Ask HN: Devs/data scis who pivoted to a new career in 30s/40s, what do you do?
I got burnt out as a SWE at a startup from stress and health issues. Bought a cafe and turned it into a bookstore cafe. Annual revenue is around 600k. Seller's discretionary earnings is around 220k. In hindsight, I should have done this earlier. Not having to deal with office politics, insane on-call rotations, stress. On top of that, it helped me qualify for E-2 investor visa, which is far less of a headache than OPT/H-1B. It was a major help having an experienced business broker/commercial real estate agent.
What it's like living without an inner monologue (2020)
I don't have an inner monologue as I find it explained in many of these articles, in the sense that I don't notice myself addressing myself with it. I would rather say I have a constant _dialogue_ with what I would describe as projections of people I know. I guess I must have developed that as a strategy to prepare for conversations, to evaluate how they might respond, but now it's so automatic that it can be really annoying, and even with a lot of meditation exercise I haven't managed to switch it off yet. There's a lot of arguments going on between different "people" in my mind quite often, most of the time actually, each "telling me their opinion". Which I know is simply me imagining how they might think of something. I am also considering that this may be what people describe as "different parts of themselves"? In these sense that I sometimes find it hard to make a decision because I am "still engaged in conversations around it inside me". It also feels sometimes like I am never alone: there are always lots of witnesses to anything I do.
Patricia Mou (@patriciamou_)
the issue with a majority of San Francisco's culture of authentic relating, circling, cuddle parties, "deep convo" events, is that it’s intimacy without relationship. Closeness without friendship. In other words, porn. It may feel good when you’re doing it, but empty afterwards. Friendship is cultivated over many interactions light and deep. Intimacy is earned through trust. And community design should be oriented around creating many surface areas to acquaint with the same people consistently. Not just going super deep in 1 instance. (pun intended)
Sad Clown Paradox: Why You Should Check In On Your Funny Friends | IFLScience
"Clowns are unhappy" is just something people with no sense of humor say to feel better about themselves. Everyone is unhappy about something. I'd rather see it channeled into humor than into passive-aggressiveness. People mention Robin Williams and John Belushi. If you want a (fictional) example, take Jerry (or Larry?) from Parks and Rec. He was as boringly positive as anyone alive, but he had a fantastic family life, and more importantly, I'd bet his kids would say, "Dad is really funny!" And most of his "jokes" would be silly Dad jokes.
Roger (@[email protected])
I'm very, very lucky and privileged in many ways. I can afford gadgets to simplify my life, I can afford services to reduce or eliminate chores. And yet, I barely have time to exercise and engage in side interests. I'm literally in the top ten percent of earners in my province, and I can barely afford to take care of my aging and increasingly decrepit mortal form, let alone my mental health. I can't imagine what life is like for people who make half my income. What the fuck.
Confession: Love my employer, but they don’t pay great.
I’ve found that the more a job pays for a person that better off you’re usually treated.
they/them might be giants (@[email protected])
I love peering deep into someone’s soul and giving them a compliment they can carry with them the rest of their life.
Ron Gilbert (@[email protected])
There is no capturable metric for enjoyment. What products/games can capture is engagement and that is then misinterpreted as enjoyment. There are a lot of products I engage with because I want want they produce, but I am unhappy.
yosh is holiday posting (@[email protected])
I had a friend who was very depressed for a while, and sort of at the bottom of it they had a realization which made them feel better, which they shared with me: It’s okay to not strive for big impressive achievements. Just being kind to those you meet is enough. Being a good person needs to be enough. And like, I agree so much with it. It’s so easy to get caught up in whatever arbitrary next goal, that we forget about the people around us now. It’s better to be unremarkable than immiserating.
elly belle 🔮🍉🇵🇸 (@literElly)
when mitski said “I used to rebel by destroying myself, but realized that’s awful convenient to the world. for some, our best revolt is self-preservation” I’ve never felt anything more deeply in my life
Tinker ☀️ (@[email protected])
I remember days when I was younger when I would just read and that was the biggest thing I wanted to do that day. When my soul was settled enough that I didn't worry about chores or errands or work that needed to be done. When I relished the time to dive into a new world. I need to get back there.
✊🏽🩺 (@wokestethoscope)
My therapist dumped me for talking about Palestine-related stress and trauma. These Western-minded therapists are not equipped to help people whose stressors are rooted in systems of oppression and genocidal governments. Their tools are impotent and shallow, and they know it.
ashok kumar 🇵🇸 (@broseph_stalin)
Just a reminder that “Stockholm Syndrome” is a myth invented to discredit women victims of violence, created by a police psychiatrist with an obvious conflict of interest, whose first instinct was to silence the woman questioning his authority.
mhoye (@[email protected])
One of the things I’ve learned about the consequences of bullying is that when people tell you things like “I’m pretty bad at math” or “computers aren’t for me” or “I don’t really get art or fashion” and you talk to them for a bit what you often find - not always, but often - what that really means is “somebody treated me like shit for trying to like this when I was 9.”
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. A masterpiece for the strong-willed.
This game gave me the best catharsis at the worst time of my life. My dad died, four weeks later this game came out, my wonderful lap cat died (also of a stroke like my dad) a week into it, I bashed my brains against this game and the final boss. The joy and exhilaration I felt on completing it is something I have never felt. I suddenly understood the moves and final boss in a way that felt like I was in the matrix. I actually let myself die near the end just to show myself I could block it all or casually step slightly out of the way by replaying it. You can’t summon help, you have to learn the system, there’s only one main weapon and power is largely flat. I feel such an overwhelming sadness and triumph mixed in my body right now just thinking about that time in my life, I became a whole new person (not just because of Sekiro, I also met my wife a week after my dad died)… and I knew I was capable of pushing so much further, being more and doing better in life than I could’ve imagined. I dunno, maybe that sounds stupid, but it is what it is. Everything came together in that moment, and I am so thankful that it all did even if a lot of it was incredibly painful. It had to be Sekiro for the game, I’ve never been pushed like that before or since.
The male loneliness epidemic and how it affects fathers
"1 in 5 said they had gotten emotional support from a friend in the past week, compared with 4 in 10 women." -TFA There was no need to change the demoninator - it was done to confuse people by having them compare 1 vs 4. It's hard to take the rest of the article seriously when they game the numbers to manipulate people so obviously. I feel like there is a real problem here, even if it is played a little too hard for the article. I do a lot of parenting but am lucky that my college friends all married and reproduced around the same time. So now instead of 12 people hanging, gaming, and BSing, we have 30-40 people in a glorious mob of activty. Thing is - the kids kinda entertain themselves reducing the parenting load for everyone. And everyone know how each family does stuff, so any 'random' adult can provide guidance or escalate to their parent. I don't know how I would do it without the group - likely I would try to build one from my kids new friends without the 20 years of common history.
Hare Software (@Hare_Software)
Friendly stranger here: you write quite a lot about your media consumption and a bit about your politics, but those are proxies of who you are. Are you shy or outgoing? Are you talkative or not? These traits make you an interesting unique person, so write them down! Best of luck!
#48 – The “Do Something About It” Club – Ratika Deshpande
I’m tired of this. I think we overvalue thinking and undervalue taking action on that thinking. It’s easy to discuss ideas, which is one reason I think I’ve done so much of it and used to find it appealing. Lately, though, simply reading or thinking about ideas feels inadequate, even a waste of time. It feels wrong to me, because it goes against some of the things I value deep down–things which don’t have a specific word for them (that I’m aware of, with my non-native knowledge of English). It’s the value that seeks to do things, see the results of doing those things. Ideas made tangible.
The “Do Something About It” Club
For me I've come to realize two truths: 1) there is no value in putting energy into that which you have no control, and MOST things you can read about on the Internet fall into this category 2) almost all good or beautiful things are either personal and happen either in their natural course (relationship, family, the sunset) or they require a lifetime of distillation or creation of that _something_ that is missing from the world. For me personally I've chosen to focus on my family and job, and spend the rest of my time in pursuit of a large life-long goal ( It's gone quite well so far, but I'm only 3 years in
Mister Rogers had a point – routinely greeting six neighbors maximizes wellbeing
As a kid, I had extreme social anxiety. I had a hard time talking to people and making friends. I never felt like I “belonged.” As an adult, I still have crippling social anxiety. I can’t speak for everywhere, I’m pretty much only in the U.S., but I’ve noticed that most fellow adults I come across are chronically deprived of social interaction. My social anxiety doesn’t actually matter. Me being awkward, and weird, and a little bit out there doesn’t actually matter. If you talk to people, ask them questions about themselves, laugh with them when they want to laugh, listen to them when they want to vent, rant with them when they want to rant, and feel pain with them when they’re vulnerable, a sweeping majority of the people I’ve met in the U.S. engage. And the more you do it, the more you realize the world is actually full of amazing people. They’re all living their lives, making mistakes, getting things wrong, and making bad calls. But overwhelmingly they’re trying to figure life out and get through the best they can; and they want people with them on that journey. I still have crippling social anxiety but my friend group is steadily growing and it feels good. I still play the fun game in my head of “haha did we all have a good time today or did I actually say something terrible and now everyone hates me or thinks I’m a fool?” on pretty much a daily basis. But I wouldn’t go back to being lonely. Not just for me, but for these amazing people who want more folks with them on their journey.
Daring Fireball: Kindness as a Signifier of Intelligence
In order to be kind, we have to shut down that animal instinct and force our brain to travel a different pathway. Empathy and compassion are evolved states of being. They require the mental capacity to step past our most primal urges. I’m here to tell you that when someone’s path through this world is marked with acts of cruelty, they have failed the first test of an advanced society. They never forced their animal brain to evolve past its first instinct. They never forged new mental pathways to overcome their own instinctual fears. And so, their thinking and problem-solving will lack the imagination and creativity that the kindest people have in spades.
