Transformational Burnout and Meta-Resilience
Transformational Burnout is the guided experience of embracing Burnout to release Resilience. The transformation that takes place is from an old perception of the self which is unable to cope with the present, to a new realised self which has ample resources to relish the ups and downs of life. This process of change leads to transformational learning which allows the receiver to access enhanced and transcendent leadership capabilities in both a personal and organisational context.
Meta-Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity by developing a self oriented spiritual understanding and being aware of, and prepared for, shocking events. It is about making choices and accepting one’s position in life while at the same time making sure to diminish the effect of negativity or toxic relationships. Meta Resilience teaches us how to rationalise failure using appreciative inquiry to develop a philosophical attitude to life and work. Importantly, it uses emotional intelligence as a frame of reference.
Resilience4Enterprise, the founders of the Meta-Resilience model have developed a twelve action development framework. They use this to help their clients to understand their value system and use the process to help them to release energy to leverage success while at the same time unleashing the vigour and vitality to exceed expectations. Meta-Resilience, once released, helps anyone who has experienced it to live by a newfound transcendent leadership paradigm.
The clients who have used this process have come from all walks of life; CEO’s, Managing Directors, Entrepreneurs and Social Activists. The one thing they have in common is Burnout. However, those who developed their Meta-Resilience attained it only when they experienced their Burnout as a gift. During the programme they were invited to embrace their burnout, they were guided to burn their desire to be in control without capability, helped to abandon their desire to be effective without the resources, and helped to burn the desire to be right without dissent from their relationships.
The meta-resilience programme then helped them to develop their ability to burn their relationship with material gain without a spiritual intention, helped them to destroy their self importance without a cause and burn their urges to dominate others without their approval.
Burnout arises out of the imperfection of being human, meaning we have to accept that we are all imperfect. This imperfection manifests itself in the gap between intentions and results. Burnout is what happens when an individual is constantly trying to fill this gap when it cannot be filled with what they are currently using. Being human is often about feeling incomplete, and even though we search for completion, our attempt to find this fulfilment without our Meta-Resilience, can often accelerate our Burnout.
Despite our addiction to work or our addiction to success, Meta-Resilience can and does visit clients through their errors and their failures, provided they are open to it. When clients refuse to learn from setbacks, their burnout happens more quickly and if they do fall short, they do need to try again. Embracing burnout transforms them into the person they were supposed to be but which they were not allowed to be.
The good news is that Meta-Resilience is like health, one cannot avoid having it. People burn out while they are trying to be perfect, but just like the relationship between spirituality and religion; Meta-Resilience is more about the imperfection associated with spirituality rather than the perfection associated with religion. While spirituality and Meta-Resilience are fluid, Burnout and Religion are more solid. Where burnout has boundaries, Meta-Resilience on the other hand is boundless. Meta-Resilience is not therapy, but it does offer forgiveness where no explanation is needed and where therapy is designed to provide explanations, it is not designed to forgive. We all need to forgive ourselves and forgive others. This is a core feature of Meta-Resilience.
Meta-Resilience is concerned with human weakness and natural flaw while Burnout which manifests itself as illness is more concerned with unnatural perfection. It does not matter how much one travels on a Meta-Resilience journey as long as one does not stop. It does not matter at what speed one experiences burnout, as long as one continues to walk towards their Meta-Resilience. If a person is burning out, it is more likely to denote their strength rather than their weakness. It shows their spiritual aliveness and it is their spirit drawing attention to itself.
As long as one is bound to the conditions which are creating burnout, refusal to embrace burnout does cause a certain death. It does not help with the three stages that have to be released during the Burnout Phase of Meta-Resilience: 1. the release from the addiction to Burnout ; 2. the release from the self centeredness of Burnout and ; 3. the release from the denial of Burnout.
