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Sam Altman on the importance of momentum and why burnout doesn’t come from working too hard

“I was told, and I thought for a long time, that you get burned out from working too hard. At least in my own experience, what I’ve found is that burnout actually comes from failing and things not working.”

Sam continues:

“Momentum is really energizing. The lack of momentum is super draining. And I find that I have infinite energy to work on things that I find interesting and that are working, and almost none to work on things that I either don’t find interesting or aren’t working.”

He offers the following advice to startup founders:

“I think you see a lot of founders try something and fail, and they assume that they just can’t work hard enough or don’t have enough energy or passion or whatever. And that’s actually not true. It’s just that that thing didn’t work. And what you should do is shut that company down, go on vacation, and try again.”

He concludes:

“When you look at really successful people and say, How do they get all those things done? It’s that they have the benefit of momentum. And momentum is energizing.”