A few days ago, I saw a headline that said it all: Tired & Exhausted-Another COVID Holiday Season.

I think about a few conversations I’ve had recently with clients. Some are exhausted from zooming, some from broken supply chains and difficulty finding employees, some are exhausted with wearing masks and some from other people wearing masks. Some people are exhausted from too much work and some from too little. Many are simply exhausted – flat out done with 2021 – and exhausted already for 2022, which was supposed to start out on a new leaf but instead served up Omicron (coming to a theater near you just in time for the holidays).

Not surprisingly, a fair number of my clients this year told me as part of the preparation for my talks (almost all virtual) that their people were “exhausted” and that it would be great if I could help with that. What I told them is that, “The cure for exhaustion is not necessarily rest. The cure is often wholeheartedness.” I think of times in my own work life when I was exhausted from flying around to give talks only to realize that what I really needed to do was to make sure that what I was speaking about and who I was speaking to brought me fully alive. Every time I asked myself to evaluate the what and who questions in my life, it led me to new frontiers of energy.

If these past two years have done anything, they have invited each of us as people and leaders to go deep and figure out what really matters to us. These reflections have led many of you to make significant changes. Some people call it the Great Reconsideration (what do I really want to do), the Great Resignation (maybe I don’t want to do anything) and others the Great Migration (maybe I just want to do it somewhere else).

So, the cure for exhaustion is about leaning in, not away. It is about asking, What will bring you most alive as you think about the year ahead? It is about asking, What work most makes you want to get out of bed in the morning and get at it? It is about asking your people to work for something more purposeful in the new year not just to work harder.

And if you are just plain exhausted, be kinder to yourself than you usually are. If those you work with and live with are exhausted, be kinder to them than you usually are. Because being kind creates a safe space to ask the deeper questions about how to move towards whatever will claim all your heart.

Wishing each of you and yours, a season of renewal and joy.


Dr. John Izzo has spoken to over one million people, advised over 500 companies, authored nine best-selling books, and helped some of the world's most admired companies. He has been a pioneer in creating successful businesses and emerging work trends for over twenty-five years.

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