In releasing our Meta-Resilience, it is accepting that one is real but limited and one has to accept those limitations as the reality. The way to Meta-Resilience is to surrender; giving up one’s little self only to discover that there is a much greater Self waiting for us. Yes, it requires risk, and one must release oneself from the attachment of one’s own chains, even if they have fallen off already. One cannot experience Meta-Resilience by being in the process of letting go, we must have let go already.
Meta-Resilience can be a wonderful way of life. It can frame what we see, how we feel and tells us why we choose what we do. It cannot be experienced in isolation, it needs Burnout to come alive and while it can be discovered alone, it requires a community for it to be fulfilling. Rather than being a set of propositions, Meta-Resilience is a way of life in which understanding; acceptance and commitment emerge together in a single act, connecting the person and the organisation in which they work, and the community in which they live. Like the wind or the smell of a rose, one can experience Meta-Resilience, but no-one can command it.
Meta-Resilience springs from shared vision, shared goals, shared memory and shared hope. That is why it is mutually beneficial for an employee and an organisation. Each depends on one another. The process suggests that Meta-Resilience releases when one is healed and that healing happens by wanting to heal others. If we soak Meta-Resilience up like a sponge and keep it to ourselves, it is useless. Meta-Resilience is essential, but everyone experiences it differently than they imagine it to be. While it is open ended, it cannot be grasped and it is more at home with questions than answers, thus making it perfect for a new coaching paradigm. When it is discovered, it can pervade all aspects of our life, thus proving it is not a theory, but a lived experience of life.
Some people ask if Meta-Resilience is about re-framing. It is not. It is about finding a new map and breaking away from being who we were told we were. It is helping us and our organisations to figure out who we are, and what it means to be us. It requires willingness, honesty and open mindedness and requires no technique other than time and a good Meta-Resilience Coach. It uses the power of story to show us that life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived. By the same token, our organisations are not problems to be solved; they are secrets to be uncovered. Meta-Resilience is not about perfection, preferring instead to deal with progress and doing this in three ways; listening, asking questions and telling stories.
There is a story about a founding member of AA who was asked about spirituality. He was in a log cabin and he looked at the fireplace for an age. When he looked up, he said “it is like that fireplace over there. It is the mortar. Without it, there is just a collection of rocks and marble. The mortar turns it into a thing of beauty. Meta-Resilience is like that – something which binds us and provides us with a definition and identity.
While Meta-Resilience is lived in a forward direction, it can only be understood by looking back at it. Meta-Resilient people live in the now and we can unite our past and our future - we prefer to “do it” rather than fantasise about it. We live it. In living it, we find release and gratitude, we are filled with humility and tolerance and in doing this we experience forgiveness and we are “at home” with who we are.
Meta Resilience influences how we live by shaping what we experience and it cares less for the wrong type of achievement. Rather, it is about seeing what we did not see before and seeing the world differently. Meta-Resilient people detach without resenting what they detach from. For them, it is a gift that they receive freely and who give it spontaneously, not requiring any special occasion to give it away.
The lived experienced is that Meta-Resilience helps those people who release it to know their serenity, experience tolerance and friendship and through the community of those they work with, even experience love. Meta Resilience equally includes joy and sorrow and is not concerned with what happens to us; it is what a we do with what happens to us that signifies our Meta-Resilience.
Meta-Resilience calls for one not to take oneself too seriously when the real need is to discover the self that calls for the abandonment of who we thought we were. It knows that strengths make us different, while weakness makes us the same. It is about shared sorrow, where two people in a designed alliance realise that they are in the same story and that they both must first accept their imperfections before they are able to accept the imperfection of others. The distance travelled on a Meta-Resilience journey needs to be measured in one day and it does not matter how far one travels as much as the experience that was gained.
One can only find Meta-Resilience when it is being looked for and by searching only where it can be found and that is within. When found, this new map gives a sense of place, relationship and identity. While it is found in the present, it bears the scars of the past for it knows that those without a past also have no future. Meta-Resilience is not thinking less of ourselves, although it may be thinking of ourselves less, and while honesty gets us there, tolerance keeps us there. This tolerance begins with a vision of how things might be different and which sees helplessness in advance, building the bridge for others to cross when their time comes.
