When John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart came out 20 years ago, it struck a chord that continues to reverberate decades later about the message men and women most need to hear.

John talks about his own unsustainable pace, what the internet is doing to our souls, and how to live your life at a pace your soul can sustain.

Welcome to Episode 355 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about some things he’s sensing leaders are thinking about this summer.

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The Unstuck Group

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Download your copy and learn more at theunstuckgroup.com/carey


ServeHQ offers two online subscription software tools for churches—TrainedUp and HuddleUp. These tools are used to equip and engage your church no matter where they are. With the ability to send highly engaging mass video text messages and video emails, your church will always be in the loop and know what’s going on. Their safe chat feature lets you stay in direct contact with your people without worrying about inappropriate private communications. It’s like a smart private social platform for your church members and volunteers.

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Check out ServeHQ at servehq.church and get a free, no-obligation 14-day trial account


Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

Get Your Life Back by John Eldredge

How Many Friends Does One Person Need? by Robin Dunbar

Margin by Richard Swenson

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What Church Leaders are (Really) Thinking in 2020 by Carey Nieuwhof


1. There’s a masculinity crisis in the world today, and a lack of fathers 

John’s classic New York Times bestselling book Wild At Heart struck a massive chord when it was released and has continued to sell hundreds of thousands of copies to this day. Why are so many people interested in the book? John says that it’s a response to the fatherlessness in our world.

To point out how big the need is, John said that, statistically, half of Carey’s listening audience grew up in broken homes where there wasn’t a supportive father. This has left a huge void in the soul of each and every kid that grows up in one of those homes. If you want to make a difference in the world, combating fatherlessness would be a great start.

2. The expectations you set on yourself ultimately get passed on to your team

Like most of you reading this, John is a high capacity leader. And for many years, he ran at a pace that he expected from himself, but would never ask of his team. He thought those high expectations of himself only affected him. He’s since learned that isn’t true.

He’s learned that the expectations you set on yourself as a leader ultimately get passed on to your team. When you’re sending emails at 8:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m., and all hours of the weekend, you are communicating an expectation for your team to do the same. When John realized he was doing this, he began to work through a complete culture-shift as a company so that he wasn’t leading his team into burnout.

3. The human soul is village-sized

There is a lot of evidence showing that the human soul is village-sized. We were only designed to live with, care about, and share the pain of a small group of people. And that’s how humans have functioned for thousands of years. But now that we have global 24-hour news and social media, there seems to always be a new major catastrophe to care about. While it’s great to care about those tragedies, our souls can only take so much.

As a result of this “compassion fatigue” we get from the news, we are much more likely to struggle with anxiety and depression. Our souls are being overloaded with trauma and never getting time to heal. John encourages us to pause and put up boundaries between ourselves and the tragedies of the outside world. If we don’t, we’ll begin to neglect ourselves and our village around us.

Quotes from Episode 355

The way I treat my heart and my soul is the way I will end up treating everyone else's. @johneldredge Click To Tweet

You want to be a more loving person? Care for your soul. You want to be more creative? Care for your soul. You want to make a difference in the world? Care for your soul. @johneldredge Click To Tweet

You were never meant to be subject to an insane pace of life with no downtime, to being over connected in technology, and to being subject to the heartache of the entire world. @johneldredge Click To Tweet

Everything depends on the health of your soul. @johneldredge Click To Tweet

No one and nothing in the world is going to tell you to take care of your soul. @johneldredge Click To Tweet

Let beauty back into your life and into your soul because it will heal you in ways that you didn't even know you needed healing. @johneldredge Click To Tweet

Disconnected loneliness and the hopelessness is really getting people into this spiral of anxiety and depression because they're connected in the wrong ways. @johneldredge Click To Tweet

Women can survive career setbacks that absolutely destroy men, because they're not looking to their career for validation. @johneldredge Click To Tweet

Never quit on a bad day @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Take a break, because leaders who never take a break end up breaking. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Fatigue is a terrible decision maker. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 355

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If you want practical help overcoming some of the biggest challenges leaders face, my book Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That Nobody Expects and Everyone Experiences tackles the seven core issues that take people out: cynicism, compromise, disconnectedness, irrelevance, pride, burnout, and the emptiness of success and provides strategies on how to combat each.

I wrote the book because no 18-year-old sets out to be cynical, jaded and disconnected by age 35. Yet it happens all the time.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here’s what top leaders are saying about Didn’t See It Coming:

“Seriously, this may be the most important book you read this year.” Jud Wilhite, Lead Pastor, Central Church

“Powerful, personal, and highly readable. ” Brian Houston, Global Senior Pastor, Hillsong

“Whatever challenge you’re facing, whatever obstacle you’re hoping to overcome, whatever future you dream or imagine, there is something powerful for you here.” Andy Stanley, Founder, North Point Ministries

“Uncommonly perceptive and generous…You have to read this book.” Ann Voskamp, NYT bestselling author

“Masterful.” Reggie Joiner, CEO Orange

“Deep biblical insight, straightforward truth, and practical wisdom to help you grow.” Craig Groeschel, Pastor and NYT bestselling author

“This book is sure to help you.” Daniel H. Pink, NYT bestselling author

Over the years, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about being a public speaker is having opportunities to hang out with Carey…It’s not a matter of if you’ll run into these challenges; it’s a matter of when. Be prepared by spending a little time with a leader who has already been there.” Jon Acuff, NYT best-selling author

“Nieuwhof’s book provides expert guidance…with an accuracy that pierces the heart.” Nancy Duarte, CEO Duarte Inc.

“A refreshingly transparent guide for all leaders in a wide variety of industries.” Bryan Miles, Co-Founder and CEO, BELAY

You can learn more and get your copy of Didn’t See It Coming here.

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Next Episode: Dharius Daniels

Dharius Daniels is one of the best communicators in America today. In this interview, we talk about the key to excellent communication, learning leadership the hard way, and how to lead and live with greater relational intelligence.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 356.

CNLP 355: John Eldredge on Living at an Unsustainable Pace, What Men and Women Most Long For, and How to Get Your Soul and Life Back

1 Comment

  1. Mark Holman on July 29, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    Welll here’s a version that today’s society would either deny it’s existence or call me a LIAR! I lived with my dad as well my brother and sister,two graduated college another married, this was 1970 before no fault divorce was invented. And. I will say 1971 when my state created that. A lot of the stuff you have experienced is why we have these problems. And what the big problem is how many will believe the deception and if anyone taught to believe Satans Lies, became people will form of deception by Satan himself and Psychology talks about forming an opinion and be socially prodigious and hardness of heart. I’ve also disassembled with several people because I will separate from such people and a church who was best interest.

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