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The Mackie Report 

Reenergize Your Career
As we approach and enter middle age, many of us begin to question where we are going with our careers. It could be attributed to burn out or a lessening of the passion we once felt for our jobs. Either way, it's a common occurrence.

Success in your career will always be in direct proportion to whether or not you feel a real passion for your work. Therefore, the question you should ask yourself is: does my job fill me with passion? If not, you should think about some changes.

In more than 25 years of training professional athletes, I've learned that passion is everything. I've seen athletes go up against opponents more talented and more experienced opponents, yet they emerged victorious because they had more passion for what they were doing. Passion is the pure energy that helps you survive. When you have it, you are constantly growing and reinventing yourself and your life.

When you feel passion for your career, it shows. Regardless of what you do, it's how you do it that really matters. When you're passionate about what you're doing, your high level of energy and enthusiasm is infectious and may even rub off on those around you, giving them a better perception of you.

If you don't feel that passion anymore, what can you do to recharge it -- and yourself? The first thing you need to do is a self-analysis. Ask yourself some basic questions about your life, your career, your stress level, your financial status and your overall estimation of yourself. Mentally rate your job on a scale of one to 10, with one being the lowest and 10 the highest level of satisfaction. Then do the same with your stress level, your financial status and your overall estimation of yourself. If you rank low on the scale in any of these categories, it may be time to consider changing jobs.

If you're thinking about a career change, ponder what you would consider to be the ideal career. Then, perhaps, you can strive toward attaining it. There's a very good chance that what you really want to do is similar to what you're doing now, but you just need to be in a different environment. For example, if you're a medical or psychiatric professional working for a large clinic, you might be happier and more passionate about your work if you had your own private practice. If you're in business for yourself, you might consider expanding into a new area of that business or a similar one. This is known as "lateral movement," and it happens frequently in the contemporary workforce.

But what if you like what you do and just need to recharge your energy level for doing it? There are several possible solutions. You can visualize solutions to your work-related problems, then work toward achieving those. You can plug "energy leaks" by tuning out negative people or work-related issues that are draining your energy and passion for the job. Finally, you can prioritize your life and the things you do. If you're already juggling a family and career, don't volunteer for everything that comes along. Pick and choose what, if anything, you want to get involved in and keep those to a manageable minimum. Otherwise, you'll burn yourself out.

Whatever you do to restore your passion, do it wholeheartedly and with a determination to make yourself feel better. With passion comes energy, and with energy comes enthusiasm. With enthusiasm, anyone can believe in himself or herself, and with belief, the impossible becomes possible.

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