Find your golden compass to redirect your life and work

By Martin Thoolen,
Published at 23 January 2023.
Read in 3 minutes.

I frequently lose sight of things. I feel fatigued. A persistent sensation I have had for months. Actually, it is getting worse. As if my light is gradually dimming. And, by the way, am I still doing what I believe in? Am I not allowing myself to be affected too much by what others think?

Who or what actually controls my life and career. In short, what is my compass?

Find your compass and regain control with personal leadership.

As an individual you can exercise personal leadership at three levels that not everyone is aware of. But they do have an enormous effect. My new book 'Personal Spirited Leadership' ( to appear in English in March 2023) explains that there are three forces that determine all your choices and behaviour, namely: your ego, your soul and awareness (spirit). Your interior (ego and soul) affects your exterior behaviour and the choices that you make.

© 2022: Martin Thoolen: Model ‘Personal Spirited Leadership'

Three intervention levels

A vital starting point when regaining control over your life is knowing that you are responsible for your own welfare. Without awareness, long term negative stress can cause burnouts. How do you prevent this? By consciously using three fundamental intervention levels:

  • 1) Soul in its place
  • 2) Ego management
  • 3) Behaviour and skills

1. Soul in its place

The basic energy that enables you to keep whistling on your way to work when your soul feels 'at home' at work. You work with enthusiasm and passion, and your innate talents are utilised or enhanced - your job offers you challenges that motivate you.
However, some work environments are like deserts or even toxic for you, whereas others are more fertile seedbeds for personal development. Sometimes it is cowardly to go, and sometimes it is cowardly to stay. Occasionally, altering the job can be sufficient to reactivate your passion or encourage you to find a different position in the organisation. But this is not guaranteed. If you don't face it, this creeping dissatisfaction will raise its ugly head again sooner or later.

2. Ego-management

Experience has taught me that most people who suffer a burnout have a strong ego identification with their inner pleaser, pusher and/or perfectionist (the 3 Ps). If you fail to balance these basic forces another burnout will occur before too long. And they are not always easy to prevent. This is certainly true if your ego is stubbornly searching for permanent external recognition or approval or fears deficiency. However, creating a healthy balance and long-term durability requires you giving being/relaxation side of your ego more space. And that requires ego management, where you make choices involving well-considered sacrifices.

3. Behaviour/skills

You increase the essential relaxation and extra time by applying stress and time management knowledge and skills. There is often a great deal to be gained by recognising (but above all acknowledging and taking the appropriate action) the stress signals that you feel and applying useful time management tips, such as setting priorities effectively.

Would you like to know you yourself can give your work and life new direction?

Take a look at this upcoming book ‘Spirited Personal Leadership.’ For more effective work, a meaningful life and a better world. View or order a Dutch copy here (In March English version will be for sale too):  https://www.boekenbestellen.nl/boek/persoonlijk-inspirerend-leiderschap/9789090362908

(English book will appear in March of 2023). Click on Fragment to see the promotional copy and find out whether my book could help you.

Would you like to personally experience how you can gain more control over your work and life?

Check the new Master’s Course – Personal Spirited Leadership - here:.

©2022: Martin Thoolen

#personalleadership #inspiredleadership #spiritedpersonalleadership #mastercoursespritedpersonalleadership #coaching #training

Martin Thoolen

My 30 years of professional experience as an awareness coach, clinical and organisational psychologist has enabled me to help thousands of clients in Personal or Collective Leadership. Both groups and individuals, in coaching sessions, training courses, leadership development and organisation development programs, retreats and seminars.
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