• Podcast

    Surviving Burnout

    Effective strategies from the psychologist who published 'The Burnout Fix'
    by Adam Taggart

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 4:52 PM

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In today’s culture, “burnout” has become a silent epidemic — one that long predated Covid 19 but has certainly been made worse by it.

Burnout often results when the demands of our work and/or our lives become mismatched to our capacities as human beings.

As many of us are working harder for longer in an uncertain economy while simultaneously juggling the responsibilities we have in our personal lives, it’s not hard to see that it’s increasingly easy for that mismatch to occur.

In this podcast, we learn effective strategies for coping with burnout — including ways to avoid it altogether — from Dr. Jacinta Jiménez, a Stanford trained, award winning, licensed psychologist and author of the newly-published book, The Burnout Fix.

Transcript

Adam Taggart: Burn out is a silent epidemic in today’s society, one that long predated Covid 19 but has certainly been made worse by it. Burnout often results when the demands of our work and/or our lives become mismatched to our capacities as human beings, as many of us are working harder for longer in an uncertain economy while simultaneously juggling the responsibilities we have in our personal lives. You know, it’s not hard to see that it’s increasingly easy for that mismatch to occur.

So we're talking with an expert on burnout today, and we're hopefully going to learn some effective strategies for coping with it or, even better, avoiding it all together. Dr. Jacinta Jimenez is a Stanford trained, award winning, licensed psychologist and author of the upcoming book, The Burnout Fix. Jacinta thank you so much for joining us today.

Jacinta Jimenez: Thank you. I'm so grateful to be here and to talk about such a timely subject and hopefully give some tools and tips and information that can help folks listening today buffer against burnout or recover from it.

Adam Taggart: Well, thanks. I'm super excited to get into this with you because I’ve heard from so many people just in my own personal life that folks are dealing with this, but it’s sort of, in many ways, the way that depression can be or used to be where it’s something that people don’t necessarily feel comfortable admitting to somebody else. So I think that people feel really alone with the burden of dealing with burnout. And, of course, it’s not something that’s widely discussed, so there's really not a playbook for how to deal with it.

So anyway, you’ve got this new book out, which we’ll get into in just a moment, but can we sort of start the discussion here with you just defining what burnout is and giving us a sense for exactly how big the problem is?

Jacinta Jimenez: This is a great place to start. I think that is one of the silver linings of Covid 19 is that more and more people are talking about burnout, and it’s becoming destigmatized because burnout can really wreak havoc on not only one’s livelihood and work productivity, but it also has immense business and economic repercussions.

It’s estimated that chronic workplace stress costs the US economy up to $300 billion annually due to absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, medical, legal, insurance costs. Job burnout is estimated to cost the US economy $190 billion, and this is per Covid estimates, and it counts for up to 120.,000 deaths.

This is a serious problem, so much so that in 2019, the World Health Organization – again, pre Covid, right – classified burnout in their international classification of diseases eleven [PH], as a syndrome conceptualized as chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

But in order to combat burnout or buffer against it or respond to it, we have to know what it is. So research is showing that it’s not just overwork. A lot of people think burnout is like, oh, I overworked to the point of exhaustion and burnout. And yes, those are two elements that make up burnout, but burnout actually comes from three components.

The first one is exhaustion, which is the obvious one. So that is immense fatigue, psychological and emotional, physical fatigue where you cannot – you go on vacation – you cannot recover when you come back to work. You get a good night’s sleep, a weekend away, doesn’t work. You feel like, oh, my gosh, I feel used up by the end of the workday I can’t get up and face another day on the job. It’s really intense.

The other one is cynicism. So this is really sad because the super engaged people who are very passionate about their work can sometimes be the most susceptible to burnout because we love it so much. That’s my story about burnout is I was so loving what I do that I pushed through every obstacle. I thought that’s what resilience was. And I can talk about resilience later on.

But really, these people end up becoming, actually, ironically, they were the biggest promoters of the business and become cynical to the point where they become less interested in their work. They just want to do their job, not be bothered. They question the mission of the organization, and that’s really tragic both for the person and for the team and for the organization.

