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What to do When You’ve Lost Your Passion

It’s about 2pm Sunday afternoon, and you’re feeling it again – that vague wave of depression as you realize that there are only a few short hours left in the weekend. Before you know it, you’ll be climbing back in the car Monday morning and starting up the gerbil wheel all over again. You sigh, slump just a little, and turn on the TV for a little distraction from that unhappy thought. If this is you, you’ve probably lost your passion for work.


Not sure? Here are a few more of the symptoms:

  • Lack of creative inspiration in solving problems.
  • Lack of measurable, meaningful progress in your work.
  • Inability to connect your daily tasks with what that feels significant in the world.
  • Disconnect with the mission and values of your company.
  • New leadership or a new direction that you find difficult to support.
  • Change in the emotional or financial payout of your position.


No one should stay in a passionless job. If you’re burned out or bored, it’s your job to do something about it—whether that be revising your attitude, revising your job description, or revising your resume. Don’t let months or years slip by without being fully engaged in your work. Life’s too short.

Here’s a simple prescription:

  1. Identify your condition. It’s important to distinguish between fatigue and burnout. The former can be solved by a good vacation; the latter cannot. And you can’t fix a problem until you know what it really is.
  2. Identify the cause. Once you understand the problem, you need to track down the cause. Is it more connected to the vision, a personality, or the culture? Or is the crux of the situation more personal, more internal? The cause will inform the solution.
  3. Take responsibility. Nobody wins the blame game. No matter who or what the cause, it’s vital to take responsibility for changing whatever lies in your power. Don’t waste energy complaining; it’s time to act.
  4. Implement a solution. Whether your solution is more internal or external, seek clarity and confirmation from trusted friends, get specific on actionable items, create a timeline, and then make it happen.


Re-engagement begins with small wins. Begin by making a commitment to break the status quo…and then take a step. Often it’s a limiting belief (about who we are or what we’re capable of) that holds us back and reinforces apathy. But once you can name that limitation, you can change it!


“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman

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