Jim Damron

Author | Speaker | Professional Coach

Navigating The Burned Out Life

The consequences of poor navigation are that sometimes we get very lost.  And sometimes, we don’t get found.

Years ago on black ocean waters, a diving partner and I were anchored twenty miles offshore beneath an endless glut of stars, going under to watch the nocturnal life that clusters around the coral to lure and trap and feed.  We were there for the spectacular but weren’t seeing a lot of action – mainly because you first have to provide these beings with their sense of safety by turning off your light.

So we killed our beam.  In the pitch black, we waited where humans are blind and can only sense the inhabitants approach and glide past.  But after a few short moments in that slowly rocking darkness, something we never anticipated happened – the ocean lulled us both to sleep.

Nearly half an hour later, I awoke myself and my buddy.  Slightly panicked but methodical, we checked our time, we checked our air, and we crept our way out of the potentially lethal lullaby of the waters.

It gets sketchy in places where we’re out of our element and over our heads.  Then again, these places are treasure troves for discovery.  And besides…

it’s far more dangerous to live life in the shallow end.



I love to learn.  When I finished undergrad many years ago, I immediately got my SCUBA instructing license.  Then I went back to school for an Associate’s degree in Respiratory Care.  Next, I earned a graduate degree in Theology.  Then a second graduate degree in Theology.  Then a third graduate degree in Bioethics.  And then a formal coaching education.


 My work in professional speaking isn’t just a motivational shot in the arm.  It’s about life change, making a difference,  and challenging people to consider what’s really important.

My work for the past twenty years as a caregiver and ethics consultant isn’t about treatment.  It’s about serving others and navigating the medical and moral morass of our healthcare system.

My work as a professional coach isn’t about psychoanalysis.  It’s about moving people forward, helping you think, and living a fulfilled life.

These experiences resonate because as people,


we all know life is short.  And as caregivers, we all know how swiftly and without warning, it ends.

I don’t tire of chasing answers, and though I love it when they fall into those categories of true and false, yes or no, and right or wrong, it’s more common that we don’t get the crystal clear…life has a way of coaxing us out into the fog. 

Which is exactly why we have to get more competent, more curious, and more learned in the depths.  Because the answers are there.  And we are burning out and wasting precious time when we fret and focus on the wrong things at the surface.

My job is to take you deeper.  Help you navigate to a depth where life change flourishes.  Where you discover the gaps in your growth and take action to fill them.  Because that’s how we learn, by doing.  And the learning is never over.

Professional Bio

Author | Speaker | trainer

Jim Damron is a Speaker, Trainer, Professional Coach, and the founder of Grapevine Academy, an online discovery platform dedicated to helping improve the care of caregivers. 

He is also the author of Smoke Screening:  Narratives to Navigate Caregiver Burnout, which he wrote to help caregivers navigate burnout and to show that Weekend At Bernie’s wasn’t just a movie.  

Jim has worked over 22 years as a Respiratory Therapist and also serves as a Clinical Ethics Consultant.  With his advanced degrees in both Theology (MDiv, MA) and Bioethics (MBE) and his personal experience battling burnout, Jim uses his message to help caregivers be more effective and productive at providing quality care.

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