Work 5.5 min read

Is Burnout Actually Real?

by Vishen Lakhiani February 15, 2020

Burnout: Fact or Fiction?

So many people these days are suffering from ‘burnout.’

People around the world are feeling overworked and overwhelmed beyond capacity. 

According to recent media coverage, ‘burnout’  has been declared a legitimate medical diagnosis by the World Health Organization. 

And in a recent Gallup poll, over two-thirds of employees report feeling extreme exhaustion. 

However, contrary to popular belief, I actually believe that the concept of burnout is a myth.

Now, I’m not saying that the effects aren’t real.

Burnout and stress are a reality for my own employees and people all around the world.

But they don’t have to be.

What I’ve discovered is that although you’ll never be completely free of ‘stress’, it all actually lies in your mindset.

It’s how you think about, interpret and USE nervous energy that really determines whether you burn bright or burn out.

young professional burnout

How Can You Prevent Burnout?

I’ve interviewed and spent time with thousands of the world’s highest achievers and very few complain about burnout. 

They’re doing incredible things in the world, running multiple companies, ‘working’ long hours, writing books, giving talks, and traveling the world.

But despite having a seemingly hectic schedule and more tasks to complete than there are hours in the day, they just never seem to burn out.

And there’s a simple reason for that.

It’s because they’ve developed systems of living that are hyper-productive and efficient that minimize stress in the first place.

They’ve adopted particular mental models around the feeling of stress that enable them to USE that energy instead of being overwhelmed by it.

My Own Journey Busting the Burnout Myth

Burnout is a really interesting thing. Over the years I’ve become immune to burnout and fairly immune to stress.

It all started in 2016 when I began working with neuro training, biohacking, and adopted new models of how I work.

I looked for new, innovative ways to tackle the tasks that were putting unnecessary stress on my team and myself.

I started implementing boundary-setting and OKRs both personally and within the company.

And it all fell into place once I adjusted my mental model.

Because when you have a mental model that says that burnout can’t touch you and stress has no power over you then you can be faced with the same challenge as someone else without losing momentum or harming your health.

But it really comes down to your identity and how you see the world. 

A-Fest 2018 Sardinia Team
A-Fest 2018 Sardinia Team

The Science Behind Stress

When I was talking to Paul McKenna, the famous hypnotherapist, he told me that in his opinion 50% of all doctor visits are caused by stress.

Yet there’s something truly unique about stress, that not many are talking about.

Researchers over 8 years shows that 182,000 Americans died prematurely, not from stress, but from the belief that stress is bad for you. 

To put it another way, people who believe that stress harms their health, will actually see their quality of health go down when stress arises.

On the other hand, people who believe that stress is good for their health, will experience a feeling similar to drive, passion, or excitement when stressful cases arise, and their health is left intact.

Multiple other studies have found that stress is mostly (if not completely) in our minds.

In other words, it’s not a reality of the outside world, and it’s within our control far more than we know.

Because the thing is, work shouldn’t be stressful.

Burnout shouldn’t exist. 

And quite honestly, it doesn’t have to.

The Change We Want to Make

After years of research, it occurred to me that because Mindvalley already teaches about these powerful mental models, we could take it a step further and bring them into the world of work.

And what I’m seeking to make a part of Mindvalley for Business, is helping people around the world understand how to become immune to stress and overwhelm.

Because we all work better when we love what we’re doing and workplace anxiety is completely out of the picture. 

If you want to learn all the tips and tools you need to become immune to stress and drive your productivity up exponentially, check out Mindvalley for Business and become a personal growth champion at work.

by Vishen Lakhiani
Vishen Lakhiani is the Founder and CEO of Mindvalley; the transformational education company which brings the world's best teachers and authors together to revolutionize education worldwide. He leads a team of 250 people from 49 countries building personal growth programs with cutting-edge learning technology and real-world events across the globe. Vishen is an entrepreneur, speaker, philanthropist, and a former board member of the XPrize Foundation. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller and #1 book on Amazon, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind.

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