#7 — Circuit Breaking The Burnout, Immigration is Life, Respect Your Neighbour

Circuit Breaking the Burnout

Sor­ry I dis­ap­peared for a lit­tle while with this blog!

The months of June — July were pret­ty intense which pushed me to work hours and at a tem­po that wasn’t par­tic­u­lar­ly sus­tain­able or enjoyable.

Most of it was self-inflict­ed, some of it was not.

Truth be told, by ear­ly July I was straight-up burned out. 

You’ve prob­a­bly felt this way before your­self, maybe you’re feel­ing it now. This was my lit­tle list of symptoms:

👉 Bro­ken sleep and wak­ing up in the mid­dle of the night cat­a­strophis­ing var­i­ous out­comes (most of which were not teth­ered to reality)

👉 Get­ting snap­py with those around me for lit­tle to not reason

👉 Strug­gling to con­cen­trate and perform…feeling ‘spread thin’

👉 Oscil­lat­ing between apa­thy and pan­ic at the slight­est stressor

👉 Phys­i­cal exhaustion

Not a nice place to be.

For­tu­nate­ly there was an end in sight, and that end was a much-need­ed hol­i­day in Thai­land and Bali.

The first few days actu­al­ly felt pret­ty man­ic in Thai­land — I just ‘had’ to fill my time with some­thing. I lit­er­al­ly could­n’t sit still and just chill. In a coun­try where cannabis is legal.

When you’re in a trop­i­cal par­adise and this is how you feel — you know you’ve burned the candle.

Need­less to say, it took a good 3–4 days but the chill did set in. And it was glorious. 

It was glo­ri­ous not only because I escaped win­ter and just ‘stopped’, but because I was able to recon­nect with my inner self, explore again and digest the many, many lessons over the past 12 months.

(12 months ago our hol­i­day in Cos­ta Rica took a trau­mat­ic turn, hav­ing been bad­ly robbed then get­ting stuck over there because we had no pass­port and no Aus­tralian embassy in coun­try, plus mass covid-relat­ed flight can­cel­la­tions but that’s a sto­ry for anoth­er day!)

My wife and I would spend days explor­ing hid­den beach­es, tast­ing exot­ic food, min­gling with curi­ous locals, get­ting lost on our scoot­er and not even know­ing what time it was.

Ah, to live and breathe again, to feel like a child again, to feel human!

It real­ly got me think­ing about the old cliche, ‘pre­ven­tion is bet­ter than cure’.

Your body and soul are amaz­ing cre­ations. They hold the keys to infi­nite wis­dom, even if that wis­dom isn’t read­i­ly acces­si­ble to your con­scious mind. And they know your lim­its, even if you don’t think you do. 

Your mind can cre­ate many sto­ries or talk you out of many things, but your inner self usu­al­ly knows best….if only you could stop and hear what it has to say!

For me, the answers were clear as day — I per­mit­ted an envi­ron­ment that allowed my stres­sors to get the bet­ter of me and was work­ing at a total­ly unsus­tain­able pace. It was only a mat­ter of time.

If you’re doing things that don’t give you ful­fil­ment, or you’re doing too many things even if they do give you ful­fil­ment, it’s only a mat­ter of time

If you’re doing things that aren’t aligned to your val­ues and you find your­self ask­ing ‘what on earth am I doing this for’…it’s only a mat­ter of time!

So how do we avoid these pitfalls?

Well for me, it now comes down to rad­i­cal time man­age­ment

I have since defined for myself what is tru­ly impor­tant in my life and have allo­cat­ed a cer­tain amount of time to these ele­ments. It’s bru­tal and some peo­ple don’t under­stand, but the alter­na­tive to a lit­tle upfront dis­ap­point­ment is far, far worse (cue my list above).

It can be a jug­gling act, after all life is flu­id, but in the 4 weeks since my return it has pro­tect­ed me from get­ting right back into the same hole as before I left.

We all have many exter­nal demands on your time, but there are only 24 hours in a day, of which about 16 are waking.

This isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly every­thing I did, but could be some­thing to help you:

👉 Set­ting bound­aries with fam­i­ly or friends, if their prob­lems are con­sum­ing you

👉 Allo­cat­ing your­self non-nego­tiable ‘me’ time to check in with your­self and make sure you’re aligned with your goals

👉 Switch­ing off tech­nol­o­gy min­i­mum 1 hour before bed

👉 Tak­ing anoth­er look at the role mon­ey plays in your life, and adjust­ing your debt pro­file if it’s no longer serv­ing your goals

👉 Get­ting up ear­ly and exer­cis­ing (I did­n’t used to be a morn­ing per­son, this one changed my life once I broke through the ini­tial barrier)

👉 If your hob­by or side hus­tle is becom­ing tedious, pare it back a lit­tle so you can start to enjoy it again

👉 Set­ting bound­aries at work, for exam­ple not work­ing unpaid overtime

👉 Map­ping out some short, medi­um and long-term things to look for­ward to (I write them on my mir­ror in white­board mark­er so they’re the first things I see when I get up)

Time is your most valu­able, pre­cious resource. You can earn plen­ty of mon­ey but you won’t get time back.

