How to Come Back from Burnout

What's Covered

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  • Cheat code for living a high intensity life: when you’re pushing big rocks up the hill you must remember where you started & where you’re going; burnout comes from forgetting this
  • Eisenhower’s take on freedom and why it only matters if we’re exerting self-discipline
  • Why it’s not good to have it easy; the purpose of life is not to achieve but to become… achievement comes easiest when the process is the hardest
  • Burnout approaches the fastest when we respect ourselves the least 🔥

I am tired. 

It’s honest, at least. 

In a world full of social media narratives and “branded” posts on Instagram, how about some honesty for a change.

Living well can be a grind. 

There are things I want to do, people I want to see, achievements I want to cross off my list. They are complex, nuanced, and rarely as easy as others make it look. Once again, “branding.” 

But sometimes the best branding is just calling it like it is — being at your best is f*cking hard. This is a good thing. Time for the reframe: 

If it was easy you would not enjoy it. 

Man was made in God’s image and God likes to work. The whole narrative of existence starts with work. There are levels of power you can only unlock by being willing to do what others are not for longer than they would. 

President Eisenhower hinted at it when he said, “Freedom is an opportunity for self-discipline.” This is a paradox: freedom is an opportunity to deploy restraint. Hard work is the path to rest. Too much rest renders you unfulfilled & unmotivated and too much work will burn you out. 

So how are we to balance? 

Here is the ultimate hack: mastery of self. 

This morning I woke up early and decided I did not want to do what I said I was going to do. I really did not want to do it. In fact, if we’re telling the truth (don’t judge), I sat on the couch for fifteen minutes trying to talk myself into justifying not doing what I said I was going to do. 

You might be asking, “What could be so bad?” 

Thirty minutes of cardio. 

Not bad at all — it’s just that, I really didn’t want to f*cking do it. You know what I’m saying… the things that in hindsight you’re disgusted by because they’re so easy. 

Listen to the first secret of self-mastery: the easier it is the more important it is. The easier it is the more easy it will be to skip. Don’t skip these things. 

(To solve the cliffhanger, I did the cardio… and I’m glad I did) 

Honoring your CODE requires you to honor it when you feel like and when you don’t. Burnout approaches the fastest when we respect ourselves the least. There are things that drive self-respect and self-esteem and there are things that drain them. Always be driving up never draining down. 

Self-mastery requires the long game

The greatest gift you can give your subconscious is to know where you are going. This is impossible without having vision. Some things in life are just going to be difficult no matter what… 

Cold plunging. Firing an employee. Losing a client. Cardio in the morning. 

But everything gets harder when you do not know “WHY” you’re doing it. 

You can avoid this by keeping the reasons attached to your willpower strong & fully fueled. If we define burnout as “running on empty,” we can define the fuel as vision — let this get too low and you start sputtering. 

Lastly, the frame. It all comes down to the frame. The frame is about perspective; how you view yourself and your situation; how big your problems are compared to you and where you’re going. 

Here is a secret: everything eventually bows down to a consistent process. It takes time, sometimes years… but the homage is always paid. Pros derive constant fulfillment from the process not the reward. The rewards are fun. 

Big houses. 

Hot tubs. 

Private jets. 

Companies going public. 

Whatever — they’re all awesome, okay? Nobody can say that they’re not. They’re awesome but they are not the prize. The prize is you become a weapon. The stuff is a symbol that you’ve mastered a game that very few people have mastered. 

The black belt is a symbol. The student is the prize. 

Never get this twisted around. 

Time to go — run harder today. I cannot arrive at death with too much energy left in the tank… all on the floor.


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