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Are you “Good Tired” or “Bad Tired”?


As a tenured or tenure-track faculty member, it seems normal to be tired.  

You work long hours, have constant requests coming at you, then have to decide what to take on in an environment that feels like you “should” take almost everything on.

In the last 2 weeks’ articles, I presented powerful frameworks for faculty members to make yes/no decisions for requests, and once that decision is made, how to articulate it powerfully to others while positioning yourself as a unique asset – even when you’re declining a request.

This week, we’re going to your “gut” (aka: your instinct, inner voice, higher power, or other ways you might name your “gut”) and ask the question: 

Are you “good tired” or “bad tired”?

 I was first introduced to this distinction years ago when my friend made me a mixed tape (yes, that long ago) with a less than 2 minute audio from Harry Chapin that continues to fuel me.

In it, Harry recalls how his grandfather introduced him to the concept of “good tired” versus “bad tired”:


Harry, there’s two kinds of tired.  There’s good tired.  And there’s bad tired.
Ironically enough, bad tired can be a day that you won. 
But you won other people’s battles, you lived other people’s days, other people’s agendas, other people’s dreams.  And when it’s all over, there was very little “you” in there.  And when you hit the hay at night, somehow, you toss and turn, you don’t settle easy.
He said good tired – ironically enough – can be a day that you lost. But you don’t even have to tell yourself, ‘cause you knew you fought your battles, you chased your dreams, you lived your days.
And when you hit the hay at night you settle easy.  You sleep the sleep of the just and you can say take me away.”


People who live authentically have clarity and can make a distinction between “good tired” and “bad tired”.  They have specific guideposts to transform their “bad tireds” into “good tireds”.

Living without that guidepost of authenticity is draining, exhausting, and leaves you feeling like you are not fulfilling your purpose – in other words: “bad tired”.

For example, a faculty member came to us and said “All I can think about is what I don’t want to do anymore.  I need to figure out what is better suited to me so I can do work that is fulfilling and less draining”.

In other words, there was too much “bad tired” going on.

We started where we always start: by uncovering their Pillars of Genius™.

We then used their Pillars of Genius™ as the foundation to create the next move for this client who is now knocking a new phase out of the park, and recently shared an inspiring result of this process:

“I have come to really accept who I am, and decided that whatever work I take on in the future, it has to let me be myself.  I honestly could never have taken such a huge risk without the Pillars of Genius program. It gave me the confidence to risk because I know now what turns me on and what turns me off.  I’ve never felt so confident that I’m making the right choices for myself, and I’ve never felt so unapologetic about who I am and what I want. I am happy.”

Now to me, that sounds like a whole lot of “GOOD TIRED”!


I encourage you to pause and consider – are you “good tired” or “bad tired”?  

Are there elements of your job that cause “bad tired”? Consider whether you are stuck in the paradigm that you “should” do it, or there’s no way out, or that’s just “the way it is”.

Consider the possibility of transforming all your “bad tireds” into “good tireds”. It is possible, predictable, and realistic.  We are doing it every day with our faculty member clients.

If you want to challenge the assumption that “bad tireds” are the norm, and and use your unique genius as the foundational compass to create your work as an authentic extension of who you are at your core, your next step is to book a free discovery call.

On the 45 minute call, we will get to the source of what is blocking you from crystal clarity, and see what is the right action for YOU to take next, to solve that issue.

The call is 100% free, and there is no catch.

But, it’s not for everyone.

This call is for faculty members who:


  • want to focus your time to be aligned with what you’re good at, what your values are, and your authentic self
  • want to clearly and powerfully articulate who you uniquely are, in a way that is a contribution and benefit to your department, university, and discipline.

  • are tired of trying to “get clear” on your own, and you want this clarity now.

  • are an action taker.  You push through and get the job done.


If this is you, book your Free Breakthrough Call to get clear on the next action step right for YOU.

Schedule My Free Breakthrough Call

If you are a tenured or tenure-track professor who wants to create your career as an extension of who you are at your core, book your free breakthrough call now.

Click Here to Schedule Your Free Breakthrough Call