Overcome Exhaustion

It is our best work that God wants, not the dregs of our exhaustion. I think he must prefer quality to quantity.” George MacDonald

“I can fit it all in.” That’s what we tell ourselves – only to discover that we’re overwhelmed with exhaustion at the end of everyday. It’s like we approach our daily tasks and work like we’re completing an Olympic event – we push and push until we’ve got nothing left to live. Most of us know that this is no way to live, but yet we feel compelled to beat time and simply see how much we can do in a day. So, what makes us do it? For many of us, we have this belief that unless we accomplish all that we set out to do in a day that we’ve somehow failed or are lazy or even that if we don’t, no one else will. We’re driven by these beliefs that it’s better to work to exhaustion than to approach our life from the perspective of perfect presence – giving our best in this moment instead of giving it our all. Perhaps we learned these messages from our parents, perhaps we were told by a teacher that it’s bad to not get everything done – either way, the message gets imprinted on our subconscious and drives our everyday actions. We may wonder why we never learn our own lessons – we tell ourselves that we’ll do less next time, only to find ourselves pushing ourselves to exhaustion again the next day. If we want to overcome debilitating exhaustion, it’s obvious that we have to change the message we play in our head. It begins by understanding our personal drivers – by questioning the beliefs we have and seeing if they serve us. If we’re continuously running ourselves ragged, it makes sense that we change the story – once we accept that we have these drivers, we can consciously choose a different path. One that focuses on quantity, not quality – that chooses to focus solely on what we are able to give in the present moment and not on what we say we must give. Only then can we break our patterns and again feel content and revived.

Weekly Path to Peace: Overcome exhaustion. 

  • What are the beliefs that have you run yourself into the ground over and over? Do you tell yourself that you don’t want to disappoint others that no one else can do it as well as you or that success comes only from driving yourself to work so hard? Examine all the beliefs that cause you do just one more thing this week. Write them down and really look at where you first received that message.
  • Next, decide if that message is still serving you? Perhaps dedication is something you love, but not to the point that you can no longer give of yourself completely. Make a list of what belief does and does not serve you. For those that drive you to work to exhaustion, decide to consciously choose a new, more empowering message that allows you to remain present and focus on the quality of what you do.


As you begin this week, rate your level of happiness, self-esteem and self-confidence on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not satisfied and 10 being very satisfied. Notice where you are Sunday evening after you do this week’s peace practice to see if there is a change.