Burnout is a lack of self accountability.  Sounds harsh, but let’s dig deeper.

You work longer hours because you fear losing your job.

You fear losing your job because you fear losing the ability to pay your rent/mortgage, buy food, pay for all of the things and experiences you currently have.

So these fears keep you imprisoned in a situation that isn’t the best for you.  This continues to spiral as unaddressed, prolonged stress over time builds into burnout. I know this, because it happened to me, and nearly cost me everything, including my life.

Because of your fears, your behaviors are creating the stress and situations you are facing.

Your fears, thoughts, and behaviors have created your environment.

We can dig even deeper if you’re willing. 


Why did you choose to work where you work?  If your employer is asking you to work longer hours than you’re comfortable with, ask yourself why do you work there?  Was it because of the compensation package?  The location?  The benefits? Think about this for a moment.  Reconnect with that initial excitement you had when that employer offered you your role.


Why do you live where you live?  Is it because of the location?  The affordable (hopefully) rent/mortgage payment?  The style of home?  The amenities in the neighborhood? 

Choose Your Ideal Location

Now let’s dream a little.  If you could live anywhere, where would that be?  Why?  What about that city/town energizes you?  Why don’t you live there now?  What choices/situations/circumstances are preventing you from living where you dream to live?  Write those down.

Take that list of current circumstances and see if there’s anything that you could change, to create the scenario of you living where you want to live.

Before you go too deep into this exercise, don’t forget to prioritize your self care first.  What would make YOU happy?  Not your kids, not your parents, not your spouse/partner, not your friends, but YOU.

Career Choice

Let’s dive into your career.  What opportunities are there in your dream city/town?  With the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work is now acceptable, and hopefully (from my viewpoint), it will continue to be a viable option long after this pandemic is over.  Being anchored to a cubicle in order to complete work is not necessary. 

What work would you LIKE to do?  Yes you have skills that you’ve picked up along the way, but guess what?  You didn’t originally have those skills.  You learned how to do things.  You still can.  So just because you don’t know how to perform (insert type of job here) now, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to.  There’s countless online courses to learn new skills, and even how to prevent burnout (shameless plug.)


By choosing to work where you ultimately don’t like to work, just to pay the bills and live where you don’t ultimately want to live, you are creating your circumstances and stress.  Prioritizing your self care and designing your life where you want to live and work sounds much better, doesn’t it?

Now don’t up and quit your job right now.  Don’t put yourself into a deep financial hole, that will only cause you more stress, anxiety, etc.  Design your ideal life, and then as Steve Jobs told us, work backwards to build the road map of how to get from your current life, to your ideal one.

Burnout proofing your life isn’t as hard as you think. Enroll in my Burnout Proof Your Life online course, and enter the code NINETY at checkout, to save 90% off.


  • Michael Levitt

    Chief Burnout Officer

    Breakfast Leadership, Inc.

    Michael Levitt is the founder & Chief Burnout Officer of Breakfast Leadership, Inc,, a San Diego and Toronto-based burnout prevention firm. He is a Certified NLP and CBT Therapist, and is one of the world's leading authorities in burnout recovery and prevention.  He is also a Fortune 500 consultant, #1 bestselling author, and host of the Breakfast Leadership Show, a top 200 podcast on iTunes. He is a 2x Top 20 Global Thought Leader on Culture with Thinkers360. He is a former Healthcare executive, CIO, and CFO overseeing $ 2 Billion budgets, so he’s seen and done it all.
    His main keynotes are:
    1. Burnout Prevention: How To Avoid Your Own Year of Worst-Case Scenarios 2. Workplace Culture: Create A Workplace That People Will Beg To Work With 3. Working Remotely With Boundaries: How To Accomplish More At Home, Without Burning Out