Coming in September '22
For men in particular, burnout is an inhumane cultural phenomenon based on a shame-induced pursuit of achievement that becomes a core identity, leaving behind the essential human needs and desires for connection. When disconnected from spouses, children, friends, extended family, and other non-work communities for extended periods of time, men become disconsolate.
Yet the shame men bear for not living up to the cultural standards causes them to redouble their efforts, further widening the chasm between what they “should be doing” and the ways they truly want to be living.
This book is intended primarily for men who have found themselves in leadership roles, especially in business settings. These men, of whom there are many, are in one of the most powerful positions to foster the changes needed to alleviate our burnout culture. Their willingness to reframe work, productivity, hierarchical power, and achievement-based status is “the first domino.”
Tipping that tile of willingness towards others such as curiosity, discovery, and connection can unleash a wave of kinetic energy and creativity currently being held in by the bounds of exhaustion, cynicism and despair within millions of people who wear burnout as a heavy badge of belonging.
If burnout is one end of the spectrum, what lies at the other end? “Engagement” is commonly considered the diametrical endpoint to burnout. While there’s an element of nobility in that idea— to be engaged evokes a sense of presence, energy, and aliveness that is clearly the opposite of burnout’s sense of drudgery— it is also a dangerous suggestion.
In our culture, in which work has been prioritized as our main source of pride, accomplishment, and often happiness, “engagement” is an invitation for us to overwork. Instead of a work-based alternative, we need to seek another ideal that represents a true opposite from the energy-draining, isolating experience of burnout.
That alternative is Expansive Intimacy.
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