I used to have a strong desire to say something, to be heard. I thought I had the answer. I thought I could help people live better. Many of us do, when we are young and idealistic and enthusiastic about something. Maybe we have the privilege to work on what we are passionate about, maybe we keep whatever we like to do as a hobby or a side project.
The world of work has changed to where we are expected to feel passionate about what we get paid for – and to never switch off. There is the example of the French workers who won the right to disconnect after work hours. This law comes into force this January, and the reaction from outside France tends to be nothing more than a tired shrug.
I find it interesting that the solution to today’s work life woes is very often advertised as something bordering on the spiritual. Mindfulness, purpose. The idea being that you do what you do because you really believe in it, and then, you are told, it won’t feel like work any more, you will do it, and you will do it well, because you are 100 per cent there, with everything you have. Even the problem of procrastination is solved because you will want to do what you have to do.
Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Maybe it is.
I’ve been there, and I worry. I’ve worked for years without pay for something I believed in. The result is still there, visible, if you want to go to Cologne and see a Hare Krishna temple. I know how long it takes to recover once you realise you were young and stupid when you decided to give your life to this thing.
There is everything at stake here. Even more than our mental health.
My goal with this site is to open a space to talk about these things. To begin with, I’ve done a podcast of my experience of getting into, and out of, a cult.