Daring Fireball: Kindness as a Signifier of Intelligence
The best way to spot an idiot? Look for the person who is cruel. When we see someone who doesn’t look like us, or sound like us, or act like us, or love like us, or live like us — the first thought that crosses almost everyone’s brain is rooted in either fear or judgment or both. That’s evolution. We survived as a species by being suspicious of things we aren’t familiar with.
The past is not true | Derek Sivers
Aim a laser pointer at the moon, then move your hand the tiniest bit, and it’ll move a thousand miles at the other end. The tiniest misunderstanding long ago, amplified through time, leads to piles of misunderstandings in the present. We think of the past like it’s a physical fact - like it’s real. But the past is what we call our memory and stories about it. Imperfect memories, and stories built on one interpretation of incomplete information. That’s “the past”. History is not true. You can change history. The actual factual events are such a small part of the story. Everything else is interpretation. It’s never too late to change a story.
YSK you can take Prozac intermittently for PMDD (extreme PMS)
My wife of 20 years has a mental health breakdown every month. For a full two weeks before her period sh is a completely different person. We’ve divorced…I want to say, at least 100 times during those years. She’s calmed down a bit now that she’s older and I really try to track her cycle and do my best not to react when she says anything during that time…but it’s hard. Sometimes we’re both so traumatized by the event that we hardly speak to each other for another whole month after a really bad one. I wonder how different our lives would be if she’d been trying this over the years.
You Can't Look at Porn on Any Reddit Third-Party App Now
I know that this will be an unpopular opinion, though I don't believe it should be, but this is good. Studies have shown the negative effects of pornography on the brain as well as the societal effects. Porn companies have also become a bastion for human trafficking, child porn, and other illegal activities. Making them harder to access, even if just through reddit, will help many people both those who watch it and those forced to participate in it.
dyani 🫠 (@[email protected])
I saw a post here (that I can't find) that kinda changed my life. It said the best first step to changing the world into a better place is to just stop making fun of people *or yourself*. Ever. For anything. Including in your own thoughts that you may never speak aloud. I try very hard to do this! it's such a stabler and nicer-feeling foundation to my thoughts and my life. It sheds a mental weight/burden I couldn't see before. Such a great distilled bit of advice for a big concept!
Ignoring boys' emotional needs fuels public health risks
We don't need a critical theory of boyhood, we just need to stop institutionally empowering people who hate their dads. I know many good men, and the defining characteristic of every single one of them is that regardless of who their father was, they accept him, and by extension they accept themselves. If you are still mad at him or have contempt for him, I recommend considering how it's manifesting in your beliefs about the world before even thinking about problematizing boyhood. Obviously I'm quite suspicious of adults talking about how to raise boys, but only because the only problem they should be trying to solve at all is how to be a worthy example, and anything else is a substitute for that essential element. But the "concern" about boys is just another form aggression against them, imo.
Adam ✡️ אדם 🚩🏴 (@askeeve)
There's occasionally these threads asking men what the most memorable compliment or something they ever received was, and my takeaway is that we are, in general, completely blown away by the tiniest gestures and we will hold onto the memory of them like precious jewels.
Naomi Wu 机械妖姬 (@RealSexyCyborg)
Literally, just buy men a beer. My straight friends got it from me because used to do it when talking to interesting startup/engineering types and I don't want them to get weird. It completely changes the dynamic. It sucks the prey drive right out of them and they stand there wondering what the catch is or if you're going to traffic their organs. Men who get free beer are gracious, well behaved- and when you make your exit, they got a free beer out of it and it's fine. They lost no face, suffered no embarrassment- a woman bought them a beer! They're on top of the world! Inverting the usual power dynamic is 100% worth the cost.
Life Is So Terrible and Beautiful at the Same Time | John P. Weiss - Blog
The antidote for despair is to stare it down and get on with it. The reality is that happiness is fleeting and suffering demands meaning. Also, most good things start small. You don’t need to do something heroic to revive the purpose and meaning in your life. Love your family and friends. Lean on literature and the humanities, which allow you to “walk through the souls of others” and recognize that you’re not alone. Embrace your hobbies and passions. Spend time in the garden, or walking your dog in the park. Call on friends in need, or volunteer to help the elderly, homeless, or abandoned animals in a shelter. There is meaning in service. When we help others, we help ourselves.
Andreas Kling (@awesomekling)
If you bond with others over how bad things are, you create incentive to maintain badness. If you bond over how cool things could be, you create incentive to improve and learn what else is possible. 🤓👍
Tiredness of life: the growing phenomenon in western society
Regarding socialization, suburbs are anti-social. There is almost no chance for spontaneous interactions with strangers. Even small countryside towns are more social b/c there is a main street where people hang out on the street. If you have to get in a car to "do something", your chances of spontaneous interactions go down exponentially. I washed my bicycle outside last week and some 70-80 year old started up a conversation with me. Other times, going to the laundromat, some 80 year old lady chatted with me. But if I had to get in a car to get coffee or ride my bike, these kind of interactions would not happen. I want to live in a city when I get old and die on my feet.
Tiredness of life: the growing phenomenon in western society
The fact that this problem is common enough for researchers to debate it may suggest that modern life has shut older people out of western society. Perhaps elders are no longer revered for their wisdom and experience. But it’s not inevitable. In Japan, age is seen as a spring or rebirth after a busy period of working and raising children. One study found older adults in Japan showed higher scores on personal growth compared with midlife adults, whereas the opposite age pattern was found in the US. Surgeon and medical professor Atul Gawande argues that in western societies, medicine has created the ideal conditions for transforming ageing into a “long, slow fade”. He believes quality of life has been overlooked as we channel our resources towards biological survival. This is unprecedented in history. Tiredness of life may be evidence of the cost.
Tiredness of life: the growing phenomenon in western society
Professor of care ethics Els van Wijngaarden and colleagues in the Netherlands listened to a group of older people who were not seriously ill, yet felt a yearning to end their lives. The key issues they identified in such people were: aching loneliness, pain associated with not mattering, struggles with self-expression, existential tiredness, and fear of being reduced to a completely dependent state.
tom holland comeback era on Tumblr
The lefts descent into obsession with identity politics means all these boys get from these spaces is essentially being told they're inherently monstrous or will grow up to be so. 12 year old boys are not evil. They're children. And they're susceptible to manipulation from these fucks on the right who have sadly correctly identified that large swathes of the left will ignore and shun them. People turn to extremist factions when they feel ignored and dehumanised.
LSD: Not even once. Really. | QWORD
I had the same experience with tinnitus and visual snow, and unfortunately, they are still present. While I had one bad trip, I was okay after that one. However, after waking up from another trip, I simply wasn't the same. The depersonalization was the worst part - it left me in an awful state of mind. It's been so long now that I'm not even sure if it's still there or if it's become the new normal. In fact, I couldn't even tell you what normal feels like anymore. For me, the few hours of fun weren't worth the amount of stress that followed. I got nothing out of it except some temporary entertainment. I strongly believe that using LSD in therapy is malpractice. It is not right to give such a potent and mind-altering drug to people who are already dealing with mental health issues. I worry that in the future, we will see a rise in similar cases to mine, as LSD becomes more commonly used in therapy. And although I turned out OK and I can deal with the condition I am scared about how people who might already be suicidal deal with such a life altering event.
A silent crisis in men’s health gets worse
> “Men are advantaged in every aspect of our society, > “We tend not to prioritize men’s health, but it needs unique attention, and it has implications for the rest of the family. It means other members of the family, including women and children, also suffer.” > Advocates for more research into men’s health say the goal isn’t to steal resources from women, girls and gender minorities. So men's health deserves to be an issue only because it may impact children well-being, and only if it doesn't steal resource from other more noble causes. I don't know how US audience reads this type of article, but as a foreigner, it seems every single issue nowadays has to be artificially rebranded as a social justice fight.
You're not uncool. Making friends as an adult is just hard
> "Researchers also find that when we develop groups, our friendships are more sustainable than they are with individuals. Because there's multiple touch points now, right? Someone else in the group could reach out to all of us, and then we all keep in touch." This is the most important tip in the article, in my experience. When I lived in SF, most of my friend hangs were 1-on-1 catchups over coffee or lunch. It would sometimes feel like a chore. Meeting so many people individually was time consuming, repetitive, hard to schedule, and yet somehow infrequent -- it felt like the main reason to hang was to catch up on what's new, so you needed to wait a month or two to let new things pile up. Then I moved to Seattle. I decided to switch to only really attending (or inviting people to) hangouts that included multiple people. Basically, my new policy was to try to hang out with multiple simultaneously whenever possible. And it worked wonders! My friends met all my other friends, and things played out exactly as described by the article -- some of them hit it off, became friends with each other, and started initiating invites and events without me. In addition, hangouts are just more fun with more people. There's more to talk about, more excitement, more fun. And it's easier to schedule, too, since you can see more people in a smaller number of hangs. The value of the hangs goes up, too. There's more reason for people to say "yes" because they're getting to catch up with multiple people, not just one person.
A Linux evening...
This post resonates strongly with me. I love the term "a linux evening." This was precisely my experience when I used Linux full time: mostly it worked great, but then occasionally something wouldn't work (some personal examples: touchpad doesn't work after OS update, wifi card stops working etc.) and then I have to spend a few frustrating hours debugging the issue. All I can think in these moments is "you don't get this time back. Is this really how I want to spend three precious hours of my life, when, if I used a different platform, I could avoid this hassle completely?" I know it's a tradeoff and I sacrifice a lot to live in my current Macintosh rut, but I just don't have the motivation to be my own DIY tech support wiz after a full day on computers for work.
