Professor Jonathan Malesic drops in to do a deep dive on his brilliant new book, The End Of Burnout – Why Work Drains Us and How To Build Better Lives. We talk about the culture of busy and burnout that fuels the epidemic rise of these conditions, plus some ways to take back your life.

Jonathan Malesic had achieved his lifelong goal: a tenured professorship in theology. And then, after eleven years, he walked away. Miserable and in both mental and physical distress, he realized his idealistic vision of the job bore little resemblance to its mundane and depressing realities. In his new book, THE END OF BURNOUT: Why Work Drains Us and How to Build Better Lives.

Malesic, a well-regarded essayist, shares his personal story of burnout alongside a rigorous examination of the history, psychology, and economic and social ramifications of the phenomenon. He also reports on those who have found a way to avoid it, creating a full-spectrum exploration of an extremely common but ill-understood experience: the feeling of being worn out, alienated, and useless at our jobs.

In the book, Malesic argues that the forces driving burnout—not only reduced job security, autonomy, and real wages, but our belief that work will fulfill us—are part and parcel of our work-focused culture. Self-help books and articles that offer tips to avoid burnout are of little use. To truly remedy this centuries-old issue—which Malesic traces back to bygone ailments like neurasthenia, melancholia, and acedia—we need to reassess our obsession with work and find value, identity, and moral significance in other parts of our lives. Malesic’s profiles of people who have resisted burnout culture—employees of a Dallas nonprofit, communities of monks, intense hobbyists, and artists with disabilities—are inspiring and nuanced, offering a roadmap for post-pandemic flourishing outside the cult of all work, all the time.

Read the Book That Inspires the Show

Paul Samuel Dolman, author, podcaster, and speaker, presents What Matters Most (the book!) a series of interview transcriptions from more than twenty inspirational Nashville and Tennessee residents, including special guest the journalist and author Bill Moyers.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, former Governor Don Sundquist, Academy Award-winning actress Patricia Neal, Grammy Award-winning entertainer Wynonna Judd, and many more share intimate and inspirational aspects of themselves.

This twentieth anniversary edition also features bonus material from thirty more notables from Tennessee, including local business owners, spiritual leaders, coaches, radio personalities, authors, and educators.

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