In our work with “tigers,” we often discuss the idea of “swastha,” or engaging your potential appropriately. This concept involves aligning your work with your multiple intelligences and multiple natures (MIs and MNs), which are 19 traits that define who we are and how we behave to a great degree. We emphasize the importance of ensuring that tigers are aligned with the type of work that fits them and avoiding overloading or overburdening certain traits.
However, one thing that people often overlook is the possibility of overfeeding their big tigers. This may sound counterintuitive, but it happens more often than you might think. In a world where the hero is praised and superheros are celebrated for coming to save the day, we often try to do it all alone. This can lead to burnout and exhaustion, even for individuals with big tigers.
For instance, someone with a huge Educative and Entrepreneurial Nature may think they can take on unlimited amounts of work. While it may be easy for them to manage a lot of work initially, every tiger has its limit. Even though we may know this theoretically, we can overlook it in practice.
This happened to me recently when I took on too many projects at once. I have a few big tigers that can handle a lot, but I realized I was exhausted, irritable, and my chronic cough had returned. I had to make a conscious decision to slow down, reduce my working hours, and make time for family, cooking, and playing ping pong. It was a good decision before things got out of hand.
I have seen this with others too. People with a high Providing nature tend to say “yes” to everything and can take on too much until they can’t function anymore. I witnessed a person in a volunteer organization who had a high Providing, Interpersonal, and Administrative nature, overdoing it and ultimately had to pull back from all engagements in the organization.
The lesson here is that even big tigers can be overfed, and it can creep up on you before you realize it. It's essential to be mindful of your multiple natures and not be fooled into thinking your big tigers make you invincible.
I invite you to take a moment and reflect on your own tigers. Are you feeding them properly, or have you overfed some of your big tigers? It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of taking on new challenges and projects, but we must remember that even our biggest tigers have limits.
Take some time to evaluate your workload and ensure that you are engaging your potential appropriately. Remember, your health and well-being are crucial to your success and happiness, so take care of yourself by feeding your tigers—even the big ones—the right way and the right amount.
Do share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments section below.