After 20 years the Dwarf Fortress devs have to get used to being millionaires
After four years working on my retro game nearly full time, and several launches, I still don't understand marketing enough to understand what to do differently. A lot of the advice out there is something like: "create a community" or "go join several communities" or "get to know other indie devs on Twitter". To me, this simply feels fake. I don't really participate in any online communities. I spend enough time in front of a computer for work and I prefer to socialize with my real life friends. Besides, I simply have no idea how to get any kind of attention on social media. I created an eight-page booklet that recreates the first issue of Nintendo Power, except with my characters in place of Mario and Wart. It's an homage, because I developed a retro game. Somebody suggested that I post it on a retrogaming subreddit, where many others were posting fan art, and those people should recognize the magazine cover that I recreated. Well, I posted my PDF and it got about 4 upvotes. A simple photo, posted around the same time, of the very common TMNT NES cartridge got -- 800? 900? I stopped looking. I understand that what I made is not going to be for everybody. I'm not expecting to be a millionaire. But damn if I can't figure out how to even get it in front of people. Everywhere I try just gets ignored. The game is pretty substantial too. Mac, iOS, and Windows versions all done by me -- custom game engine -- 40+ hours of gameplay -- about a 5-6 hour minimum play time if you start from scratch and you know what you're doing (I was shooting for 3.5ish hours to equal Mario 3 or Mario World in "size" or "depth"). Lots of fun secrets. Nothing repeated. Challenging, but not as hard as Dwarf Fortress. Real life playtesters (not friends or family) asked me to reset the game so they could start all over again. I just wish somebody else could do the social stuff. It all just makes me want to stop programming altogether. My brain just does not work along the lines of "how can I phrase this email to get this person's attention?" So I realize cold calling is a numbers game but I seem to be ignored no matter what I do. I want to make great stuff, and I really don't care about attention/fame/money -- but what's the point of working so hard if nobody gets to enjoy it but me?
Why Did So Many US Men Quit Working? Social Status May Hold the Key, Study Says
Hope is everything. The ability to sell yourself a story about future success determines a huge portion of the human personality. If you stand in San Antonio, Texas, surrounded by shuttered shopping malls and half-built-and-now-abandoned projects, it's incredibly hard not to be cynical about the future. Sit in the cafeteria of Stripe HQ and it's incredibly hard not to be optimistic. No mystery why the political beliefs of both places match the on-the-ground reality. The greatest threat to a stable society isn't economic collapse - it's the collapse that follows: the collapse of a belief that things can get better. The exact second you don't think things can get better, the entire game changes, and there is no reason to do anything other than help tear down the system that left you so hopeless in the first place. It's not that we pay so little that people can't make ends meet. It's that life costs so much, and can be so good, that people can't make dreams meet.
The Impotence of Being Clever
> The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein was tormented by the thought that he was “merely clever” and criticized himself and others for valuing cleverness over genuine wisdom. This torments me too. Growing up I was top of my class/district (same as my parents and theirs, which really suggests a genetic component), but then when I started working with other smart people I realized that only gets you so far. To make wise decisions, you need to have the proper mindstate to make genuine "human" decisions, rather than using just your intelligence. In fact, if you're smart enough, you can "logically" prove wrong things to yourself like "this is impossible". Wisdom is knowing that whenever you say that, you have made a mistake in your logic at some point. It's very hard to teach people to start thinking like this. The junior engineers who can think on their feet are usually mentored better since that's the part you can't teach.. The tormenting part is this: the same can be said of most other areas of life. I've seen so many genuinely smart people completely mess up personal areas of their life by refusing to think, or do things differently. Despite having a strong apparatus for thinking, they don't "wake up" and use it, they just form all kinds of delusions that they can prove to themselves using their strong proving abilities. Despite being wise in some areas, this wisdom doesn't extend to the others. I think this is why depression rates are higher in more intelligent people. There's a better ability to comprehend and change your life, but that usually doesn't translate to the willpower and wisdom needed to do so. Those are separate things one has to have/train. An inbalance in the two causes great upset/lost potential.
No cure for loneliness
So, while every country in the world has issues with social isolation and loneliness I think the US seems to have a particularly large problem with it. I have no evidence to back this up but it seems to me that family structures in the US are less solid than they are in other countries. And for the people who say "I'm from X immigrant community and we have very strong familial bonds", imagine how much stronger they would be had you not come to the US, and will the next generations bonds be as strong or stronger than your generations bonds? There is a self-reliance in the US which when it works seems to work ok (although even "successful" people can be very lonely), but when it breaks down very quickly leaves people with no where to turn. People often travel long distances from their families. Often relocating across the country again for work breaking whatever bonds they formed in University. People see their families once or twice a year (because the distances are so great). People prioritize economic needs over family and societal needs and this weakening of familial and societal bonds is the result. Often you end up living far from your family with a spouse and kids. If that doesn't work out - say you break up - you can find yourself alone very fast. I feel that the homeless problem in the US is a symptom of this - although it also has many other causes. In societies with much stronger societal bonds, people don't let people live on the streets. I don't have a solution for it, it's just something I've noticed and think about a lot when I listen to stories like this one. And don't get me wrong. Every country has problems like this. It's very easy to get isolated in large crowds of people, I just think the US has a pronounced case of it.
Decolonizing Therapy: Why Apolitical Mental Health Care Doesn’t Work
During her dissertation process, Mullan's psychology professor discouraged her from talking about intergenerational trauma and racism because those topics are "too political," and psychologists are "not supposed to be political." But Mullan said getting political is necessary to acknowledge historical trauma communities of color experience.
Decolonizing Therapy: Why Apolitical Mental Health Care Doesn’t Work
In the U.S., African Americans and indigenous communities experience disproportionately higher rates of depression because of structural racism and racial biases and prejudice. But when they walk inside a psychologist's office feeling rightfully upset or angry, the problem is no longer about racism and discrimination. Instead, they're told they have high aggression, or problems with impulse control.
Decolonizing Therapy: Why Apolitical Mental Health Care Doesn’t Work
"Yet, the counselor did not consider this cultural aspect and instead chose to focus my self-esteem," said Lacerda-Vandenborn, who is also an instructor at the University of Calgary, where her research areas include aboriginal counseling and colonialism and eurocentrism. "While at the time, that left me feeling invalidated and frustrated, I also found it interesting that my problems were always being attributed to my personal inability to cope."
Is Our Definition Of Burnout All Wrong?
Perhaps more like... 'engagement fatigue'? When it's truly rote or mindless work your brain can disengage and be somewhere else. With knowledge work you don't have that luxury, even when the work itself isn't what we could consider 'engaging', you nevertheless are obliged to be engaged mentally to carry it out. Do that long enough without deriving any satisfaction, it seems a perfectly sane reaction to want to escape the situation, or just plain shut off. It makes sense for our brains to realize we're spending a lot of brain focus and time on something that isn't activating any reward centers, and insist we stop doing that. That really seems like a fundamentally sensible and healthy response from a brain functioning properly.
Is Our Definition Of Burnout All Wrong?
I've noticed a similar discrepancy in my life: Mental burnout wasn't present in my early, physical-labor jobs. It also wasn't present in my early coding jobs. It only started to appear later in my career when my pay was highest and my actual time spent producing tangible output (whether physical labor or code) was lowest. One theory is that I became less physically active over time. Exercise is well known to have a protective effect against burnout, and physical labor jobs are a lot of exercise all day. I was also going to the gym much more when I was younger. Another theory is that my later career burnout came from what studies would call "social defeat stress". I was most burnt out when I spent most of my job time trying to navigate dysfunctional companies, deal with incompetent bosses, and fight against dirty office politics. Changing to a job where my boss was more demanding but also more competent unexpectedly reduced my burnout symptoms rather than worsening them. Something about being in a socially consistent environment makes everything easier to stomach. On the contrary, being in weird office politics situations where Bob in management gets to insult your work and upend your priorities every week just because he's got a certain title leads to burnout. It's like the burnout is a response to dampen your expectations and efforts in response to situations where more engagement will only produce more stress and frustration. Physical labor jobs, on the other hand, have a property that more input will usually result in at least some tangible forward progress.
Is Our Definition Of Burnout All Wrong?
One of the things I've spent time helping other engineering managers understand is that burnout doesn't relate only to exhaustion. Instead, as the Maslach Burnout Inventory points out, it tends to be a three-factored issue. The MBI is a tool widely used in research studies to assess burnout, and it measures three scales: 1) *Exhaustion* measures feelings of being overextended and exhausted by one's work. 2) *Cynicism* measures an indifference or a distant attitude towards your work. 3) *Professional Efficacy* measures satisfaction with past and present accomplishments, and it explicitly assesses an individual's expectations of continued effectiveness at work. So you can absolutely be experiencing burnout even if you're not experiencing exhaustion, if the other two scales are tipped hard enough. Among the questions that help measure Cynicism and Professional Efficacy: * I really don't care what happens to some of my colleagues/clients. * I have the impression that some of my colleagues/clients make me responsible for their problems. * I have achieved many rewarding objectives in my work For more details about the MBI, check out
Is Our Definition Of Burnout All Wrong?
The last year has taught me (and many of us) that work won’t love you back and that fixing our individual approaches to it likely won’t prevent burnout. Sometimes the only way to fix a broken system, it seems — to move toward a restorative approach to sustaining ourselves and our labor — is to refuse to play by the old rules. Work is good, but I am not my job.
Is Our Definition Of Burnout All Wrong?
Reframing burnout as what’s getting in the way of your wellness and a symptom of inadequate support led Aviles to conclude that the problem isn’t the burnout. It’s an economic system that makes individual workers essentially dispensable, so that the workplace becomes a site of survival struggles. “I really think it's a tool of oppression, to keep folks constantly busy, and we're overworking and underpaying them,” she explains. “You're not allowing people to rest and relax and rejuvenate and refresh their minds and their bodies, [and] oftentimes, you can't make clear decisions if you're in that state.”
Is Our Definition Of Burnout All Wrong?
