When You’re Tired, Have Faith

Don’t kick yourself when you’re down. How would that help you get up?

Big Self School asked 14 people how they avoid burnout. I told them I have faith.

A big share of your brain activity is unconscious. The part we partially control is quite small, but it’s the part we wrestle with all day long — and yet, how much control we have is unrelated to how much value our brains can create.

When we feel tired, procrastinate, take a break, or go on vacation, we think we’re not being productive because we’re not actively fighting with our brain over a small speck of cognitive land. Meanwhile, the subconscious is constantly processing what was sent down; what fell out of that tiny consciousness zone long ago. Your mind can process while you don’t, and it often does its best work when you do none at all.

Instead of kicking yourself for how little you kick yourself, you should trust the vastness of the subconscious, ever-calculating sea. It is always working, and it wants to work for you, not against you. Let it do its thing, and soon enough, it will send a great idea back up.

I have faith that whatever I do will eventually find its place in the bigger picture. This makes it easy to forgive myself when I feel down and to trust that each break, each distraction, each detour will ultimately serve its purpose.

Your brain is not you. Your brain is an independent, barely controllable partner you must work with. Luckily, it almost always has your back. Learn to rely on it, and who knows? The two of you might become best friends.

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