I was reading a few profiles of people who bill themselves as a keynote speaker and was struck by how tirelessly some of them work on their businesses.
It brought to mind one of my current theories, which is that many of us are addicted to exhaustion. We seem to thrive on over-working ourselves, depriving ourselves of rest, relaxation and sleep. Exhaustion has a certain feel to it. One can become addicted to it as easily as one can become addicted to a sugar rush-crash, a caffeine buzz or a nicotine head. I am sure exhaustion has a whole chain of physiological actions that we can become chemically addicted to, just like we can become addicted to carbohydrate overload.
I realize that our worlds are fast paced and on a 24-7-365 schedule. I also appreciate the lift one gets from a tall cup of coffee on a morning when you are tired from working too many hours, too many days in a row.
Sometimes I push myself until I just can’t take any more before lying down. But isn’t that a little crazy? On the days when I rest when I am tired, rather than pushing on, I feel much better, think more clearly and get a lot more done. I am also easier to live with for my loved ones.
Maybe an addiction to exhaustion is just that: an addiction to something destructive, like any other destructive addiction. Or maybe it is just us fooling ourselves into thinking we are being super productive.
So maybe the next chance I have to work as a keynote speaker, I’ll use “addiction to exhaustion” as my topic.