“One of the biggest differences between exhaustion and burnout is that it is strongly associated with inadequate support in your environment,” Aviles tells me. You can address exhaustion through rest. To address burnout, she says, you need to step away from work.
Is Our Definition Of Burnout All Wrong?
Hastick defines burnout as “the inability to sustain your wellness,” which severs the definitional tie between burnout and the workplace, and flips the focus onto what is being harmed. Instead of burnout being a set of symptoms, it’s a situation, she says. If that’s the case, in order for healing to happen, the person’s circumstances must change.
Is Our Definition Of Burnout All Wrong?
“It seems like this [term] became popular when white people were the ones going through it,” says Malandra Hastick, a longtime employee of the food and beverage industry and creator of The Wellness Sauce. “But in terms of the rest of us, it's just like, No, you're lazy. You don't deserve to take a break.”
Is Our Definition Of Burnout All Wrong?
“Who can take time off from work to recuperate from burnout?” says Dionne when I bring this up. “I think when we are talking about impoverished people, many of those people are indigenous folks, Black folks, brown folks — exhaustion is the baseline so often because capitalism is eating these people alive,” she says. “There is no safety net for those folks, so it really is either work yourself into the ground, or starve.”
Is Our Definition Of Burnout All Wrong?
“When I think about burnout, I think about exhaustion beyond the point of repair,” says Dionne, who now works as an editorial and publishing manager at Netflix. “It's not something that can be solved with a nap or a massage or a vacation. It's long, deep, soul-deep exhaustion. … I can't do anything other than the basic minimum requirements for life,” she explains.
Is Our Definition Of Burnout All Wrong?
The thing that made me wonder the most about what burnout might actually be, in terms of a diagnostic definition, was when we headed back into winter in 2020 after a summer of lockdown, before vaccines were rolled out, and my friends and colleagues started expressing a relationship to time and the future that alarmed me. They began talking about the future as if it didn’t exist, as if their imaginative powers were gone. There was no future, there was only this moment, this week, this day, and getting through it. We could be stuck here forever was the vibe at large. This shift was alarming, because up until that point, I was the only person I knew who consistently related to time that way — thanks to complex PTSD.
Is Our Definition Of Burnout All Wrong?
But a term suggesting a rock bottom stops meaning rock bottom when we’re all there and, somehow, still going despite the struggle.
The pleasure, the pain and the politics of a digital detox | Psyche Ideas
Moving towards 24/7 connectivity means more work is required to disconnect and find compensatory alternatives. Hence, the possibility of digital detoxing is unequal. While many cannot disconnect for work or social reasons, the affluent can send their kids to offline schools or seek refuge in offline cultural or natural experiences.
The millennials in sexless marriages - BBC Worklife
This article really resonates with me because most of my relationships have ended based on my “low libido.” One of my partners would even try to shame me by saying I have erectile dysfunction despite the fact that I was clearly attracted to them and would often try to express that in other ways besides simply having sex. I think the problem for me is more important than anything else in a relationship is a sense of emotional security and trust. It has to do with the emotional abuse and neglect I got in my childhood. And so for me what is much more important and attractive than sex is just being able to lay in the arms of someone and be able to tell them about the stresses of my day or my fears in life and know that they won’t run away or try to quickly change the subject. And so much of sex, in my personal experience, has been sort of the opposite of that. It’s almost something transactional, because in our increasingly busy lives there isn’t time for that boring emotional intimacy stuff, so when we have a few hours to spend together we better make sure we have sex because that’s the sign of a good relationship. Then after that we can just, like, watch TV or fall asleep or whatever. For me sex feels like something that should grow out of the intimacy and strength of other aspects of a relationship, and it’s just ridiculously hard to grow those other dimensions when both partners are working full time, and we’re trying to balance all of the other aspects of our lives. So sex sort of turns into this glue that is supposed to hold what little we have together, it’s supposed to be what separates “us” from just two buddies who go to movies together that happen to like each other. And I honestly can’t stand it. It feels so brittle and arbitrary as opposed to romantic and meaningful. So I’ve had to do a lot of self reflection and therapy over the years to try and break the image that I’m somehow “broken” or incompatible with so many of the people around me. It’s taken quite a lot of emotional energy to get back up again and again and try to meet new people despite so many of them just not getting my emotional needs and us being sort of emotionally incompatible (if not abusive) to the point where I know they’re talking about me and my lack of libido behind my back to their friends. But I always do feel a little relief when I see articles like these or Reddit posts where I see that I’m not the only one, and that it’s actually systemic more than a personal failing. It makes me feel less alone.
Digital gardening - Nicolas Bouliane
I have learned to welcome other gardeners as peers, instead of fearing them as competitors. I have learned to share advice and compliments freely. The world needs more gardens.
Mental Illness Is Not in Your Head - Boston Review
Harrington and Scull surely did not intend for their books to be read this way, but we might understand them as a call to defund biological psychiatry in the United States—to refuse yet another promise of a “revolution” or “renaissance” that would save an academic project that has done little to help and lots to harm. We do not need to be neuroscientists to know that psychological and emotional suffering is “real” or “legitimate,” and that a pill, however effective, cannot abolish the carceral and capitalist system that is the source of so much trauma.
Mental Illness Is Not in Your Head - Boston Review
Sterilization was another invasive procedure popularized in American psychiatry during this period. Based on older theories of degeneracy, sterilization was a eugenic rather than therapeutic tool: it was meant to keep people with mental illness from passing on their “bad stock.” The ethically fraught practice made its way to the Supreme Court in the infamous Buck v. Bell case in 1927, when Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., argued that society was justified in seeking to “prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.” In the decade that followed the decision, some 28,000 Americans diagnosed with “feeble-mindedness” were sterilized.
Mental Illness Is Not in Your Head - Boston Review
It does not help that academic psychiatry today feels out of touch. Many people have underscored the profound importance of mental health amid the social isolation of the pandemic, racial violence in our society, and the increasingly hyper-competitive culture of schools, sports, and the market. But academic psychiatry’s almost singular focus on brain-based research has meant that the profession has been largely absent from these conversations. And for what? All the “cool papers” on neurobiology have won academic grants and helped professors get promoted, but they have not meaningfully impacted the diagnosis and care of the millions of people suffering psychic distress.
Mental Illness Is Not in Your Head - Boston Review
This has become much more clear in the last couple years. Demand shot way up and is far outstripping supply. Then you get into the issue of how so many patients aren't a good match for the first therapist they try, so they have to jump through all the hoops and fill out all the forms to try another one, which also may not be a good match (all while potentially on the edge of some kind of breakdown)... I went through at least five before I found one I felt was effective for me, and my experience is not uncommon. Personally, I think we need to lower the barrier of entry for people to become therapists, and streamline the whole patient intake process. It's not like the quality is all that great with existing barriers, there are PhDs out there actively harming patients-- one kept trying to push Jesus on me when part of what I was dealing with was childhood religious trauma and the difficulties of restructuring my world view as a nonbeliever, an absolute breach of ethics. We need to make it easier for people to try out multiple therapists until they find one that's a good match for them, and part of that is increasing the supply of therapists. Unfortunately I'm not sure a chatbot is ever going to quite do it except for in the simplest & most clear cut cases, the mental tangles we can get into really require general intelligence to grapple with.
Mental Illness Is Not in Your Head - Boston Review
>Others engage in therapy with an artificially intelligent (and usually feminized) chatbot. Disturbingly, these digital apps are largely unregulated and have questionable standards of care. What alternatives are there? Therapists don't scale. If half of society could improve their life with therapy, and a therapist can treat 30 people per month over 10 years, then 1% of society have to become therapists. More therapists than teachers would be needed. I believe that this is a huge opportunity. Like medicine, people will be willing to pay anything to be happy. The biggest problem apart from developing a cure will be getting heard. The market will be flooded with enticing apps and a most likely bitter medicine will be a tough sell.
Ask HN: Are we all burned out?
Too be honestly, I feel like society at large causes burnout. I read a very complete account of my grandfathers early life (before he joined the military during WW2) and the kinda shit he did living of a farm is stuff of fairytales. When someone in the 20 mile radius needed a barn built, LITERALLY EVERYONE came to help. When you were off work for the night, you would sit with your whole family and read the newspaper or play cards, or travel to your grandmas house 3 blocks away. Now the whole world is split up. My nearest family is over 600 miles away. My friends would rather play video games on discord than go and play cards in person. Work is a 9-5 and then you forget about it. It seems like there is no community anymore outside of online spaces, and that just isn’t the same. In my opinion, burnout is synonymous with lack of real world, in person community.
Network Effect: A Murderbot Novel (The Murderbot Diaries Book 5) - Martha Wells
Overse added, “Just remember you’re not alone here.” I never know what to say to that. I am actually alone in my head, and that’s where 90 plus percent of my problems are.
