with burnout in their employees. Initially, burnout was differentiated from other emotional problems such as depression, emotional breakdown, and workaholism. The "helping professions" are especially prone to such selflessness. Joan Borysenko elaborates on the martyr syndrome with its accompanying negative emotions such as guilt and depression. Egoism must be distinguished from narcissism. Psychological independence is liberating. Altruism is anti-happiness. Instead of sacrifice, bitterness, resentment, and cynicism, egoism promotes mutual growth and happiness. Personal goal-setting in reader's career and other areas is the lifeforce of happiness—and makes reader resistant to burnout.