And then, the last one is what is inefficacy. So not feeling like they're making progress on the job, not feeling like you're effective in getting things done, not feeling like you're making an effective contribution to the work.

And when these three things come together; so exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy, think of it like a Venn diagram coming together, in the middle is when burnout happens. But people can have different burnout profiles, so for me it shows up more as cynicism. The two times I’ve been burned out I’ve been very cynical more so than exhausted. Someone else may have exhaustion and a little bit of inefficacy and only a tiny bit of cynicism, so it’s important to know where you land of those three dimensions and also monitor for those three dimensions as well. So I’ll stop there.

Adam Taggart: No, that’s great. So you’ve given us a good sense of the costs of it which were extremely large. I mean, $300 billion. It’s not worth what it used to be with these trillions of stimulus getting thrown out there, but that’s still an awful lot of money.

But more importantly, you talk about the human cost of it, and there's the happiness and all that type of stuff, but it sounds like it’s sort of a path to an early grave. You talked about 120,000 annual deaths that are now being attributed to it, so big deal.

I'm sure everybody watching this can relate though to the topic in some way. At some point somebody has definitely felt at least one of those three warning signs that you mentioned there: the exhaustion, the cynicism, the inefficiency.

By the way, you sort of gave a little nod to resilience maybe as a way to deal with this. That is a very heartfelt word here at Peak Prosperity. It’s really kind of where we see the solution to so many of life’s problems. Just want to let you know when we get to talking about that, you're really preaching to a choir that really already appreciates it.

But before we get to the solution part of it all, so again, this problem predated Covid 19, so I’ll asked you in a moment Covid 19, whether that made the situation worse or not, but there's something about our society that has led to this becoming a real health issue. What sort of factors in terms of how American society and/or culture have been shifting that you think has put us at greater risk of this phenomenon than say previous generations?

Jacinta Jimenez: That’s such a great question because I think there's a misnomer that burnout happens because of the individual, that just type A people kind of push themselves too far and burnout. But burnout actually comes from – it’s a multisystem process, right. It happens at the individual level with mindset skills or personality types. But then, we exist in a team, and then we exist in an organization which is how the larger, societal norm, what it takes to sustain one’s success.

And unfortunately, the world of work is changing so rapidly. I'm here in Silicon Valley, been in tech [PH] for quite a while now, and I can see how it’s changing the nature of our work at unprecedented rates. The amount of information coming at us. I mean, it’s stimulation overload. There's so many things. We're hyperconnected, globally hyperconnected., and that’s changing the nature of our work.

So we're entering into this new world of work, but we're hanging onto outdated formulas of what it takes to be and to sustain our success in this new world of work. And I adamantly believe that a new world of work resuscitates new ways to approach work.

But unfortunately, there's these misnomers that the science debunks, and I do this is my book a lot, that working more actually creates more output, that success is intimately intertwined with chronic stress. You know, if you're going to be successful, you're going to have to have chronic stress.

And the research shows us that beyond a certain threshold, our productivity diminishes, our ability to be creative diminishes, our ability to be innovative diminishes, and habit, all of these fundamentals things that we need to address some of the world’s biggest problems that we're not able to handle these really important pieces of our work and knowledge work, we are not going to be set up to really solve things like ethical ____ [00:14:19], climate change, social justice, massive, massive things.

We have to tune into these parts of ourselves, the psychology of leadership is what I call that.

Adam Taggart: Great. So let’s see, where to dive in on that next because I’ve got – you generated several questions in my head here. But one, I guess, is what I hear you saying, and it makes total sense, is look, we're not just going to kind of overwork ourselves through this, right. If we just sort of tighten our belts, buckle down, work harder, if you're feeling that as an individual it’s probably not going to be a successful strategy for you if you're truly in burnout, and as a society just by having us continue to work more hours or work harder during the hours we're working. That’s highly likely not going to generate the returns we're looking for as well.

And kind of the metaphor in my mind is burnout is sort of an increasing foot on the brake pedal. And so we think, oh, if that’s happening, I need to fun the gas more. But oftentimes the burnout can meet the pace with your efforts, sometimes maybe even exceeding it, and so what’s happening is you're just going through your own faculties or resources, energies, faster, but you're not really making any additional progress. So I guess burnout’s the right term; you're kind of burning out your own engine there. Is that an accurate analogy?

