Prof. Ronald Heifetz, co-founder and director of the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University discusses the difference between technical challenges and adaptive challenges. An example of technical challenges are illnesses, where you can go to a doctor who gives you a pill, tells you to rest and you will get better. On the other hand, adaptive challenges are, “I can give you a pill to help with your heart, however if you don’t eat differently and you don’t exercise, nothing will change.”

My field of passion is addiction work, where the technical is simple: stop using. The adaptive is much more difficult and as someone who seeks to inspire others to help themselves, I’m painfully aware that burnout is a real thing; I know people can change, however the issue is that most times they choose the easy way out and are not willing to put in the hard work that brings permanent change. When you are addicted to substances, the substance is the solution–not the problem, therefor we must create accountability via going to meetings or other activities, we must seek therapeutic modalities to assist with our challenges, we must exercise to regulate our emotions, and we must cut ties with people who aren’t healthy for us. These are all simple, yet very difficult changes to make.

The question is, how do we inspire first ourselves, and then inspire others to make these adaptive changes? How do we prevent ourselves from not getting burned out and disappointed in others who don’t make the changes that seem so obviously needed to save their lives?

I asked my Rabbi how he releases all the pain that he absorbs during the week as he interacts with people who are suffering. I thought maybe he had a technique so that when the pain gets to be too much for me, I can release it. He said to me, “when you figure it out, let me know!”

This week, I leave with the same question I asked the Rabbi, and I would love your feedback as to how you release the pain of watching so much suffering.

Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love



I want to remind all of you that you can hear more on my podcast, Showing Up. We have lots of amazing shows with interesting guests on a variety of personal development topics. It would be great if you could also rate 5 stars, review and subscribe to the show.