Rustout vs. Burnout

Consider this thought from Richard Leider and Stephen Buchholz from their book:

“A subtle killer stalks America.  This insidious force is more prevalent than heart disease, cancer or alcoholism, yet little is done to prevent it or effect a cure.  We call it “rustout.”  Rustout is the slow death that follows when we stop making choices that keep life alive.  It’s the feeling of numbness that comes from taking the safe way, never accepting new challenges, continually surrendering to the day-to-day routine.  Rustout means we are no longer growing, but at best, are simply maintaining.  It implies that we have traded the sensation of life for the security of a paycheck.  Rustout is the opposite of burnout.  Burnout is overdoing.  Rustout is underbeing.”

I see so many people, everyday, suffering from the symptoms of “rustout” They’ve been paralyzed by fear that tells them they have no choices. The path they’re on is the only one available to them. Trying new things is too dangerous to consider.

This, of course, is a self-perpetuating lie. What’s more dangerous is not taking risk. Not making choices that keep us engaged and alive. Rustout is a disease of the heart. It’s a heart killer. And we know that when our heart dies, we die.

What are you doing to break the rust? Better yet, what are you doing to keep the rust from getting hold?

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One Response to Rustout vs. Burnout

  1. maia says:

    Thank you for an interesting overview on burnout vs rustout. I came upon your post accidentally while researching a similar topic for a class.

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