Jacinta Jimenez: That’s a perfect analogy. That is a perfect analogy. We are human beings. We are not machines, and we cannot push ourselves like the technology that we're assisting, and we cannot keep going on overdrive. We will go to the point of collapse. We have to be charged and replenished. And when you think about what you said in the intro, right, burnout happens when there's our capacities as human beings kind of mismatch.

So think about it as a scale. The scale gets tipped, and this is the work side, and it weighs so heavy, and we're not investing in these capacities as humans that that’s going to create burnout, that mismatch. So we have to lean in to our humanness, our psychology, these things that have allowed us to survive and thrive for centuries. Human beings are highly resilient. We’ve made it through tremendous adversity. But we cannot deny these human pieces of us in an effort to be hyper productive.

I say that we're entering into – we're suffering from this ideas of productivity-itis where our preoccupation with productivity does more harm than good.

Adam Taggart: We talk a lot of this program that sort of at a societal, even a species level, we have pursued ever more growth really since the dawn of humanity, and that has served us well up until a point now as a species where that really has shifted from an evolutionary advantage to an existential threat to the species.

So much of what we deal with, whether it’s how we treat the environment, whether it’s how we run our economy, whether it’s how we run our own businesses as you're talking about here, it touches on probably greater than just this field that there's this field of behavioral economics that I love to address because what it’s basically saying is it is our evolutionary wiring that is actually – we're trying to step into a construct that is not a good match for evolutionary wiring. What that does over time is create these issues, these mismatches, that you're talking about here, and this is a really good example here.

So I want to get into the lead-in solutions in just a second. But you talk about technology, and I'm old enough to have been around when the transition from the pre-email world to the post-email world, and in this sort of always on, always connected, always accessible world that we live in now, as you said, there's just information coming in all the time.

And I think back to when things were done by mail and memo where you had time to actually have a goal, uninterrupted time to really get into that flow state and work on achieving it. But now you're getting pinged every couple of seconds by emails, by texts, by updates from various different parts of social media. People are working in open offices, if they're even in the office anymore, which they're not in this virtual world, which is a whole other ball of wax. And so you're hardly ever able to every get into that flow state just to kind of do things the way which we humans are wired to do.

So I got to think that technology, it is this double-edged sword which, yes, it does allow certain things to happen a lot faster, but for the wet wiring we as humans have, it’s becoming a really big issue. I see you nodding.

Jacinta Jimenez: Yes. No, everything you're saying is spot on. There's so much raving things about technology, and it’s not that technology is bad. It enables you and I to have this conversation. It’s great, but we just need o learn how to manage our relationship with technology. I liken it to, if you have toddlers at home, you got to create rules for them, or they will run wild. And it’s kind of like our relationship with – we have to set rules. We have to start thinking proactively about how we involve tech in our life because it’s really, really hard on our brains to have information overload.

Even just if I went right now and looked at my phone for like 20 seconds, that’s not 20 seconds of distraction. Research has found it takes 25 minutes for me to get back to…

Adam Taggart: Get back into that concentration.

Jacinta Jimenez: …and focus. So it’s actually those seconds looking at the phone plus another twenty-five in our brain. Again, I like the analogy of the car because it is like a gas tank. We only have so much reserve, and by the end of the day we're going to find ourselves in decision fatigue. We're not going to be as effective, and we end up overworking more than if we were just centered at in our flow state.

And the brain if fascinating. It’s only two percent of our body weight, but it takes up twenty percent of our energy. It’s one of the most energy using organs in our entire body, and so we have to treat it really respectively just like anything high performance. The brain is incredible at processing tremendous amounts of information, but anything high performance, it needs maintenance; it needs supplements, we need to have rules, we need to really be approaching work in a much more – in our use of tech I in a much more thoughtful and disciplined way.

Adam Taggart: Well, look your book, and everybody can see the cover behind you there, is The Burnout Fix. So let’s get to the fix part of the story. If you feel that you are in danger of burning out, you're seeing a concerning number of those warnings signs you talked about – exhaustion, cynicism, inefficiency, or maybe even worse – you're already burnt out, you know it. What are some steps that you can take to improve your situation?

