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  • Ronan Harrington

I teach resilience and yet I've begun working at 5am on a Saturday morning



After a very busy week on the job as a wellbeing keynote speaker, this could be seen as the opposite of role modelling work-life balance. Or it's a deeper invitation into the contradictions that animate our working lives.


I'm here ostensibly because I wake up in pain. Once I'm up, there's no going back to sleep, even if I'm exhausted. Work is a very effective distraction from this harsh reality. But I'd rather be in bed for five more hours and feel deeply rested as I begin my weekend.


There's also another part of me that is in such a joyous relationship with my work. Between being a wellbeing keynote speaker, leadership consultant and resilience trainer and strategist, I feel in service to an important message. To have these completely uninterrupted hours to express my craft feels almost luxurious. I am accompanied by candles, a cup of green tea, and the composer Phillip Glass. There's an intimacy in these small hours between me and myself, and the one or two people who will read this post.


And there's the more impulsive part of me that doesn't know when it's time to stop. That hasn't learned to observe the sabbath. This morning could be spent painting or on a dawn walk in nature, but instead I am seduced by getting Monday done today, which is a proxy for earning enough to buy a house, and finding security in the forever advancement of my goals. This part of me, so central to my pain, remains unresolved. An early work in progress.


As a wellbeing keynote speaker I often remind my audiences that resilience is partly about honouring our full complexity, so that we might find a little more wisdom in our next move.



This piece was originally shared as a post on my LinkedIn and inspired by day-to-day insights from my own experience with burnout and my work as a wellbeing keynote speaker and resilience strategist.

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