Goals and Success habits Motivation Productivity

What is the cure to exhaustion?

Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

I had this question on my mind last year during our busy season (btw, I am working as an accountant in one of the Big 4 audit firms and during this season every hour counts. Trust me!), this is the time when I was spending an average of 10-12 hours each day working at the office pushing my self to accomplish as much as I can on my daily to-do list.

Before, there are times that such feeling of tiredness stays even when you just woke up. There are also several instances where you will wake up early morning (even before my alarm starts waking everyone in the house) reminding you of all the stuff that you need to do and needs to be done before my catch-up meetings in the morning.

I guess this sounds like a nightmare to everyone and you would even ask for sure if this is even worth it? But contrary to what you might be expecting, the simple answer is “Yes”.

But trust me my answer won’t be the same if I didn’t found this passage when I was so stressful that day and lucky enough to had the chance to reflect at night on what’s actually going on:

“The antidote to exhaustion isn’t rest. It is wholeheartedness.” – David Whyte

I realized that working for several hours with thoughts like “you don’t deserve what you are doing”, “you shouldn’t be doing this.. or that..”, “these are all not worth it”, or “you should be at the beach chilling and having a good time..” give you so much stress than that actual work itself.

This can be explained scientifically as our brain consumes much more energy than the rest of our body even when we are at rest. A simple perception on an event can have tremendous impact to you either, for better or worst, depending on what those thoughts/perceptions are.

The psychological and physical impact of doing something out of your will consumes so much energy than the actual work that needs to be done. This is also the reason why when you are doing something that you love, time seems to tick so fast however when you’re doing something you hate the most it tends to slow down.

Going back to my story of suddenly waking up early in the morning, (trust me it is not as daunting as it initially sounds earlier, I always think it as sometimes you don’t need an alarm to wake up early and often times a compelling reason is enough to wake your whole body from your bed). But doing something outside of your will and just dragging yourself just to do you work will be as daunting as it appears to be.


It is just a simple quote to be honest, but such impact is tremendous towards whatever I am doing. Believing and thinking that you have to do things wholeheartedly, including taking action with passion and burning desire, pushes oneself to do things that even yourself wouldn’t believe you did it.

Often times it is not the actual work that is killing you right now, but rather your emotions and your perceptions towards what you are doing. Do it wholeheartedly and see how it makes a lot of a difference!!

2 replies on “What is the cure to exhaustion?”

That’s an interesting perspective. I worked as an auditor before, but only lasted six months. You definitely have a better constitution in that regard. The hours just go to me. But maybe it’s because I wasn’t being wholehearted enough either, lol. Anyway, thanks for this post!

Liked by 1 person

Thanks Stuart!! Appreciate your comment on this. That might be the case! Lol. Kidding aside, I do believe that we all have different values and priorities, which really influence every decisions we are making. Quitting after experiencing such “Busy season” means that you value something far more important than the reward you can get and I admire you for that.

The worst thing that anyone can do especially for those who really hates what they are doing is to just “stay” without changing their situation nor their perspective towards it.


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