Take a Break You Idiot
It's funny isn't it. Recently in a job with "unlimited" vacation, because of a dubious message from one of my two bosses who was a bit of a dick, I was too scared to take a real vacation. Until Christmas. Then I decided I was going to take some. It had been a rough year, isolating from Covid, not enough money, and living in shitty circumstances. It was the first PTO I'd had in over a decade, as working as a freelancer/consultant often means no PTO, so I decided to savor it, come what may. I took just under 3 weeks, like almost everyone else: there was a shared vacation calendar where I could see everyone else's Christmas break. My reward when I got back? Low performance metrics "in December" were cited when laying me off. It wasn't just about December, but December was the month they decided to measure and "give me a chance". They didn't take into account the break, and the only way their "assessment" could be satisfied would have been to work through Christmas. I then worked my ass off to ship a technically difficult, world-record-beating feature during my notice month, which they told me if I delivered it would surely be impressive, and turn it around. I did ship it, but not until the very end of the notice period, which was too late. If they had cared, they would have seen it was on track. If they had kept me on, let me relax, and worked with me rather than their choice of how to assess work, they would now have a world-beating product. It's their choice of course, and I now don't think they were serious about trying to build a real product. I think it's a bit of a smoke-and-mirrors scheme to keep grant money flowing in. After all, in about 4 years nobody has ever run the product on the real data it is designed for, except me, and I had to pay for servers from my own pocket to run those tests. Even now, I believe I'm the only person ever to run it, or even be able to run it. It's been interesting to watch how the product has stayed in the doldrums since I left, and how the folks working on it are now starting to implement things for which I have had working, high-performance functionality for months in my private fork since leaving. (It's open source.) It will be particularly interesting to see if their version is ever able to run on the real world data it was created for, or if their perpetual optimism will be forever misplaced. Ironically, I'd say the company had the nicest, most helpful HR, legal and accounting teams I've ever seen at any company. There was a lot to like, and I'm sad to have had to leave. But I don't miss feeling constantly afraid there. And, as a person who really enjoys creating things, I don't miss watching another team member shipping garbage commits that usually didn't work, and doing fine, while I was the only person on the project providing real functionality but not scoring well on the right metrics, because I spent too much time solving the product's blocker problems. To score well I'd have to ship garbage too. Oh well.
Take a Break You Idiot
There was a time a dozen years ago when I was working alone on my (over-elaborate, uncontrollably sprawling) graphics software product. One time I wrote a multi-thousand-line refactoring of existing code into a new class and felt very happy about getting it done. The next day I discovered that I had already done the exact same work the previous week, just as a slightly differently named class. That wasn’t an isolated memory loss experience in those days. I ordered lunch, sat down, then five minutes later just stood up and left, assuming I’d already eaten. An hour later I realized what happened. Long-term productivity is impossible without proper rest, including regular vacations where you’re truly out of work mode preferably for a week at the minimum.
Take a Break You Idiot
There was a time a dozen years ago when I was working alone on my (over-elaborate, uncontrollably sprawling) graphics software product. One time I wrote a multi-thousand-line refactoring of existing code into a new class and felt very happy about getting it done. The next day I discovered that I had already done the exact same work the previous week, just as a slightly differently named class. That wasn’t an isolated memory loss experience in those days. I ordered lunch, sat down, then five minutes later just stood up and left, assuming I’d already eaten. An hour later I realized what happened. Long-term productivity is impossible without proper rest, including regular vacations where you’re truly out of work mode preferably for a week at the minimum.
Take a Break You Idiot
After long bouts of work—months and months uninterrupted—I become a slug person; small hurdles spike my anxiety, my anger flares at the slightest confrontation, I notice fewer jokes, fewer attempts on my part to make people laugh. My memory goes to all hell too and I can’t seem to concentrate on prolonged amounts of anything. Books fall off my radar, I stop listening to music. My phone is in my hand at all times, scrolly-anxiety-inducing apps become impossible to avoid.
Princess Mononoke: The masterpiece that flummoxed the US
The thing that gets me about Spirited Away (and most Ghibli films) is the sense of being transported. The characters at the end are no longer in a place where they can go back to “the way things were” but somehow it’s okay. So there is this pain but in the end it’s ultimately cathartic and you feel joy and hope.
Apple's director of machine learning resigns due to return to office work
Warning: Hot Take. I genuinely believe many people who prefer working in an office versus at home have unfulfilling social lives or bad home lives. The social dynamics, competition, in physical offices fills the void in their lives. Also seems like most of the people clamoring for a return to the office are also climbers & middle managers. For some work a physical presence is required not just preferable, but for most of a software engineer's day to day there really is no unquestionable upside. I'll quit before I go back full time. I've never been happier or more fulfilled with my work/life balance, and I've never been more productive with my time. I'll even take a different remote position at a 20% pay cut and a reduction in equity, at least, to retain WFH. Most I'm willing to give is a day a week in office, and maybe temporarily longer in rare circumstances where the benefit in performance is clear.
Is Everything Falling Apart?
How devoid of intelligence it is to consider this manufactured divide as the reason things may fall apart. The group of mass media big-shots is extremely cohesive, as per this author's own perception of integration. Yet they fuel both sides without a single care about whether this may cause things to fall apart, and they're not wrong, which becomes clear if you actually look at the world and try to understand it instead of just absorbing mass media without practicing intellectual self-defense. Our eyes are being averted from the actual problem, because it's believed that the more we look at it, the worse it becomes. I reject this anti-intellectualism, therefore present you why everything is actually falling apart. The more humanity advances, the more we lack eros (loosely love for things we do not have) and the eros we have becomes weirder or outright bizarre. As this happens, we lose hope, that's the fatal hit. For example, access to porn has demonstrably been extremely detrimental to sex. For every passion we lose, we lose hope or replace it with a fetish. When we lose a healthy passion for clothes, we stop caring about what we wear or (more common in the west) become fetishized with bizarrely priced brands. When we lose passion for work, we stop caring about the future entirely (common in the third world) or become parasitical bureaucrats. It all adds up and often materializes into drug abuse. For an extreme example, look up the catalytic converter gangs in Kinshasa [0]. This loss of hope is monotonically increasing globally, and the manufactured divide has nothing to do with it. In fact our elites believe a little infighting and polarization may be good, as extremists are generally hopeful when they see things going their way, and more traditional solutions like education don't seem to be working these days. I don't think this theory has a name yet. [1]
Internet spring cleaning: How to delete Instagram, Facebook and other accounts
People are realizing that social media is draining, predatory, and entirely superfluous. Of course there are employees here of social media corporations who would want to stem the tide of this mass exodus, but it's useless. Social media corporations have overstepped their boundaries and become a net negative on human society. Deleting your social media accounts results in an immediate improvement of quality of life and mental wellbeing. These sites are intentionally designed with predatory psychological mechanisms, they are designed by hackers like ourselves, but the hackers who see "social engineering" as a perfectly ethical practice and not simply psychological manipulation. These services are designed to be addictive, full stop. Addiction is not healthy, and neither is social media. Maybe this will bring SV back to its roots, real technological progress for the nation and not desperate bids for data mining based on cheap psychological tricks. People are growing sickened of the endless scrolls of psychological disturbing viral content combined with the false positivity of human interest stories. It is deepening social divisions, racial conflicts, political partisanship, and general misery. We don't need social media, what we need is real social connections in an increasingly isolated society, and social media stands in the way of this.
Human brain compresses working memories into low-res ‘summaries’
I think this is why it's hard sometimes to argue in support of something you believe, even if you're right. At one point, all of the relevant facts and figures were loaded into your working memory, and with that information you arrived at a conclusion. Your brain, however, no longer needs those facts and figures; you've gotten what you needed from them, and they can be kicked out of working memory. What you store there is the conclusion. If it comes up again, you've got your decision, but not all of the information about how you arrived there. So when your decision is challenged, you are not well equipped to defend it, because you no longer retain why you arrived at that decision, just the conclusion itself. It's immensely easier to trust that you arrived at the right conclusion and the person who is in disagreement is missing something, than it is to reload all of the facts and figures back into your brain and re-determine your conclusion all over again. Instead, you can dig in, and resort to shortcuts and logical tricks (that you can pull out without needing to study) to defend what you've previously concluded (possibly correctly, but without the relevant information). If this finding ends up being generally an approximation of how our brains work, it could explain a lot about what's happening to global conversations, particularly around the Internet and on social media specifically. It also suggests a possible solution; make the data quickly available. Make it as seamless as possible to re-load those facts and figures into your working memory, and make it as unpleasant as possible to rely on shortcuts and logical tricks when arguing a point.
How relationship satisfaction changes across your lifetime
The relationship has to come first. It precedes the marriage and family, and I think societal norms are to put the children and the piece of paper first. It's a living thing that needs to be fed, and when times get tough what do people often do. Stop being kind to each other, stop having sex, building resentment and accelerating the decline. The goal is not to keep it together at all costs. The goal is to live an authentic life, and if that is going to be with a partner, don't lose sight of that fact it's the two of you that's important, not all the other stuff that comes along.
Blade Runner 2099 Sequel Series Coming from Ridley Scott
2048 was a fantastic depiction of modern male loneliness; unloved and invisible, yet with beautiful commercialized girls at one's finger tips. "Her" didn't capture this well, and frankly I don't think Spike Jonze is the type of author who can. He's too popular to be that pathetic! The movie is great for other reasons, but behind its sci-fi lies a traditional romance movie plot.
Cannabis use produces persistent cognitive impairments: meta review
I used to wish to be a professional drummer. When I was 14 I attended a drum camp for a week to meet and learn from some of the world’s best drummers, along with other children and adults from around the UK with similar ambitions. I became friends with one kid who was exceptionally talented as a musician, but also had a chronic marijuana habit. He was a better drummer than me at the time, but the drum camp was held every year. I attended the following year, and to my surprise, so did he. As I am a huge nerd, I spent the entire year obsessively practicing. My friend spent the whole year smoking marijuana and being complacent. We were excited to see each other and catch up, but it wasn’t long before we started showing off our skills on the drum sets. His heart sank when he realised how dramatically my skills had surpassed his. I think he had a bit of an identity crisis, and likely as a consequence of the frequent substance abuse he developed a deep and blatant paranoia. He tried to commit suicide in his room the following day, and had to be removed from the camp. I didn’t speak to him much after that — kids weren’t quite as connected as they are today back in 2005 — but to my surprise he did manage to contact me a couple of years ago. I asked him how he was, and he said he was doing better now after rehabilitation, but that life got much worse for him since we last met, explaining that he had been addicted to heroin. I recognise that this is an extreme case, but I grew up with a lot of kids like this, and marijuana is scary as shit to me, despite some nerds today being adamant that it’s excellent and certainly better than alcohol.
