How To Stop Being A Workaholic

By Leo Gura - June 8, 2015 | 32 Comments

Tackling the deep roots of your workaholic lifestyle

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Anne says:

hehehe Right on time. It’s 22:47 and am still here at the office.
I guess Its time to stop and drive home while listening to your video.

Martin says:

Amazing video!

Every now and then get anxious about being called a workaholic by my friends and colleagues but after I’ve watched the video I don’t think this will ever be an issue for me.

I was feeling incomplete and worthless when I couldn’t get the approval from my social environment and began spending all of my time working. As some time passed I asked myself if I really wanted to do what I am doing and I realised that nearly 80% of the stuff that I was doing was not because I enjoy it but because I was looking for an approval.

I do 20 hours per week which I consider work and pays my bills.
I used to do more than 40 but after a few months I was unable to deal with the stress, frustration and negativity I was getting from it and decided to decrease the hours to the minimum needed for me to survive.

Apart from this I am a software developer and I’ve spent many nights and days reading and programming and there were times in which I was seeing this as workaholism but I now understand that it is not because I enjoy it simply because I love doing it. I love learning new things, develop my creativity and logical thinking and although I’m aware of the financial benefits in this area it has never been my motivation.

I am also a dancer and when I go to a competition and don’t go through it is frustrating and I used to isolate myself and practise harder and harder until I realised that the reason why I started dancing in the first place was because I loved the feeling and the movement and the music, and the beats, and the lyrics and the whole atmosphere of a party. After that moment dancing has become solely a way to express my creativity and to find new ways of interpreting the music I’m dancing on. It is no longer a way to prove myself to anyone.

I became aware that I was avoiding the void you are talking about about a year ago and only when I started asking myself the question “Am I doing this because of myself or to prove myself to others?” and was honest I changed drastically.

Now, when I do any of the things mentioned above I feel… peaceful, calm, excited, happy, fulfilled and determined to keep experimenting.

I pretty much do, as you said, whatever the fuck I want


Mikael says:

You’re funny! I start laughing a bit every time you hit the nail on the head, as you frequently do. This was an eyeopener for me. Great metaphors and visualizations! They made it easy to understand your points.

Keep up the good work man!

Mikael from Sweden

Ivan Stoyanov says:

“Everything you accomplish means nothings. Eventually you’ll die and your work will be destroyed”.

I don’t quite understand this. Albert Einstein is dead, however his work remained after him. Thanks to him we have the special theory of relativity and we understand the universe better.
Albert Einstein might be a recent example though.
Pythagoras, Archimedes, Socrates, Aristotle, Plato all lived couple of thousand years ago. Yet they left something to the rest of humanity, which surpassed them.
Thanks to all of the scientific achievements in past 3,000 year, today we are able to live the life we know.

Leo Gura says:

In 1 million years no one will remember Einstein or Aristotle. And 1 million years is but a second in cosmic time. Eventually the Earth and the Sun will both be destroyed.

Even if you build a legacy that remains in the history books, it won’t be of any use to you cause you’ll be dead.

You are really the top ! Everything you say resonates with me completely, as though you were talking to me directly! And you explaine very difficult subjects in a understandable yet profound way and this is unique. Thank You!

But, why don’t you reply to my questions?

kumar shubham says:

BANG ON !!!! bulls eye… Great work

Uldis says:

Worth = usability
Of course, there isn’t worth as such “out there”, but there is worth for me if I can use a thing.
I can eat apple, drink water, breathe air. They are of worth for me.
Do you eat, drink, buy food ?
Why do this if food and water is worthless ?
Maybe you have another definition of worth ?

Leo Gura says:

Yes, and that gets to the core of the issue: we look at everything from its value to our self-survival or ego. But this ego is a fiction to begin with, so the mechanism of evaluating yourself is just a sham to keep you spinning on the mouse wheel chasing the cheese. No matter how you look at it, you have to admit the this thing you call a “self” is not going to survive no matter how fast you run. Eventually the self dies.

What needs to happen is a recognition that the self won’t just die because the body will die, but that it’s a fiction to begin with. It’s a fiction right now! See my Enlightenment videos for more.

Uldis says:

I agree, if you look at subject through Enlightenment lens then it’s true.

But I think workaholic subject is, so to say, lower level.
Cause, if you are enlightened, workaholic dies automatically, but if you are not, then this argument is from too high shelf

Leo Gura says:

It’s not an argument, it’s the structure of reality. Trying to escape it is the source of most of your unhappiness and problems in life. You don’t necessarily need to become enlightened. You just need to realize that you’re running away from being.

Connor says:

Great video. If it’s possible I’d like to submit a question for Enlightenment FAQ pt.3. I see many people including myself not being sure what happens to the voice after awakening. Does it go completely silent and we can’t even force it to talk or is it still talking but we can now “ignore” it? Also can we refer back to our old selfs at will or is it impossible? How to we speak without conceptualizing mind? When I see eckhart tolle speak it seems as though he talks from subconscious level or something similar. I’d like to hear some clarification on this matter. Thank you.

Leo Gura says:

The Voice doesn’t go away, it is simply dis-identified with. You’ll no longer believe it is exclusively you. It will be just another phenomena within consciousness over which you have zero control.

Brin says:

Could you please make an episode on recovering from burnout?

WingWizard says:

I don’t understand how nothing having any meaning could be liberating. If life has no purpose, then what the hell are we doing in existence? Just being? Is ‘just being’ enough for a human? How can it, if it is?

Leo Gura says:

Just being is all there is. Look around you. Just being. Why is this a problem?