Jacinta Jimenez: I can talk about some steps, and then I can talk about fix also – I’ll talk about the fix really quick. It’s a play on words in a lot of ways, so it’s not about a quick fix, it’s about giving people a fixed set. So if you look up fix in the dictionary, it’s to make firm, stable, or stationary. So giving people a sense core resilience capabilities, these things of going back to being human, that have allowed us to rise and survive, to keep us stable and grounded while the world of work and life spins around us.

But one thing you can do if you're finding yourself like really feeling burnout is looking through this six mismatches that research has found that leads to burnout.

So one of them is fairness. So these are not obvious things that people would think about leads to burnout. If you're at work staring to feel out of alignment, values, or fairness, so you're not getting rewarded, social, intrinsic, economic rewards that feel fair to you, that’s going to take a toll.

The other one is workload. That is the obvious one. Too big of goals with too little resources or time.

The other one is a breakdown in community, so if you don’t have support. And loneliness is another epidemic that’s happening globally as well and, in the workplace, and it has repercussions also for our life of large businesses. But breakdown in communities if you're in a hostile work environment or you don’t feel belonging or inclusion, that can really cause burnout.

The other one is value; the values is a mismatch. The example I always give is Theranos. He had given, was one of the foremost researcher’s chemists there, and they wanted him to kind of smudge the benchmarks a little bit, and that ate away at him so much so – it wasn’t because he was overworking. It wasn’t to the point of exhaustion. It was a values mismatch, misalignment that led to that.

Adam Taggart: He was going against his integrity, his personal integrity.

Jacinta Jimenez: Exaclty. You're personal integrity. And it’s really sad that before he was supposed to testify, he ended up taking his life. That’s an extreme example. But just to show you how even a mismatch of values can have repercussion.

And then, reward is pretty obvious.

And then, control. So not being able to have control can lead to lead helplessness. Just like why even try? I can’t do anything about it. I have no efficacy in this so why even try.

So looking through those six mismatches, it’s like oh, it’s because of fairness, or it’s because of loss of community. Let me see how I can strategically manage the nature of my work or work with my team or work with my organization. I have another thing for organizational levels, but this is at the individual level. To look at these six mismatches versus just going I overworked, and I'm exhausted; I just need to work less. That may not be the answer if it’s a values mismatch or if it’s a fairness match.

So getting really granular with why, and then that empowers you so much more to navigate the how.

Adam Taggart: This is a really useful framework. I think it really helps people not just see burnout as sort of this just amorphous weight on their shoulders, but they can begin to see the components of the burnout that are affecting them the most.

And I can see somebody going to say their boss at work and saying, hey, you know what, I feel like I'm entering burnout here, and it’s not the pay, I'm not asking you for a raise. but either the workload feels too much, or it doesn’t seem fair. I’ve got this deal where I'm doing the majority of the team’s work even though there are three of us, and it’s really weighing on me because it really just feels like I'm being taken advantage of. You can help the people around you correct the situation or at least give them an opportunity to be specific in how to correct the situation.

And I think, and you're a phycologist, and before we started filming, I told you my wife is a therapist, and she works in the similar Silicon Valley circles as you, but I would think all of these would apply to relationships as well.

Jacinta Jimenez: Exactly. All of these things. And it’s really interesting, you know, John Gottman, just to go into the relationship thing, is a very famous psychologist who can predict with above 90 percent accuracy just talking to a couple for not very long whether they will stay together…

Adam Taggart: It’s less than two minutes.

Jacinta Jimenez: It’s wild, right. Whether they will end up divorced or that relationship will end. And what he’s found is this magic ratio: for every negative interaction, there are five positive interactions. And so I think this is the same thing with how we take care of ourselves toward resiliency or in relationships or at work, we need to be putting more and more into our metaphorical piggy bank so that when adversity happens, we can take something out of the piggy bank and still have reserves left without breaking the bank.

And so if you're able to talk to your manager, go hey, just like you said, it’s not work load, it’s this, what can we do about it, that’s a productive conversation. There's a bid for connection and a productive, hopefully, outcome where people feel empowered and can do something about it versus saying I'm feeling overwhelmed, I'm exhausted. The person maybe empathically listens, but that’s not going to help the person actually figure out how to solve the cause.