Willingness to Look Stupid
After a terrible breakup years ago I took a trapeze class. Before we got up on the trapeze bar, I spent most of the class telling everyone how bad I was going to be at it. When I got home I lay in bed confused. Why did I do that? This article is spot on. I was afraid of being seen to be bad at something. Have you noticed? We spend almost our entire adult lives doing things we’re good at. Anything we do that we’re bad at, we either stop doing or we get good at it. So all roads lead us away from the experience of being a beginner. For me, it had been too long. And I’d accidentally forgotten how to do it. So I took up dancing (which I’m bad at). That was really terrifying. And trampolining. And more recently improv. At the moment I’m learning to draw - which I spent most of my life wanting to do. But I never stuck with it because I hate drawing badly. But that’s just what it feels like to be a beginner. The trick is letting that go, because it doesn’t matter. You don’t get to be good at anything without first being bad at it. And being comfortably, visibly bad at something gives everyone else permission to play.
A monk’s guide to office life
I think the biggest problem in modern society is car dependent infrastructure. Cars are the ultimate form of isolation. They isolate us from the intermediate spaces where we interact with other people. Parks, paths, stations, cafes, downtowns, and all the other free public spaces we used to use to meet with other people have been devastated by cars. I can go a week in my suburban home without ever interacting with anyone. Take away the office and the supermarket and you can go for years without talking to anyone. Then I get on my bike, or walk somewhere and suddenly I meet more people in 30 minutes than I did in 3 months.
I just don’t want to be busy anymore
One thing that helped me is not to care so much about my employer's goals. It's almost heretical. But once you embrace this mindset, it does wonders. Or at least, it has for me so far. I think a lot of us want to be proud of the work we do, and we feel that if we slack off, then we shouldn't be proud. But it's the other way around. I think the slackers have it right. You're probably not going to get rich from working a day job. You're replaceable, and if you left your job tomorrow then you'll soon be forgotten. This is true for the majority of software engineers. In that context, why do so many of us take on so many unnecessary responsibilities? It's tempting to say "Well, my employer assigned them." But how often do you tell them no, or try to present a different approach that just so happens not to involve you? I know someone who is a chronic yes person. They will almost never say no, and they're pretty stressed day to day because of it. Whenever I point out that they're taking on too much, they say that they disagree and that it's their career. That's true, but they won't get rich from that career, so I don't understand why they care so much about it. Just remember to say 'no' for yourself from time to time. You often don't need to take on as many responsibilities as you have.
Does someone else feels "wasting life time" at work?
Definitely. Almost all the work we do is completely meaningless business optimization and will be forgotten in a few years. I've come to terms with that. I don't try to look for meaning in capitalism. You need a good job to live comfortably in society so I put up with it and put in a decent amount of effort. If I had the choice I would not work another day in my life. I'd still code some projects for fun like I did as a kid. The ways I've seen people try to solve it are: FIRE, philosophy (engineers seem to love zen buddhist, stoic, existentialist ideas), drugs, workaholism. In about that order of efficiency. I'd love to have a 4 day work week. Sounds like a great improvement. Maybe something worth pursuing.
Burning Out and Quitting
This is a powerful piece that resonates with my own experience. I went through a period of severe burnout that took me a couple years to recover from. One of my later insights was that burnout doesn't merely entail working too much (although that's certainly part of it); burnout often involves pouring too much of your heart and soul into something that does not love you back. I describe burnout now as a kind of "unrequited love." So many of us go above and beyond for our companies/projects/teams/whatever. The author here describes overcommitting at work. We might have the best of intentions, but at some point, we don't see the returns we yearned for and start to question what all this self-sacrificial giving is for. That is when burnout really sets in. I've had friends burn out while working for hostile or indifferent managers, startups that are trending the wrong direction, companies that engage in illegal or unethical behavior, etc. A second insight was that burnout can play a positive role in our lives. It's like a circuit breaker that trips to protect us from a damaging situation. When we feel burnout coming on, it's a warning to pay attention to an important misalignment in our lives.
Thoughts of work invaded my life until I learned how to unplug
I struggle with this daily. As the founder of a startup, I would routinely pull 100 hour weeks. I remember being invited to a Halloween party and just showed up as "exhausted software person" because I had no time to prepare a costume. I took a break for 8 years from startups, because I was unable to create boundaries in my mind. This April, after what I thought was a long enough break, I just joined another one. I'm writing this right now because I woke up early in a panic attack about an announcement from one of our competitors. We have a big launch coming up this week, and I'm afraid that we're already too late. I feel my stomach clench and my mind race when I think about the next steps for the company. The problem is that I'm only 4 months into the startup and I've already alienated my partner enough that I have to move out. My whole life has become devoured by this puzzle, and I'm always checking Twitter and Discord to see what I can work on next. I can't slow my heart-rate down and just work at this job normally. If any of you have a good way of "turning off" in order to keep your family stable and mental health okay, please let me know. And I'm not looking for a run of the mill response -- I really would like some advice from people who have really dealt with this before. It's easy to give advice if you have good boundaries, but I would like some help from those who have really struggled. I love my work, but I don't like how it makes me feel. Thanks for your help, everyone.
OnlyFans to block sexually explicit videos starting in October
Does anyone else here feel the Onlyfans phenomenon is just exploiting sad lonely men who’d be better off leaving the house, doing some exercise and trying to eat healthier and build their IRL social networks? This whole cam-girls making a fortune this way seems somehow more dishonest than normal porn to me, maybe because it’s about these guys (who can never have relationships with these women) building a personal and intimate relationship as one of her “fans”. I almost see this as being like gambling where people need to acknowledge maybe how powerful sex is and being a technology that should be regulated similarly. I wonder if nobody calls out this exploitation because society keeps suggesting that all men are privileged, which is definitely not true for at least 60% of the male population. Anyway I’ll probably get downvoted for this but these double standards have been irritating me for a while :-)
I treat homeless people like absolute shit.
I have a pet theory I've been nursing that says that our current homeless problems started with the release of the movie 'One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest' . That movie was a big hit, won many awards, and planted the seed of distrust in the existing mental health system of the time. The movie showed the results of involuntary incareration in a negative light. The public reacted, agreed that it was a bad thing, as so we got rid of the mental hospitals. ... fast forward 50 years and here we are today- same problem- what to do with someone who is not functional in society? Let them live on the street or put them in a institution.... no good choices.
Show HN: Should I Get a House? a better rent vs. buy calculator
I quite agree with this. People - often people with choices and means (money) - spend a lot of time agonizing over optimal monetary outcomes, except: You're going to die. The experiences you accumulate are what makes a life, as one moves through time in a one-way fashion. No one gives a shit if you die old and efficent, unless that's the thing that made you sleep soundly at night. I've rented and I've owned. They both have pros and cons. Now, as I get old, I like the idea of owning something where I can do whatever the hell I want, and moreoever, I can live away from humans who have parties, make noise or compete for space. Like you'd find in a rental building. I'd like to be able to build my own gym in a garage instead of timing my trips to a gym based on how crowded it is, and I'd like to buy a couch I'll use for many years to come instead of something that has to move around. A cost-effective life is only a happy life if cost-effectiveness in and of itself makes you happy.
A shift in American family values is fueling estrangement
When I was around twenty my Mom used to call me every other day or so just to have a chat. One day, after she asked me how my day was, I shot back something along the lines of: "I don't have anything to tell you, really. You're calling so often that nothing new manages to happen in between the calls." So, she stopped calling. I would go home every other week as usual and everything seemed fine. It was only much later that I found out that she basically cried for three days straight after that call. Some time later there was a period when I would contact my parents every few months or so. Not really on purpose. Simply because other things simply took more of my time and attention, and calling my parents wasn't really high on my list of priorities. Only when my son was born I started to realize what someone goes through as an individual and as a couple once a child comes into their lives. How it changes things. That not being thrown out of the window at 2 a.m. as an infant is already a blessing. I'm sure that thought has crossed the mind of many a young parent with a screeching infant on their hands in the middle of night. So, I felt ashamed of myself, and grateful to my parents for being there in the first place, and being decent at being parents as well. Now I've made a point to myself to call them up at least once a week. As in, I have set up a reminder for that. I now know how much they value this. But it's not only for them. I realize very well that one day I will wake up and wish to call my parents to have a chat about something. But there simply won't be anyone to call anymore. I'm not passing any judgement at all on people who have abusive parents. I have no idea how that feels like. I'm just happy that I didn't end up accidentally getting estranged to the decent parents that I have. At some point it really was going that way.
Goodbye, Fleets
"We’ll explore more ways to address what holds people back from participating on Twitter." Perhaps I can help. Twitter is always angry. You'll find the most idiotic, extreme, harmful statements from both sides of the political spectrum. Worse, Twitter actively rewards it. The more unhinged and controversial, the more engagement you get. The replies will be equally angry. Any attempt to add nuance or reason is futile. Because the damage is already done in the form of retweets, likes, quotes. Hence, the unreasonables run Twitter. And they have normalized a lot of absolutely pathetic behavior. Taking things out of context and applying the worst faith interpretation of it, willingly. Sub-tweeting, screenshotting, exposing private conversations, speaking badly of others within their bubble, and sometimes this triggering further attacks or even cancellations. This culture of perpetual outrage, hate-addiction even, and the many childish behaviors that come with it, are born at Twitter. After a Twitter session, one feels miserable and depressed. There is nothing delightful, nothing new you learned, no new friend you met. It's horror. Like the news, but then 10 times worse. Wait, sometimes there's non-hateful tweets too. 99% of them are self-congratulatory or stupid. Something like: "My 3 year old just commented that an intersectional approach in politics is most effective". Attention starved, completely made up. Yet for sure it will get thousands of likes. Both hate and idiocracy are richly rewarded. To stay in line with the ever narrowing Twitter culture, one has to use it at least 6 hours per day. Otherwise, you might miss that word you used your entire life suddenly being problematic. Could even be a particular emoij. Anything triggers outrage. Anything at all. It seems the entire point of Twitter: maximizing outrage perpetually. It's a Twitter thing and a Twitter thing only. I've never experienced it with such intensity anywhere else, and I'm merely lurking. The reason I hate it so much is that it goes beyond just a website sucking, its effects are cultural.