Just being is not enough for the delusional ego. But it’s more than enough for the enlightened mind.

WingWizard says:

How does one conclude what is real and what is delusional? I am not criticizing anything or anyone, but all these spiritual explanations and sentences seem very fancy only on paper. They do not work in practicality.

Leo Gura says:

It’s not about explanations. All explanations are necessarily delusional. You have to sit down and undertake a very rigorous self-inquiry to start to sort out what is real from unreal. This inquiry will last several years at least. It will be very confusing at first.

A good place to start is: if it’s not happening right now, this very moment, it’s not real. And if it’s a belief or thought or theory or idea, it’s not real other than the sensory part of the thought or how it feels. Start there and begin to trace it down until you hit bedrock.

See the How To Become Enlightened video for a deeper explanation.

WingWizard says:

How can anyone know they have hit bedrock? What is that bedrock? Even if I hit that bedrock which you refer to as the bedrock, how do I know I have realized Truth? Aren’t all experiences subjective? How does anyone know they know the Truth in the first place?

Leo Gura says:

Oh, you will know. When you hit rock bottom, it will be like a thunderbolt from the heavens. You will realize that you are not a human being.

WingWizard says:

Also I have watched all your Spiritual Enlightenment videos. You are completely silent on what the Truth means citing blindspots in the human language. That I can understand, but not what truth could possibly mean. Does this mean even two enlightened minds will not be able to refer to the truth simultaneously? Is there a Truth at all or we are wasting our time comprehending what it could be and draining our lives trying to figure it out?

Naomi says:

Where’ve you been all my life? Thank you for your inspiring advice. I’m a recent subscriber. Awesome videos!

Naomi says:

For some, parenting and family creation is the -ism.
Useful to translate your video to that. Maybe go and get a job…

Gilles says:

I don’t agree with the whole “worth” statement.
In my opinion your own value of “worth” is how you feel about your own achievements. And also to a certain level how your surroundings value your achievements, although this shouldn’t really matter.
I like a lot of your videos but this one isn’t in line with the thought of being result-oriented.

Leo Gura says:

This is an advanced video. It is very results-oriented. So much so that we’ve gone full-circle and now to the average, under-developed psyche it seems like a regression. But that’s just the counter-intuitive nature of this work. The more advanced the idea, the more abstract, fruity, and impractical it will seem.

This is why I stress the need for radical openmindedness if you want to grow to the highest levels. You will start to encounter ideas that seem childish, mystical, silly, impossible, contradictory, etc. And you gotta be cool with all that, because the very faculties by which you’re making these judgments are still under-developed.

YM says:

After almost burning out myself to create my art charity, I became the slave of that charity. I was unbearable and my body shut down.

I have mixed personal and professional goal. I was hyper motivated to get the things done fast and efficiently.

My life has a purpose and I will enjoy it to the full.

The project I am setting up has a legacy and a meaning to me. The charity should survive my death, but ultimately I want to see it happen and appreciate its growth.

I have ADHD so I am naturally faster than others, but I am working on it now.
I have a routine to keep a balanced life.

Thanks Leo, the void is freedom of our own boundaries.

YM says:

sorry Leo, I started to watch “How To Create Your Dream Career – The Ultimate Life Purpose Course” video.

In the stop being a workaholic video, you says there is a problem of worth, feeling unappreciated and running away from the now. You said that life is an illusion, there is the void, we are only here for an instant …

So why did you do this video: Create your dream career if everything is just now and the rest is illusion? I understand we should listen to our gut to reach our personal development, for the brief second we’re here. But is it not trying to catch the unaccessible dream, illusion that in the end will be blank or void when we are dead?

Thanks for your clarification

Leo Gura says:

I cover this topic a bit in the course. Basically, you can have a life purpose, but you need to realize that it’s utterly pointless. This creates a detachment from outcome which actually gives you the best of both worlds.

The truth of no-self is far deeper than the matter of finding one’s life purpose. And quite frankly, very very very few people care about discovering the truth of no-self. They want more material things.

Riyaz Khan says:

Hi Leo, your video identified me exactly the way I am. The video opened my eyes and I am working towards not being a workaholic.
I have another problem. I become very attached to my work and any comments on my work makes me upset and aggressive. Being at the Secretarial level I tend to make out notices and when people say that something is not right with the notice I feel bad and defend it aggressively. How can I overcome it?

Mary Lou Reeve says:

How does one persuade a workaholic to realise it without watching the video ?

Thanks, Leo. I get a lot from your videos. Also thanks for the no charge .

Caroline says:

Love your videos. You have taught me so much about myself

Max Raoy Gron says:

Whatever this is in double Dutch, it takes me back to the need to watch his other video of giving up your stupid busy life, which is really just me listening to myself in a different person as Leo, the man with no hair. I have no love of my wisdom, because the wisdom’s already possessed, I’m what you call a sage, even though Seneca doesn’t have sages, in my various philosophies I’m a sage. Don’t get me wrong, I vacated from my mother’s bedroom, and now I’m in my own room outside of house, resting from exertion from in mum’s bedroom, but as for a holiday, differing from vacation, people think a trip to a quiet beach or Bahamas is a holiday when it’s not, a holiday is relaxation, in other words rest from work, like being at home drinking cold infusion of tea (I like the apple, blueberry, blackberry one), or drinking rose lemonade for limited edition’s sake; all good this is I would need to take a nap, then wake up at late evening calling mum on the phone, without adding to make phone notes. Furthermore and this is lightning quick, I need to do less things and the rest done 50% slower.

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