This week I’ve been sick. The couple of windy rainy cold weeks here in London really affected me. The heavy cough seemed to not only take most of the “life mana” out of me, but also disrupt my sleep and because of that I’ve had to endure constant headache during the day.

But I still work!

Hour after hour in front of the laptop. Attending meetings, catching deadlines, discussing new projects - everything remains as normal.

Not only that - my personal projects as well: listening to podcast, reading books, and, of course, writing - every day.

But you know what, I’m really surprised to recognize that there’s also a sense of pride of myself for being able to do that.

Reflecting about it in my weekly review, I can’t help but have to ask:

“Isn’t it a bit too much?”

It reminds me of “The pathless path”, a very interesting book about career guidance, in which Paul Millerd shares that only until he got a severe health issue and had time to reflect that he realizes he had suffered from burnout for a long period of time.

I don’t know. The urge to work, learn, work, study every single minute of our lives does come from inside,

but is it not because of this modern world we are living in, where things move so fast that we always feel we’re behind, we need to hurry?

It seems one of the most successful achievements of this modern world is that feeling of insecurity and ‘not-good-enough’.

In “The burnout Society”, the Korean-born German philosopher Byung-Chul Han discusses further about this topic. What is very important to recognise is:

Beyond a certain point of productivity, disciplinary technology—or, alternately, the negative scheme of prohibition—hits a limit. To heighten productivity, the paradigm of disciplination is replaced by the paradigm of achievement, or, in other words, by the positive scheme of Can; after a certain level of productivity obtains, the negativity of prohibition impedes further expansion. The positivity of Can is much more efficient than the negativity of Should


Achievement society is the society of self-exploitation. The achievement-subject exploits itself until it burns out. In the process, it develops auto-aggression that often enough escalates into the violence of self-destruction.
...What proves problematic is not individual competition per se, but rather its self-referentiality, which escalates into absolute competition. That is, the achievement-subject competes with itself; it succumbs to the destructive compulsion to outdo itself over and over, to jump over its own shadow. This self-constraint, which poses as freedom, has deadly results.
A very important book about our modern society


So maybe you, like me, should slow things down a bit, and make sure that our personal development doesn’t dominate our lives, that we still dedicate enough time to other important things, such as self-care, family, friends, and other societal activities.


The depressive human being is an animal laborans that exploits itself—and it does so voluntarily, without external constraints. It is predator and prey at once
The burnout society