And so that’s just more and more I'm trying to get managers to put more and more to their metaphorical piggy bank personally and relationship wise.

Adam Taggart: It’s funny. I feel like I'm having a conversation at home. These are all terms that my wife mentions to me all the time. You're talking about the emotional piggy bank. We’ve actually talked about that here on Peak Prosperity with our audience, so some folks may [Cross talking]

One thing I want to note, you're correct on the ration, meaning our brains place more weigh on a negative experience than a positive experience which is why you need at least five positive experiences to outweigh the damage a negative experience has done, or it does. And the note is, it’s a minimum of five, so you actually want to have more than that to begin to build up a positive balance.

And so, again, I think these are great frameworks, and I love that we're taking some of your frameworks in the workplace and moving then into the homelife, and then here, we're taking some home relationships stuff into the workplace. That is a really good framework to give to your boss which is to say look, I kind of need to have at least five positive experiences in the day versus a negative one just to kind of feel happy in this job.

And so you can be good with your boss in saying hey, that was great. Just so you know, what you just did there, that was one of the positive things I'm looking for.

It’s also good for the boss to ask themselves periodically hey, with my direct reports, like what is my number today with them? Jacinta, have I given her five good interactions per any negative one that she might have had today? It helps them help you.

So all right, so I really like this. We talked about some of these ways you can address the mismatches. I guess – well, let me ask this. Are there any sort of – I’ll use a Gottman analogy again – he talks about these relationship frameworks, but then he talks about the masters of relationships and the disasters of relationship. Are there masters of avoiding burnout out there? Like are there ways to kind of just avoid it all together? Like are there best practices like that hey, if I put all this is place from the start – it’s almost like Covid with the masks and the social distancing and stuff like that, these are things that can keep me much, much less likely to get it going forward?

Jacinta Jimenez: Yeah. Yes, absolutely. This is the exciting part of the discussion here because this is what my book is about. So this is about building out these core resilience capabilities, and I think this – I have a little imagine in the book, but I’ll try to describe it here.

One part of the pie is hard work and smart work, and that’s the two things we read a lot about, we think a lot off, like how to work hard and be productive with smart work. But there's a piece that we're missing, and that piece is core resilience capabilities that is part of the nature of our work.

So when we think about resilience, this is how I think about it, it’s like a seesaw, and on one side is adversity and tough stuff, and on the other side of the seesaw is like pro-resilience practices or behaviors. And in the middle, the pull from where the seesaw rests, is our genetics. So genetics do paly a role, personality does play a role, but the good news is that research has found that if we continue to put more and more effort into building out these pro-resilience capabilities, when adversity happens it hits that one side of the seesaw it doesn’t flip out of equilibrium. We can stay stable.

And so my book has these kind of five core practices, and the acronym I use is PULSE. So just like we take care of our physical pulse, we need to take care of our personal pulse and that means our vitality, our spirit, our wellbeing. Because Christina Masiach, one of pioneering researchers of burnout, one of the first people in the trenches interviewing people back when burnout was just first identified, she describes burnout as, her quote is, “It represents an erosion of values, dignity, spirt, and will, an erosion of the human soul,” which is pretty powerful. And if you’ve ever burned out like I have, I feel like it’s very accurate. It’s your personal pulse kind of flatlining in a lot of ways. And that goes out and ripples out into other areas of our life: our work and our families.

So I’ll walk through the PULSE acronym really quickly, and then we can dive into the areas if you want or talk about resilience or whatever.

The first one is P, and that stands for performance. So how do you be productive but in a way that allows you to employ a concept called deliberate practice where we are staying right in the zone, our stretch zone, so we're being productive, our max productivity but we're not going into the red.

So we're not in our comfort zone. We're not in our stress zone. We stay right in the stretch zone because upscaling, let’s face it, new skills, that’s part of the future world of work. So how do we learn new skills without wearing ourselves out?

The U is undo untidy thinking, so how to stave off unhealthy thinking patterns. So that’s when we are hit and overwhelmed, when we're stressed, our mind can just go very fast and make up a lot of stories. We have negativity bias. And so how to really train our brains to have the best upkeep and maintenance. Keep it tidy.

