When I try to figure out how to balance personal happiness with saving the world, I think a lot about burnout. If I make a major change - e.g. changing careers - what are the chances I'll burn out and become a lot less useful as a result?
I've never burned out, so I don't know where that edge is for me (plus I suspect the edge moves around depending on circumstances). I'm obviously biased on the topic: there's the temptation to tell myself "This will prevent burnout and make me more effective in the long run" every time I want to do something.
Some things people here have described as causing burnout:
Do you have more examples? Have you burned out? Are there things that you think have kept you from burning out?