What Do We Burn To?

Stress may generate from different sources. Prolonged exposure to stress lead to what we describe as “burnout”.

Many questions revolved in my mind such as

  • Why do some people get burned out much faster than others?
  • Why do some people never combust in a fire?
  • What do people produce when they get burned out?

The Story First

A young pretty woman was only in her early twenties when her parents died in a car accident. They left her with six younger brothers and sisters with nothing to support them. The only job she could find was to work as a belly dancer in a nightclub. Customers poured in to enjoy her sexy body. They tried to tempt her with large sums of money to share the night with them. Nobody could touch her.

A writer described her as “In fire and she does not burn”.

Why did not she yield to the flare of money? Was it her character, faith, and values, fear of social rejection, or mostly all of them?

So, why do most people burn in the fire of stress?

I could attribute this to many factors such as

  • These people lack the strong enough character to say no when they need to.
  • They have “dry hearts”. They become dry and burn easier than wet hearts.
  • Their values are “loose” and it is easy for the heat of temptation to break their values, heat them so that they burn easier.
  • Because these people are dry and empty of empathy, filled with grudge and envy and care only for materialistic things they burn much easier. Grudge and envy produce their own fire to burn them from the inside.

To burn is one thing and to what is another thing.

Some people burn with a glow. Other people burn with beauty. Others transform into chars of weird shapes. Those with hearts filled with grudges and envy produce soot or toxic gases that even when these people disappeared, they leave behind toxicity hanging in the air.

Best of all are those people who burn but leave a great aroma for others. Their hearts are fragrant with love and passion for humanity.


Ali Anani
Ali Anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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  1. Brother Ali
    Another valuanble inquiry. Thank you.

    The difference between fire as fuel -energy and fire that consumes us -stress and ultimately burnout.

    If I think of times in my life when stress has led to burnout it has almost always been when I did not say “No.” I overloaded myself because I wouldn’t turn down client work after a very dry spell or I overloaded myself because we were building a business and were slow to hire staff. I always got burned.

    I saw others get burned by stress by not saying “No” and doing something against their values -perhaps what the young belly dancer might have felt if she succumbed to the temptation of offered cash. Thankfully I have only done this once in y life, when I was very young and learned a painful lesson, not unlike touching a hot stove as a toddler.

    We talk about passion, about having “fire in the belly,” but this fire is fuel. It doesnot consume us if directed to a noble purpose. And if we get some replenishment of our energy in terms of accomplishment. When the trajectory of our purpose is long, it behooves us to rest up for the long haul.

    Thanks again,

    • Not saying No when needed may lead to overload and then stress. Excellent point Brother Alan Culler

      Yes, we need passion tso that the fuel turns into useful energy. You expressed this brilliantly “We talk about passion, about having “fire in the belly,” but this fire is fuel. It doesnot consume us if directed to a noble purpose”.

      (Passion + ability +purpose) seems to be a magical formula

  2. The question you ask is difficult to approach and would require some psychology skills !!
    According to my knowledges, it is a common tendency to think that things that are bad should be eliminated. In doing so, however, we lose since at the beginning, because stressful events will always exist (at different levels) in the life of all of us.
    What we can do is try to accept them and find the best way to deal with them. I mean that how we think and how we act can change the way we experience stress. How?
    By interpreting the first physical symptoms (such as anxiety) not with a negative meaning, but by convincing ourselves that our body is only warning us that we are not responding well to the pressure and therefore it is preparing to face the challenge. Therefore, our contribution of courage is needed to trust ourselves more, that is, in our ability to manage the challenges of life!
    It’s not easy, I guess.

    • You verified the message of the post brilliantly Aldo Delli Paoli What we cannot control we have to accept and act accordingly. Stress is there and what we can do is control the way we respond (not react) to it.

      This is so well explained by you in “What we can do is try to accept them and find the best way to deal with them. I mean that how we think and how we act can change the way we experience stress. How?”