And then the L is leverage leisure. So leisure has changed. The concept of leisure has changed. There's old world leisure where people would actually pause and replenish and talk for long hours together. And leisure has now kind of moved alongside the nature of our work, to be compensatory, where we go out and drive fast cars, drink, go clubbing, do things to kind of burn off steam or stress. Or spillover leisure where we go into the house where we watch TV or we play on our phones or something, and those aren’t real leisure. Real leisure fills our soul. It leaves us replenished. It gets us restored for the rest of the day.

And then S if for support. This one is not surprising, but how do you create network breadth? So not just like support, but support that had the diversity of thought, allows for cognitive flexibility, has weak ties, strong ties, and builds sense of belonging because no one really, in my opinion, can be a solo success, right. We need promotors, we need customers, we need constituents. Like we really need those pieces to be successful. And then somehow, we're overvaluing independence over attachment, which attachment is one of the biggest pieces of resilience.

And the E is evaluate effort. So managing time and priorities by understanding not just what do you want to do but what do you want to do the most by aligning those to your core, enduring principles and managing your energy not just your time.

So that makes up the acronym PULSE. And for each one, there's three different tools, so it comes up to fifteen different tools, and I call it – I'm a science geek, so I call it your periodic table of elements for a resilient life. And you can mix and match different compounds to create a resilience plan that’s personalized to you and your situation, and then, when things change, you can go back to it and create a new plan. So it’s not a one size fits all approach. Let’s face it, we're all different. Burnout treats everyone differently. It comes across differently for everyone, so we have to have personalized plans for it.

I will stop because I could keep talking about this forever.

Adam Taggart: Wonderful. And I do want to leave some reasons for people to actually get your book and what’s in there. But that is a great preview of the type of real directive guidance that you provide in there, and I love the fact that it’s sort of a mix and match which you can do as the individuals based upon your own unique need set in life. So that’s really wonderful because sometimes these people just kind of have a blanket formula which doesn’t necessarily apply evenly to everybody that reads the book.

And all those, they certainly just sort of seem intuitively, yeah, that makes an awful lot of sense.

So look, as we are wrapping up here – and thank you for giving us so much of your tine, Jacinta. Well, let’s mention the books. Let’s talk about this real quick. So the book comes out on March 17, right. That’s a week from today, correct?

Jacinta Jimenez: Yes. Yeah, March 17th, so very, very soon. Just around the corner.

Adam Taggart: First off, congratulations. Big accomplishment.

Jacinta Jimenez: Thank you.

Adam Taggart: And I'm sure we’ve got a lot of people here that would be interested in checking it out, so I will provide some links along with this podcast where folks can go. But for those that are listening, is there a place they can go to get the book easily?

Jacinta Jimenez: You can just go to theburnoutfix.com, and there's a list of all types of places where you can purchase the book globally.

Adam Taggart: Great. And are you taking preorders right now? In other words, if this comes before the actual March 17th sale date, can folks place a preorder?

Jacinta Jimenez: Yeah, folks can place a preorder, and it is also available on Kindle already.

Adam Taggart: All right, great. Well, look, as we wrap up here, I'm going to toss one unfair question at you. So you mentioned that you operate in Silicon Valley, and I told you my wife sees lots of clients down there. And I will say, it is amazing at how a lot of people think look, those folks that are just crushing it in Silicon Valley, literally the multi, multi, multi millionaire’s, those guys are on easy street.

Interestingly, I would say they almost have more dysfunction in their personal lives than the more sort of middle-class clients that my wife sees. And I'm not asking people to shed any tears for those guys, but I know burnout is a big part of that issue, a lot of the things that you mentioned there.

But there's a lot of people that are experiencing burnout who are in the working classes, and a lot of the discussions that we have at Peak Prosperity are in the economic side of things. And they way in which our economy is being run and headed is there's this huge and fast-growing wealth gap, and those that are on the unhappy side of that wealth gap are really finding themselves having to run faster and faster and faster just to try to cling onto their middle-class or lower-class existence and not drop into or below the poverty line.

