We long to get all our work done in order to have free time. But we should be very careful with leisure. Having nothing left to do work-wise can be a very dangerous challenge for our psyches: it can bring on despair and self-loathing. It may be that always having projects on the go can insulate us from mental unwellness.
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“For most of our lives, we’re hard at work: we’re up till midnight in the library studying for a degree, we’re learning a trade, building a business, writing a book. We have hardly a moment to ourselves. We don’t even ask whether we are fulfilled, it’s simply obvious that this is the bit that has to hurt. We fall asleep counting the weeks until the end.
And then, finally, one day, slightly unexpectedly, the end arrives. Through slow and steady toil, we have achieved what we had been seeking for years: the book is done, the business is sold, the degree certificate is on the wall. People around us cheer and lay on a party; we might even take a holiday…”
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