2 min read

13 lessons from monks that can be applied to quitting burnout

What several weeks living in a monastery can teach us about our over-programmed lives
13 lessons from monks that can be applied to quitting burnout
Photo by Nicolas Häns / Unsplash

I recently finished listening to Living with the Monks for free with my local library card through the Libby App - you must get it and save money reading/listening.

It's written by Jesse Itzler who chronicles his life and learnings while living several weeks in a monastery with monks in Upstate New York.

(Side note: I find Jesse's best quality to be the fact he is married to my business icon Sarah Blakely, CEO of Spanx. Listen to her on How I Built This if you have not already. You'll thank me later.)

There are some great non-religious takeaways from the slow monk way of life Jesse found during his stay.

  1. Monks do one thing at a time
  2. Monks don't rush
  3. Monks don't cut corners
  4. Monks do less but do more
  5. Monks remain calm
  6. Monks thrive being alone
  7. Monks study all different topics
  8. Monks sit
  9. Monks smile
  10. Monks live simply
  11. Monks don't waste time
  12. Monks have a strong community and family unit
  13. Monks have a love affair with life

To me, all these takeaways are the antithesis to this line Jesse uses to support why he decided to go and live with the monks:

"We are living in complete information overload. Meanwhile, we're losing our most significant asset: the ability to think for ourselves. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram tell us what to do. Alexa and Siri tell us how, when, and where. We weren't wired this way."

I couldn't agree with this more and this idea is essentially the whole reason I started this newsletter.

If you can live with even a few of these takeaways from the monks in mind, I guarantee you'll start to step out of the turbo-speed information world that commands our attention and have the time and space to make better decisions. You'll consider, as the monks say, remembering tomorrow where you think about how the decisions you make today will make you feel tomorrow.

It's a lot easier to live intentionally when you give yourself the time and space to be in tune with your gut feeling and make decisions that are uniquely right for you - not the Instagram influencer you can't stop following.


Ready to downsize your relationship with work and quit burnout?

Hi, I'm Grant Gurewitz. I'm on a mission to end burnout at work. I've been in tech for 10 years (ex-Zillow, current: Qualtrics) who suffered deep burnout and came back from it with no help of the hacky advice out there.

Get my top tools and courage to quit burnout weekly without leaving your corporate job 😌

✉️  Sustain is my signature weekly email that readers describe as an 'epic message'.  Get the next one delivered straight to your inbox >

✉️ How I Quit Burnout is my premium newsletter containing all my tested and data-backed strategies.  Get the next one delivered straight to your inbox >

🗄️ See the past issues of Sustain and How I Quit Burnout

📣 Have ideas, want to contribute, or book me? Let's chat