So I think those people – the assumption I have is I think it’s hard for those people to say hey, look, I would love to practice a lot of these things, but I'm working three jobs and maybe a single parent supporting kids.

I'm sure all of these can be applied by that type of person, but they have more challenges say than somebody who’s doing better economically. Do you have any advice for those people?

Jacinta Jimenez: Yeah, absolutely. I wrote that in mind for sure. Even though I have been through a whole hypergrowth startup from the very beginnings and founding all the way through Series D evaluation, I also come back from the first generation. My father was a migrant field laborer from Mexico. Extreme poverty, often lived without a home, lived in cars, and worked in the field, so I really wrote the book with that in mind about having lived across the economic spectrum in many ways.

Really, wanting to not write it from a place of privilege because I think time is a privilege and having energy to do these things. So putting in these little micro things that you can do, tiny, tiny things, to make it realistic and feasible and also even ability level, like you don’t have to go out into nature to benefit from it. Just 20 minutes of looking at nature scenes reduce your cortisol levels to a significant portion.

So I really tried to write it from a place of – and I have my own personal stories in there – from a place of understanding that everyone’s different, everyone’s life situation, economic situation, social status situation is different, so how to you make this an inclusive offering for folks. I think it still made me work for a psychology to get to these, I call it mental health deserts, where people are getting the need and care that they should because there is so much adversity for different populations as well. So it’s a great question, and I really appreciate you asking that.

Adam Taggart: Well, thanks. Good answer. And from our resilience lens that we use here at Peak Prosperity, we sort of talk about wealth as being made up on multiple different forms of capital. The framework we use is called the eight forms of capital, and we're not saying money is not an important part of it, but it’s just one. And the other elements are equally as important, and you’ve listed a number of them in the discussion today, is your emotional capital, right, and there's social capital, and that’s community and whatnot.

And we are very much social beings and I think a big part of dealing with burnout is you better find the balance in all the areas you talked about, but it also is going to take an inner introspection, and I think this also applies to society and cultural as well, but an introspection to say look, if I'm just chasing the almighty dollar here, I might be burning more of my energy – the return I'm getting on burning my energy to get more dollars really might not be serving me in the long run, and I might not want to work a few extra hours, and I might make a little bit less. But if I'm spending that with community that supports me, feeds my soul, maybe overall increases my chances just of survival and wellbeing because we're supporting one another, that may actually have a lot more value to me in the long run than a couple extra dollars in a week.

Jacinta Jimenez: Meaning is so powerful. So if we just chase happiness and that’s hedonistic happiness, like money, feel good stuff, and without meaning, the researchers found that people have a similar gene expression as someone’s who’s enduring chronic adversity. Meaning is so fundamental., and one way of making meaning is serving your community or connection.

And there's an incredible study by Harvard – it’s one of the longest running studies – it’s in 80 years now and still going looking at people over their lifespan and looking at all these different variables that could predict someone’s happiness and satisfaction in life. And without a doubt, even though they have thousand and thousands and thousands of data points, the one thing that shines through is great relationships make a happy life, and usually it’s tied to giving to the greater flood [PH] or doing something that’s meaningful.

And so realizing that success, how we think about success, there needs to be some change around how we define it and how we can look at it more granularly like you talked about capital being across all different facets as well.

Adam Taggart: Great. Well, that’s a really positive note to end this discussion on. So Jacinta, thank you so much for coming on the program. All the best with the new book launch. We’d love to have you back on maybe in a few months to give us a sense for how it’s been received and dive even more deeply into this important topic.

I think you already mentioned it, but if folks want to learn more about you and your work specifically, where should they go?

Jacinta Jimenez: They can go to theburnoutfix.com.

Adam Taggart: Great. All right. Well, Jacinta, great to have you on here and again, best of luck in improving lots of lives with this new book.

Jacinta Jimenez: Thank you. I really, really, really hope it helps folks give them a little bit more concrete tools and formulas and in operations, like an operating manual to navigate our new, wild world of work.

Adam Taggart: Thanks so much.