Building a vision of life without work (2015)
I was 2nd employee at a unicorn startup and have been on a work-hiatus for almost a year. Now, I live amongst Amish people in the country. My biggest insight has been a mindset change. Previously my underlying approach to life looked like: "I will do X which will enable me to do Y so that I can finally do Z." I now approach my days with "What will make me happy?" This is an experiment I'm performing. A structured life feels safe and orderly - but what if living life and letting things unfold more 'organically' is better? It is a weird/uncomfortable shift because I can't predict what is coming. As an example, turns out I really enjoy building dams. A couple months ago I would not have been able to tell you that I'd be building a dam. I have no idea what it is that drives my own interests or affinities, but now instead of attempting to manipulate them for whatever X, Y, or Z goal... I just roll with wherever they take me. And they always seem ready to take me somewhere. My point is: In a life without work (in my experience) stuff will come up. Follow what arises, see where it goes. It certainly feels better.
Some Days I Can’t Do Life – When everyday life becomes a struggle (2020)
I have caught myself riding the snooze - alarm clock pattern. Its my favourite part of the day, the 'waking up in warm bed' time. When I am just barely conscious and its feels good to be in warm bed - it feel blissful. When I wake up in the morning I will hit 10min snooze, just enough to fall asleep and wake up. Just to get more of that feeling - because I know thats the only time I will get it. I am doing it for an hour on weekdays and often for hours on the weekends. I just can't force myself out of bed, out of that state where it doesn't feel bad. I talked to people who are going through the same. Some skip work to stay in bed because they cant do it anymore. I did it few times too, and I am terrified I might slip into that state of apathy. That fear is the only thing that keeps me going, I can only hope this fear will stay. I dont have any wisdom or advice for anyone going through this, I just wanted to vent my thoughts and say that you are not alone in this, stay strong.
On working too hard: finding balance, and lessons learned from others
A friend of mine who fell for the "work hard forever" idea just wrote a lengthy post venting about what this did to her: when you spend all your free time working/studying, and constantly turn down invitations to go do stuff with friends, people stop inviting you to things. And you drift out of friend groups because of this. Your social skills atrophy, you have no idea how to try and make new friends on the rare occasions you pry yourself away from work. Work becomes your life. And even if your work is something you love to do, that never involves a toxic workplace or moral qualms or any other problems, there's still emotional needs work will never, ever fulfill.
The most precious resource is agency
Amen. I’m a sober alcoholic, and if I died tomorrow I’d be content knowing that I did at least one worthwhile thing with the time I had: I helped another alcoholic, a 23 year old man who tried to kill himself shortly before I met him, get sober and start working and move out of his mom’s basement and stand up straight and look other people in the eyes and then go and help a few other people stop drinking. Not a single professional accomplishment is within an order of magnitude of that level of fulfillment. Just help one f*cking person become more than they thought they could be and you’ll die happy—why didn’t they tell us it was this simple?
Ask HN: How to cope with the death of a dear person?
I just lost my 17 year old kid brother this year. He was the passenger in a car that got hit by a charter bus. He died on impact. I never got to say goodbye. I’ve lost grandparents and friends before, but I have never felt pain this intense before. This is also the most alone I have ever felt. Even surrounded by my huge family I felt alone in my pain. I consider myself extremely lucky, I have an incredible wife and loving families from both of us, and yet the grief has left me feeling isolated. One thing I have thought about a lot is an analogy someone shared with me. They said that when we lose a loved one, we are given a box. In that box, is a ball and a button. Every time that ball touches the button, we feel pain. When the loss happens, the ball fills the box and is constantly pressing the button. The pain seems inescapable. Over time, the ball gets slightly smaller. It still will press on the button, but maybe not as often. The pain doesn’t change and it is always there waiting to be triggered, but as time goes on it may happen less. We carry that box for the rest of our lives I guess. I still don’t know if there will ever be a day I don’t miss my amazing brother so much it hurts. I guess I don’t really have much advice for how to deal with the pain. But it has been helpful for me to read your and other's posts on here. Thank you.
It's quiet now.
My husband died. He died in front of me, while I screamed and sobbed and begged him not to. His ex wife came. She collected the kids and took them home. The lawyer told me that there's nothing I can do. I have no rights. Now everything is quiet. I can't afford our apartment alone. Everything is boxed up. I have to sell the childrens' beds. I lost my love, my children, and my home, on an average Tuesday afternoon. I know things can get difficult. I know it can be stressful. But try not to waste time on resentment or anger. I would give anything to bring him back, to have my family again.
Mt. Gox demise as told by a Bitcoin insider
I originally started my HN account to ask what I should do when my cofounder screwed me out of $12.8 million I was owed as the result of the sale of our company that he forced me out of and sold without telling me. My username came from that era of my life. I cannot even begin to describe how different my life would be had my cofounder not done this. It is unlikely that I will ever again create something that valuable, and accordingly I have a profound sense of loss over it. So speaking from personal experience...while your anger is completely justified, you have to let it go, or it will destroy you. It’s just one of those things - a random, traumatic event that instantly and irrevocably changes the trajectory of your life, that you can do nothing about. These are jarring reminders that the world is a cold and unfair place, that the universe is not in fact looking out for us, and that people are not “mostly good” as many of us were raised to believe. But holding grudges, even against people that have inflicted unimaginable trauma on you, only hurts you.
Can you treat loneliness by creating an imaginary friend?
You people are my imaginary friends, and it does help with loneliness. It's not that you are imaginary, but it's imaginary that we are friends. We don't know each others' history or identity let alone care for each other as friends. But I can speak as if we are friends, and unlike a Wilson, sometimes get a friendly response. Maybe you're a crutch that makes it easier to not go get real friends. But this crutch also sometimes makes it easier to get through the long night. Thanks.
Moral Competence | Evan Conrad
What is most interesting to me is that the business model he rejected[1] is not just the one of his app, but essentially the one used by almost all therapists. [1] [][1]: "Unfortunately, in order for the business to work and for us to pay ourselves, we needed folks to be subscribed for a fair amount of time. But that wasn't the case and we honestly should have predicted it given my own experience: as people did better, they unsubscribed. Unfortunately, the opposite was true as well, if folks weren't doing better, but were giving it a good shot, they would stay subscribed longer. So in order to continue Quirk, a future Quirk would need to make people feel worse for longer, or otherwise not help the people we signed up to help. If the incentives of the business weren't aligned with the people, it would have been naive to assume that we could easily fix it as the organization grew. We didn't want to go down that path, so we pivoted the company." [1]
I hypothesize that the real problem with many of Bronnie Ware's patients wasn't that they worked too hard—the problem is that they worked too hard on things that, at the end of the day, weren't as important to them as they thought. Notice that the #1 regret was "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me." Perhaps the regret of working too hard was really just a symptom of this deeper regret.
We’re Optimizing Ourselves to Death – Zander Nethercutt
Amen to that. One life, live it well. To me that doesn't mean 80 hour weeks, 40 years of working and dropping dead of exhaustion the day I retire. I'm alright for that, thanks. Would rather be slightly poorer financially (some might say "less optimised") and richer for time. Time I can spend with my kids, looking at the sea, making music, reading. I'm ok for optimisation. If there's anything covid should teach us, it's that optimisation to the max leaves us collectively and individually extremely fragile. We all need time and space and quiet and contingency, not "optimisation" and "growth", not all the time, anyway.
How I Spend My Attention - my third brain
Biggest quality of life benefit I've given myself in the past two months: Turn off the news. If something is actually important, you'll hear about it anyway. And if you don't hear about it, it wasn't actually as important as the reporters made it out to be. Plus in all likelihood the events being reported on are thousands of miles away from you and have zero impact on your daily life. Obviously this pairs well with cutting out all the nonsense on your social media feeds.
Creative Dysphoria | My Kind of Beauty
There’s this feeling that can creep in, where you feel like you’re at one end of a spectrum and everything you see is at the other and you have no idea how, or even if, you can get from here to there. And I’m not just talking about technical skill, but a cohesive style and creativity. When trying to think of a good way to describe it, the phrase “creative dysphoria” came to mind, which I think is apt. I think anyone who’s been creative knows the toxic feedback loop of seeing people so much better than you it’s hard to imagine. You’ll see people say “This makes me want to give up.” and some people do. It’s really important to give yourself a break and know that there’s no stopping point. Much like infinite stretching off into the distance, there is no end, and barely any beginning. Only middle.
Empathy and perspective taking: How social skills are built | Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Empathy is not automatic for everyone. My emotions are so unreliable and unpredictable that they are useless for understanding other people. All of my social skills are based on logical analysis and a lot of trial and error. I enter every conversation with a goal of what I wish to communicate and how I want the other person to feel. I then attempt to do the proper things to make that happen. Society tells us that this way of handling interpersonal interaction is manipulative and evil. For many people, this is the only way we can function in a society that doesn’t think the way we do.
Victims of school bullying are at a higher risk of developing violent behavior
As a victim of bullying in my childhood, I can attest to this. When I hear people say that they cannot fathom how a person could walk into a restaurant and kill everybody, I don't tell them, but I do know what kind of anger you need to develop to be able to do such thing. That could have been me, but fortunately, it wasn't. I'm grateful I was able to overcome that.
The Need for Touch
My running theory is that western society is built around depriving men of certain emotions that say "you are good enough as you are and should be appreciated just as you are"; be that touch, sex (how many times have I heard this cultural fetish that men should transmute their sexual energy to something "better") . Like cutting branches from a young tree so that it grows taller or straight -- to serve an ulterior purpose. The ulterior purpose for cutting emotional branches of men is to increase productivity and yield from men, increase obedience to authority figures for fighting wars and so on.
