Avoiding burnout is difficult to write about, because the basic premise is obnoxious. Burnout is a rich man’s game.
Get out of the conceptual rut that a good life looks one way and a disappointing one looks another.
It seems to me that the ears that are listening make more difference than the way the music sounds.
When you’re in denial about how invested you are in a single outcome, that’s when unrealistic expectations creep in.
When we get better at expressiveness, we get better at understanding, better at sympathy, better at bullshit-detection, better at experiencing pleasure, better at true engagement (with others, with the world, with ourselves).
I bet we all in this room live about the same. We eat about the same and sleep about the same. We pretty much drive a car for 10 years. All this stuff doesn’t make it any different. I will watch the Super Bowl on a big screen television just like you. We are living the same life. I have two luxuries: I get to do what I want to do every day and I get to travel a lot faster than you.
After us they’ll fly in hot air balloons, coat styles will change, perhaps they’ll discover a sixth sense and cultivate it, but life will remain the same, a hard life full of secrets, but happy. And a thousand years from now man will still be sighing, “Oh! Life is so hard!” and will still, like now, be afraid of death and not want to die.
Anger is an attempt to coerce a person into surrendering their reality, so that there’s only one reality in the relationship instead of two. And when the anger triggered by the anxiety doesn’t work, people experience depression. Depression is the experience of the loss of power: “I can’t make my world happen.”
Once they go into depression, couples—if they stay together—will then enter a bargaining stage. The bargaining goes like this: “Well, OK, I’m different and you’re different, so let’s make a deal about whose reality is going to be in the forefront.”
It is pleasant to observe how free the present age is in laying taxes on the next. FUTURE AGES SHALL TALK OF THIS; THIS SHALL BE FAMOUS TO ALL POSTERITY. Whereas their time and thoughts will be taken up about present things, as ours are now.
An interesting mental experiment. “The core of the exercise, I think, is that you see yourself as just another person in the space—an opaque bag of bones—instead of as, you know, the movie camera. The privileged POV.”
It’s 23 degrees outside, and I catch myself silently complaining that the shower is too hot. One 2008 goal among many: complain less. There are bigger problems on this planet.