Of course, it has its paradox too. It is only by embracing burnout that one releases Meta-Resilience. Failures become successes and sorrow becomes joy. It is only possible to do it oneself, but one cannot do alone. Meta-Resilience transcends the ordinary but only through the ordinariness of burnout.
Meta-Resilience creates new meanings for old experiences knowing that the mind does react to stimuli, it reacts to meaning. Meta-Resilience helps individuals not to worry what other people think of them for that is none of their business. It releases one’s own personal wisdom and it detaches one from the material. It knows that there is no growth without pain but crucially, Meta-Resilience helps one to discover the purpose of that pain and finds the passion for their personal growth.
Meta-Resilience knows that there is a difference between wishing for it and willing it to happen. It knows that it is not the imitation of other people’s toolkits, rather it is an origination of our own. It knows that demanding to be Meta-Resilient is pointless as the willingness to become Meta-Resilient is the only commitment that we need.
One can burnout in the attempt to gain knowledge but without Meta-Resilience one will not achieve Wisdom. One can experience pleasure, but may not experience happiness. One may congratulate others, but not admire them. One may read and listen but one might not understand. One may go to bed, but might not sleep in peace. One may practice being meek, but may never experience humility. One may play the game well, but that does not mean that we will become the champions.
Without Burnout, Meta-Resilience lay dormant within us. We embraced it and we released it. And we are thankful.
Inspiration for this description of Meta-Resilience came from “Storytelling and the Journey to Wholeness” by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham

Author's Bio: 

Paul Mooney MMII Grad, DipM, MLBCAI, Dip Sui, IITD
Founder Resilience4Enterprise and Founder the transformational burnout movement
Paul Mooney is the author of “your business is not worth dying for – developing meta resilience for your enterprise” which is his first book on the issue of burnout and resilience. He is currently authoring two other books – the first on burnout and relationships and the second on transformational burnout based on the stories of some of his coaching clients.
He is an award winning social entrepreneur, and is currently founder and CEO of Resilience4Enterprise which develops and delivers transformational coaching, assessments, research, media, workshops and seminars in the field of resilience development. Resilience4Enterprise is an off-shoot of his original work in the field of burnout prevention and recovery which he called The Alchemism Foundation
He is the director of the global convention on coaching and founder and CEO of the Alchemism Charitable Foundation which focuses on the issue of work related suicide and which plans to donate doctoral scholarships to community activists from its own donated profits business model.
He has over 25 years experience as an international marketing practitioner in the telecommunications industry and 6 years as an entrepreneur in the mobile applications market. In his past career he was founder and President of the Irish Chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organisation ( and founder and Group CEO of Textus Holdings which started up a mobile applications business which has spun into mobile marketing, mobile ticketing, mobile vending, mobile parking and mobile point of sale opportunities.
He has formerly held positions as Managing Director for Indiqu Northern Europe, a US mobile Internet start-up, as well as interim Director of Service Marketing with Trintech Technologies . He has held also a number of senior product marketing, service marketing and business development roles in Alcatel in Ireland, France and the UK.
Paul started his career in Eircom and also gained experience working in Cable and Wireless and in PVL Communications Group in Ireland which acted a sole distributorship for Sony Professional and Broadcast BV.
He was the founder and chairman of the Mobile Marketing Forum which was founded for all Irish mobile operators and key Irish service providers to promote and self regulate the mobile marketing industry in Ireland. (
Paul’s base degree is in marketing with qualifications from the Marketing Institute of Ireland and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK). He has part qualified as a management accountant with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He is a qualified coach (LBCAI), a qualified Suicidologist with a Middlesex University approved college and he has been ASIST trained in suicide prevention by the HSE. Paul also has qualifications in Emotional Intelligence Inventory Assessment (EQi) and Emotional Capital Inventory Assessment (ECi). He is a full member of the Irish Institute of Training and Development and he is a FAS registered trainer.