Look at it with that lens and see what changes may come!

And if the above feels way too hard to do in your cur­rent head­space, that’s total­ly ok — get your bum into the car or a plane and find that cir­cuit-break­er so you can decide in the right headspace!

Immigration is Life

Do you like sto­ries that you can relate to? 

That tug the heart strings, even just a little?

I do!

From the moment we con­nect­ed, I had a great bond with Nicky Bil­lou

Yes he’s from Iran and i’m from the Sovi­et Union, two vast­ly dif­fer­ent places, yet the par­al­lels were def­i­nite­ly there.

Leav­ing a coun­try with few oppor­tu­ni­ties, with deep oppres­sion, with no respect for human life — this is a big deal.

Doing so with­out assets or sup­port — it’s a huge deal. 

In fact, it is the ulti­mate deci­sive­ness, one of the key top­ics we dis­cussed in Episode 7 of the podcast.

I take my hat off to any immi­grant any­where that decides to pack up their life and seek a bet­ter future somewhere.

It takes seri­ous guts and at a min­i­mum you risk your time, finances and often your very life.

As much as some gov­ern­ments in the West (ahem, Aus­tralia) try to stop or pre­vent forms of immi­gra­tion, the pur­suit of indi­vid­ual lib­er­ty, free­dom, safe­ty and dig­ni­ty is an inalien­able right of every human. 

To pre­tend that one per­son is more wor­thy than anoth­er of the rights above…if you think this, then your priv­i­lege has blind­ed you.

To pre­tend that you exclu­sive­ly own a piece of land in per­pe­tu­ity, when gen­er­a­tions upon gen­er­a­tions before you (usu­al­ly of dif­fer­ent eth­nic­i­ty and ori­gin) have walked this land…it’s prob­a­bly time to take a look at the world’s history.

Nobody tru­ly owns any­thing. A piece of paper is only worth the paper it’s writ­ten on if there’s a big enough pow­er to enforce it.

The world is fluid.

In real­i­ty, we are sim­ply occu­py­ing a space at a point in time…once you stop occu­py­ing it, then it moves to the next vis­i­tor, and the cycle continues.

Mov­ing along, how inspir­ing it is to hear a fel­low immi­grant talk about resource­ful­ness?!

In a world where fast cars and expen­sive yachts dom­i­nate our social feeds, get­ting back to basics and a lit­tle clos­er to most of our real­i­ties was rather refreshing.

Most immi­grants don’t have much…some come with noth­ing at all.

In 1991 we came to Aus­tralia with $300, our suit­cas­es and a whole lot­ta hope. Nicky’s fam­i­ly did the same to Canada.

You can be dealt many cards in life, but it doesn’t mean you need to set­tle.

How­ev­er small you need to start to get where you want to get — just start. Whether it’s skills, mon­ey, expe­ri­ence or fame — it’s HOW you use what you’ve got that will make the difference.

Don’t trust me, see for your­self — look at your sit­u­a­tion and if it’s not serv­ing you, make an incre­men­tal plan to your objec­tives and the uni­verse will start to pro­vide. Then go for the strate­gic win!

Respect Your Neighbour

A few peo­ple have pri­vate­ly com­ment­ed on how Nicky deliv­ered his points, and on his polit­i­cal views. 

One per­son who I will not name went so far as to ques­tion why i’d give Nicky a plat­form to voice his ‘divi­sive’ views.

To my dear lis­ten­ers that feel this way — no offense, it appears you’ve missed the point entire­ly that we made in the episode.

The ratio­nal exchange of ideas is THE most impor­tant func­tion of a free, respect­ful, har­mo­nious, pros­per­ous society.

If we behave as sheep and sim­ply just con­form, or shout down those we dis­agree with, we cre­ate an echo cham­ber and a cul­ture where mis­takes and abuse can pro­lif­er­ate to the detri­ment of all.

If you remove the incen­tive to exchange ideas, then you cre­ate a fetid swamp.

Think of where the Sovi­et Union end­ed up thanks to this very mind­set. Think of where Rus­sia, Chi­na, Iran and North Korea are at the moment, and where they’re head­ed. Do you real­ly want to go back to the Mid­dle Ages with all the glo­ry it entailed?

As I said in the episode, I may not agree with every­thing a guest says, but I will fight to the death (fig­u­ra­tive­ly speak­ing) for their right to say it…as long as it’s not abu­sive to others.

That’s why it’s impor­tant to lis­ten to a diverse set of views and decide for your­self — you as a human are tru­ly intel­li­gent and capa­ble enough to do this!

With­out free­dom of speech there is no inno­va­tion, no pro­gres­sion, no ideas, no light…no life.

And there’s one thing we all should love — that’s life.

May suc­cess be with you! 💙 💚

👉 Lis­ten to episode

👉 Watch episode on YouTube