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6 Comments

  • Wed, Mar 31, 2021 - 7:45pm

    #1

    Oliveoilguy

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 1041

    12

    An example of how to beat “burnout”

    A young lady applied for my spring intern position on our organic market garden operation about a month ago.  We ask a minimum of 3 months commitment, and prefer 4 to 6 months. We had quite a few applicants but she caught my attention on the first phone interview.
    This lady (29 yrs. old)  has been working as an actuary at a top insurance company and in 7 years has advanced to a management level position. She is articulate, incredibly hard working, smart, honest,  humble and if the are more positive attributes she deserves them all.
    She asked her company for a sabbatical to do what she loves, which is working in nature and living on a working farm. She has done gardening before, knows a little bit about chickens,  but has done nothing on this scale.
    I don’t know that she has hit “burnout” at her job. That’s something she has not shared, but I do believe that she is taking care of her personal health in a very smart way.
    I am blessed by her presence and hope that this experience will give her renewed energy and help her to make the next step in her journey.

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  • Thu, Apr 01, 2021 - 5:24am

    #2

    roosterrancher

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Apr 16 2010

    Posts: 127

    2

    Good stuff Adam!

    Like OOG, we are reassessing the physical aspect of what we do.

    We have dreams and ambitions and lots of balls in the air. When you try new things you are bound to get a thumping every once in a while in mid stride. Balance keeps us moving forward and allows us the next step.

    Edit: with the WHO coming out against IVM, with the discussions of vaccine passports going on in our government, I have an overwhelming sense of unfairness! On to the next stride.....

    Timely stuff, thanks.

    Rob

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  • Thu, Apr 01, 2021 - 7:04am

    #3
    LBL

    LBL

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Apr 11 2020

    Posts: 205

    2

    LBL said:

    "Wow !  Fat people can do Yoga !"

    had another gym member approach me about 22 years ago at the gym, told me I had "changed his life".

    He explained, he saw me doing yoga, he started doing yoga.  (the kind where you stretch and sweat, Ashtanga yoga.)

    He was in the middle of starting an Internet provider, and the 12 hour high tech stress took its toll.

    For him it worked out, he started a second ISP & sold that one, no more money worries for him.

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  • Thu, Apr 01, 2021 - 1:58pm

    #4
    Time2help

    Time2help

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2427

    3

    Alternative approaches to burnout

    Get comfortable using the word "No".

    With respect to personal space, natural rights and politics get comfortable using the phrase "Fuck off". It's one of the most all-American things you can say.

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  • Fri, Apr 02, 2021 - 7:13am

    #5
    LBL

    LBL

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Apr 11 2020

    Posts: 205

    0

    LBL said:

    I think one mobile service that might go over in crowded areas with lots of working homeless (e.g. Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Sonoma County, etc.) is a Rolling Hot Bath service.

    Would you pay $20 for a chance to lay in a bathtub of hot water for 2 hours ? -- If you did not have access to a hot bath in your alternative living arrangement.

    It only takes about 4 kilowatt hours' worth of electricity to heat 30 gallons from 55 F back up to 95 F.  I do it every day using a large wirewound heater.

    The background to that is that I reduced my water consumption when I lived in Sonoma County, because they had a drought.  Then bought land with a well that does 20 gallons per minute ... but saw no need to go back to being a water glutton.

    Instead I doubled down on being a water miser.  Got my water consumption down to about 2 gallons per day.  + whatever the garden needs.

     

    I mention the "rolling hot bath" business concept because I observe that taking a hot bath is one of the more effective ways to "re-set" your body, like getting a good night's sleep or something.

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  • Sat, Apr 03, 2021 - 6:32am

    #6
    Bobby

    Bobby

    Status: Member

    Joined: Nov 26 2009

    Posts: 22

    0

    Burnout for the Individual OR Burnout for the System - has the latter converged with the pandemic to wake us up?

    Excellent topic, great discussion. So the brain drains battery like bitcoin mining - got it! Overall I think we need a Bretton Woods System to have that individual trickle down effect which is to say that if the system we subsist in doesn't change what is the point in finding burnout tricks - how perfect can we strive to be before even the smartest who get the burnout fix falter to fall prey to the system at large. It's all connected. This conversation needs to go higher. [Could you bring the mp3 Download Button back if possible? By the way I listen to your podcast on TuneinRadio].

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