Last post I confessed to the three murders I’ve committed in my life so far. Fortunately, all three of those acts were killing old versions of myself – versions that no longer served me. I promised in this post to go deeper into a related subject: burnout and what causes it.
Burnout was one of the reasons I virtually shut down my business and went on a sabbatical for two years. Lots of things come to mind when we look at that topic, and I hold some very unconventional beliefs about burnout. But first…
David raised an interesting question. He asked “…you must have read and heard a ton of people teach that the $65,000 watch ain’t going to make you happy… wonder, did you have to experience it yourself to find out it was true.. or why did it take you so long to find out why it wasn’t making you happy?? Or did it??”
I’m really glad he asked about that. But especially glad that he asked the follow up: Or did it?
Because that watch (and the more than 200 other ones I owned) did bring me some happiness. By the way, I still have that one. When I’m looking for something elegant to wear and open one of my watch drawers to see that timepiece, it does bring me a degree of happiness.
Will that watch make me happy if my dog dies, my car gets stolen, or I’m suffering from moderate to severe plaque psoriasis? Probably not. I would be the first to tell you that money and material things don’t buy happiness. But what I would add is that money and material things allow you self-expression, and self-expression is a vital element of happiness. That may not be true for everyone, but it certainly is for me.
The catalyst for my rethinking my possessions and going on the sabbatical was when I found two watches, worth more than $100,000, stuffed behind some baseball hats in my closet and realized I had never worn them. (A year earlier, I had some construction workers doing some remodeling in my home, and thought I should move them out of sight, lest someone be tempted to do something stupid. I then completely forgot I owned them.) That experience made me realize I had far too many cars, shoes, watches, and clothes to actually enjoy them. (An experience my podcast listeners know, I have repeated again recently.)
But don’t make the mistake of believing that the lesson was to reject money and materials things to find happiness. That isn’t the answer. You’ll just go from a wealthy person who is unhappy to a broke person who is unhappy. And that really sucks. (I can really go down a rabbit hole here on money, status, and prosperity. But let’s jump back to burnout and we can talk more on the money stuff in the posts for this coming week.)
The introspection that led to the sabbatical was focused on creating more meaning in my life. As I said in the last post, to move from success to significance. There were four things I was fairly certain of:
- I believed teaching was my destiny. That I was meant to write books, teach seminars, etc.
- I wanted to write and speak more.
- I loved writing and speaking.
- And at that moment in my life, I was feeling entirely burnt out, and didn’t feel I could write or speak anything of value.
That actually led me to a fifth conclusion: That something was seriously out of sync. A guy who was born to teach and loved to teach, should never get burnt out to teach. So I set my intention to discover the answer to this contradiction. I sold my place in South Beach, furnished with everything, to a sheik from Dubai. I left with what fit in my roller board suitcase and headed to the airport.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to meditate in a cave on a mountain in Tibet, join a lesbian commune, or start a boy band. And I didn’t care. All I cared about was killing off that old me that I didn’t want to be any longer – and creating the new, improved me, I was excited to become.
That journey was a success, although keep in mind that the transformation into becoming the new you isn’t a “one and done” event. It’s an ongoing, continuing adventure. The epic saga continues…
I’m still growing and learning every day, hoping to get at least one step closer to the highest possible version of me. While there are hopefully millions more lessons to be learned, I have discovered the cause of my contradiction, which answered the mystery of my burnout. Here’s what I came to believe:
- You don’t get burned out because you are giving too much.
- You get burned out because you are trying to give something you don’t possess.
- You have to give something that is created within you – and when you do that – the supply is infinite.
Please reflect on that. In the next post, I’ll share exactly how this process played out for me. Until then, would love your comments below on what you think.
I'm killing off my "old self" currently.. thanks for the insights and thought processes!
have watched and considered "the monks life", that's not Prosperity to me, have considered going back to music ( with thoughts of what might have been vs what could be - so no)
I'll focus on the "infinite here and now", and mine it for Prosperity Galactica!
Thanks for answering my question.. just to be clear, I'm not anti-prosperity, defend to the death your right to have 500 watches if it makes you happy... just not for me.. baubles and so-called status stuff has never done it for me.. like to look nice and that's it.. I want to be financially independent for the freedom and could care less about the baubles.. when a gal tells me she loves shopping I start looking for the door.. just don't share those values.. now if she tells me she loves to travel and eat in nice restaurants... now, we're talking...whatever floats your boat...
"I would be the first to tell you that money and material things don’t buy happiness." I guess this is the poison in the cake. Indeed they are make you happy, except the fear of being labelled as "materialistic" which is a nonsense idea of the envy. Every creation starts in the human spirit. The end result is to bring something from the soul to the 3D world. This means literally everything is spiritual at its origin. Those who scream about materialism thinks that we love cars because the metal they made from, we love books because the paper it made from, we love humans because the cell they made from. This is nonsense.
The unfold feeling behind not feeling happy by "material" stuff is the lack of creativity. When you say that above a particular level, money doesn't make you more happy, this means you have more money than creativity. That's all.
I think if we feel uncomfortable about having lots of stuff, this is because the world eventually caught us by its envy, by the propaganda that we are exploiter parasites who don't deserve to have more than one of anything at the same time. So you buy watch because you like them, but eventually end up not using them since you subconsciously repel them.
And if you end up loving them, you get at first first the evil-love what the world thinks you have. You subconsciously be who they want you to be, a superficial idiot who obsessed with watches while doesn't care about living things. But this is just an other propaganda, an other mind virus. There is a level above it where you use your watches, they causing you happiness and you don't concentrate on them instead of other things, but on all of them at the same time.
However, I like to mention that I never caught myself owning that much stuff that I eventually forgot that I have them, so I am open to be wrong (but I don't think so).