Control Our LionsFatigue-When we don’t control our lions. Lions are the people or physical circumstances that control our life and drain our energy. We seldom chose them, but they have a way of finding us. We cannot always escape.

We all have lions in our lives that refuse to be controlled. They may be represented by physical or psychological conditions, bosses, or our environment. We do not control them, yet they drain our energy.

The lion that drains my energy is allergies. I wish they would just go away. Regardless of what I do, they seem to limit my ability to exercise and leave me feeling fatigued.

In my research on allergies, I say a news headline about how to avoid allergic reactions when heading back to school. My immediate sarcastic thought provided a simple solution. Simply avoid going back to school. This solution should be popular with students. This line of humor stems from the old Henny Youngman joke. The patient tells a doctor, “It hurts when I do this.” The doctor replies, “Than don’t do that.” Too bad it isn’t this easy.

Similarly, taming our lions may not be possible. I once had to deal with a high level manager at work who behaved in a dominant and intimidating fashion. I don’t respond well to this management style. I had a casual conversation with our human resource professional who suggested a book about lion taming which was a metaphor for this type of insufferable personality. I wonder what book my HR friend would recommend to this manager.

Have you lived through a corporate merger? Have you survived a round of layoffs? Have you worked a busy season or mandatory overtime? These represent uncontrollable lions. You have to deal with them because you are subjected to the rules of a greater power. Unfortunately, we usually are not in a position to take the doctor’s advice from the joke.

Here are some thoughts on dealing with the lions.

  1. Manage what you can and minimize what you can’t. Address the areas you influence before fretting and complaining about the areas you do not control.
  2. Understand the nature of the lion. While we may not be able to affect a change, if we understand the nature of the lion, we might be able to mitigate the impact.
  3. Appreciate what you have and focus less on what you would like to have. It is great to dream, but it is important to deal with the reality. The grass is seldom greener on the other side.
  4. Avoid the victim mentality. It would be nice to say “No”, but the work still needs to get done. You still need to deal with the boss. The project needs to be completed. Feeling sorry for yourself only focuses attention on factors that rarely alleviate the problem.
  5. Endure the season if it is truly a season. It is easy to focus on winning a battle, at the expense of losing the war. Find a confidant to discuss your situation and help you keep things in perspective.

Fatigue has many causes. Not all causes can be easily controlled. It would be nice to click our heels together, close our eyes, and hope for a miracle. Perhaps tomorrow will bring a fresh perspective.

How do you handle your lions?

Fatigue-When We Don’t Control Our Lions
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