How do you focus your efforts on the real and right priorities so you don’t burn out for nothing

“You control your efforts, you don’t control your results.” 

It’s true, but hard to accept, especially when you invest time, energy, money on a project without knowing where it’s going to lead… Wondering if those resources wouldn’t be better invested elsewhere…

This is also the reason why many people end up in burnout… 

The problem is not the effort, the real problem is :

  • The meaning given to this effort (why?)
  • The dosage (intensity)
  • The direction (dispersion, disordered efforts)
  • The weariness of the repeated effort and the loss of joy
  • The mountain to climb (difficulty of the effort which seems insurmountable)
  • Loneliness, lack of hindsight and feedback to know if the effort is worthwhile and focused in the right place
  • The lack of concrete measures of progress (project and personal)

The effort must therefore be well-paced, ordered, meaningful, coherent, measured and part of a more global vision.

Results are overrated…

My best memories are of adventures, quests… When the result is achieved, we celebrate, we are proud, and then it’s over.

It’s the famous: “the path is more important than the destination”, and it’s true! We never stay very long at the destination, we like to go on quests 🙂

During the last few years, I have associated my satisfaction with the process: regular effort and giving the best while continuing to learn, rather than purely associating my satisfaction with results. Oddly enough, that’s when the results come in the most…

The reason is: 

  • Results are sometimes only seen over the long term (not day to day)
  • Transformation is not only linked to the project (which succeed and fail over time) but to a holistic progression and the evolution of one’s own identity
  • Placing our esteem in external things makes us fragile and unstable, when it should be associated with our abilities, our commitment, and who we really are

We talked a lot about it in this round table on physical and mental health available here…

It is also a big topic in the books I recommend below… 

It is essential to take a step back and put your efforts in a more global coherence than the quest for short term results.

It engages your value system, your vision, your own indicators of fulfillment and progression, you can align all of this in these resources…

Here are already 3 questions to ask yourself when you’re wondering if it’s worth continuing and if these efforts are worthwhile: 

  • What is the point of all this? Why am I really doing it?
  • What limits do I give myself (Deadline, stop after x amount of time or under x amount of money I am willing to invest/lose etc.)? Set limits)
  • What are my real indicators of progress? What is progress for me?

Take the time for this introspection already (without staying too long) when you set and track your goals. 

To help you…

📚My books recommendations

This week, I highly recommend these books if the topic I’m discussing today speaks to you:

2 books by Seth Godin: 

  1. The Dip (when to give up, when to keep going)
  2. The Icarus Deception

The Gap and The Gain : Powerful book on the art of comparing yourself to your ideal (infinite frustration) vs. comparing yourself to who you were before (real progress)

Quit: Knowing when to stop and make the decision to get out of the game, to withdraw (it greatly influenced my decision to transition in 2023) 

The 7 spiritual laws of success by Deepak Chopra : You will love the one of least effort 😉

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