The great unravelling: 'I never thought I’d live to see the horror of planetary collapse'
Grief is not something to be pushed away; it is a function of the depth of the attachment we feel for something, be it a loved one or the planet. If we don’t allow ourselves to grieve, we stop ourselves from emotionally processing the reality of our loss. It prevents us from having to face the need to adapt to a new, unwelcome reality. Unfortunately, we live in a culture where we actively avoid talking about hard realities; darker parts of our psyche are considered dysfunctional or intolerable. But trying to be relentlessly cheerful or stoic in the face of serious loss just buries more authentic emotions that must eventually come up for air.
The great unravelling: 'I never thought I’d live to see the horror of planetary collapse'
As many trauma survivors will tell you, it’s often the lack of an adequate response in the aftermath of a traumatic event, rather than the experience itself, that causes the most psychological damage. And if there is no acknowledgment of the damage that has been done, no moral consequences for those responsible, it’s as if the trauma never happened.
Ask HN: What are good life skills for people to learn?
> But these days it easier than ever to waste an entire day or two watching Netflix and staring at your phone. It is also worth looking at all these distractions (which turn to addictions sometimes - addictions playing the same role) as means to avoiding emotions which arise when we look at real problems and start to solve them. Somehow our emotions pull us back into this lake of low level, auto-pilot functioning where status quo is maintained and nothing new happens. Emotions trick us here.
Work on what matters | StaffEng
For a while you can try sleeping less or depriving yourself of the non-work activities you need to feel whole, but you’ll inevitably find that your work maintains a aloof indifference to your sacrifice rather than rewarding it.
Ask HN: What is it like to be old? What advice would you give to younger people?
Physically, my best advice is to take good care of your back and your teeth. These 2 things can make a huge quality of life difference once you are past 40. I would also add your eyes, but there is not a lot you can do about that one! Almost everyone needs reading glasses by 40. Glasses suck, but you get used to it. Psychologically, the best I can say is to forgive yourself for any stupid things you did when you were young. Try to be as kind to yourself as you would be to others. I think of this as the "inverse golden rule." Really important as you get older, because regrets and self-doubt pile up otherwise.
Reddit gets its app to 50m Play Store downloads
I've been using Reddit since 2009 (after the Digg exodus for ironically - a bad redesign.), and the biggest change I've noticed (aside from the terrible single page app they switched over to) is how massively popular schadenfreude content is now. Subreddits like "Justice Served" and "Public Freakout", "Malicious Compliance" "Entitled Parents", the list goes on and on. It's all "This person/people/group did something bad and now are getting their comeuppance." and the site has become like a nerdy version of World Star Hip Hop. You really can't browse the regular Reddit front page without encountering a lot of content that is designed to upset you. I've started to actually hate using Reddit. Niche subreddits are still useful in limited ways, but it's a shame to see things go this way. Reddit had a good run.
Google’s search monopoly complicates a mental health crisis
Also VC backed online therapy providers are mentioned. Are these sustainable businesses (no one knows) and, crucially, if they fail will they do so before they wipe out independent therapists having used their purchasing power to raise ad prices beyond reach? In the 90s part of the promise of the web was that it would disintermediate service provision, these economics would seem to act against that possibility. With large aggregator middle men best positioned to profit with large scale small margin offerings.
How to Land Your Kid in Therapy - The Atlantic
“We’re confusing our own needs with our kids’ needs and calling it good parenting,” Blume said, letting out a sigh. I asked him why he sighed. (This is what happens when two therapists have a conversation.) “It’s sad to watch,” he explained. “I can’t tell you how often I have to say to parents that they’re putting too much emphasis on their kids’ feelings because of their own issues. If a therapist is telling you to pay less attention to your kid’s feelings, you know something has gotten way of out of whack.”
How to Land Your Kid in Therapy - The Atlantic
“It’s like the way our body’s immune system develops,” he explained. “You have to be exposed to pathogens, or your body won’t know how to respond to an attack. Kids also need exposure to discomfort, failure, and struggle. I know parents who call up the school to complain if their kid doesn’t get to be in the school play or make the cut for the baseball team. I know of one kid who said that he didn’t like another kid in the carpool, so instead of having their child learn to tolerate the other kid, they offered to drive him to school themselves. By the time they’re teenagers, they have no experience with hardship. Civilization is about adapting to less-than-perfect situations, yet parents often have this instantaneous reaction to unpleasantness, which is ‘I can fix this.’”
How to Land Your Kid in Therapy - The Atlantic
Based on what he sees in his practice, Bohn believes many parents will do anything to avoid having their kids experience even mild discomfort, anxiety, or disappointment—“anything less than pleasant,” as he puts it—with the result that when, as adults, they experience the normal frustrations of life, they think something must be terribly wrong.
How to Land Your Kid in Therapy - The Atlantic
Modern social science backs her up on this. “Happiness as a byproduct of living your life is a great thing,” Barry Schwartz, a professor of social theory at Swarthmore College, told me. “But happiness as a goal is a recipe for disaster.” It’s precisely this goal, though, that many modern parents focus on obsessively—only to see it backfire. Observing this phenomenon, my colleagues and I began to wonder: Could it be that by protecting our kids from unhappiness as children, we’re depriving them of happiness as adults?
‘Success Addicts’ Choose Being Special over Being Happy
In so many aspects of life, I see people chasing after an analog for the thing that they actually want, either because they become confused along the way, or could never decide/admit/discover what it is they really wanted. If I'm famous people will love or accept me (if you're famous, you will never again know for sure who really loves or accepts you). If I have money I will finally feel safe. If I am the most intimidating person in the room, I'll never feel intimidated again, and nobody will ever know how helpless and small that makes me feel. If I have tons of kids, someone will still remember me fondly when I'm old. These all end up fixing the wrong problem.
‘Success Addicts’ Choose Being Special over Being Happy
I think this is why lots of people are unhappy nowadays. Think about life in a small community. It’s easy to be the guy who is special because he’s the best at baking, or juggling, or playing an instrument, or telling stories. Whatever it is. Wanting to be especially good at something and recognised for it seems like a pretty basic human need to me. How is anyone going to feel special now when everyone’s seen a hundred YouTube videos of people doing your special thing infinitely better than you ever will? No wonder people get addicted to ‘fake specialness’ at work. Relationships can also make people feel special. But the nagging feeling that you’re not REALLY special may remain...
Appearances vs Experiences: What Really Makes Us Happy
Drawing on the work of psychologist Daniel Gilbert, Montgomery explains that it’s a matter of us thinking we’ll get used to commuting (an experience) and won’t get used to the nicer living environment (a thing.) The opposite is true. While a bigger garden and spare bedroom soon cease to be novel, every day’s commute is a little bit different, meaning we can never get quite used to it. There is a direct linear downwards relationship between commute time and life satisfaction, but there’s no linear upwards correlation between house size and life satisfaction. As Montgomery says, “The problem is, we consistently make decisions that suggest we are not so good at distinguishing between ephemeral and lasting pleasures. We keep getting it wrong.”
The futility of “I told you so ” in software engineering teams
The real trick is that caring about anything in the modern corporate workplace is a mistake. Unless you hold equity and board position in the company, then you are completely replaceable at any time for any reason. The only thing you should be doing is ensuring that the chain of decision making is documented so blame flows upwards. And exercise some discretion in ensuring you get away from managers with a track history of poor decision making. Workers don't own the company, and they have almost no power (nor the time to engage in the politicking which would give it) within the decision making structure there. Look after yourself first, and plan to leave when people who do think they have an ownership start making bad decisions.
It’s time to hear what adolescents think of mindfulness in schools
I've seen it suggested in other articles here before that mindfulness programs for employees are often a way for employers to try and get their staff to be more accepting of crappy conditions, or unpleasant, meaningless or unethical work. It sounds to me like the same kind of thing might also apply in schools. I'm sure the school teachers and administrators mean well. I'm sure they don't consciously realise what a nightmare their institutions have become for many of the students in their care. Even if they do realise, they didn't choose for it to be that way. The sad fact is that modern life has become a horrible nightmare for many people, grownups and kids alike. Mindfulness has become a popular attempt to paper over the problems, but in truth, many people who are having coping problems coping or exhibiting "mental illness" are just having understandable reactions to the dysfunction they're sensing in the world. To be clear: I'm in no way averse to emotional wellbeing techniques that are effective and that increase the agency of participants. I've gone very deep on this kind of work in my own life, and have benefited greatly. But I think the outcomes, and indeed the intentions, of mainstream mindfulness programs are quite different to this, and are sadly far more focused on maintaining the status quo for institutions and modern mainstream society.
Surviving Depression
It took me a long time after taking that leap of faith into therapy to learn that the most valuable part of psychotherapy is not information or advice but it is the therapist-client relationship itself. You need to internalize their advice and techniques (as OP managed to do on their own), and therapy is about creating a facilitative environment to alter that conception of self. In therapy, you are unconditionally accepted with positive regard, which facilitates viewing yourself more clearly without the need to lean on self-defeating coping mechanisms, like self-pity or shifting blame. As social creatures we instinctively perform a lot of mirroring of others' mental state, so simply by being accepted we are able to try on what it is like to accept ourselves. It's leveraging an additional set of tools baked into us at a deep level to build self awareness and a more positive, realistic self model. If you're struggling, I'd like to echo others and strongly recommend you reach out to a psychiatrist and psychologist if they are within reach for you. Take OP as an example that it is possible to change, but please explore all the resources available to you so that you can explore what works for you. That being said, thank you to Vishnu for sharing some of your struggles and how you've managed to find ways to improve. It really helps to be talking publicly about these issues.