Thursday, March 07, 2024

On the issue of languishing


I'm still on my journey of figuring out what life will be like for me post-50, so right now, I'm trying to understand the state of languishing that a lot of folks I know might be going through. I'm going to dedicate a few articles to this topic over the next few days, as it's useful as a reference as I hit the big 5-0.

Languishing is a state of low-grade mental weariness that counts indifference as one of its symptoms. The checklist of someone languishing is extensive and covers things like feeling that your job no longer matters in the grander scheme of things or losing the motivation to catch up with friends and family. 

The symptom that affects me the most is that more and more things seem irrelevant, superficial, and uninteresting. Last week, I mustered some time to spend $30 on one hour of vinyl record listening and found the experience a significant waste of my time. In fact, the album I picked, Adele's 21, sounded exactly like the one I listen to on Spotify, with some static sound in the background. 

So much about hipsters' claims that analogue music is superior to digital music. 

There are three aspects of well-being that can be used to fight languishing. 
  • Emotional well-being measures how happy and satisfied you are with life.
  • Social well-being measures how well-integrated you are into society, 
  • Psychological well-being measures how much you like about your own personality.
While languishing is very mild and does not require medication, if we do not have a system to cope with this, it can lead to delinquent behaviours and even suicide. It even increases inflammation and decreases antibody production. 

Finally, FIRE can both be a cause and a cure for languishing. 

If you retire just because you can live on your passive income cash flow, you might shut yourself away and stop growing from the day you complete the buildup of your fuck you money. The person being fucked is ultimately yourself. 

But if you are languishing because of a ho-hum job, financial independence can give you the power to reinvent your career or find your calling. 

In the following article, I will discuss some preventive measures that you can take to prevent languishing in life. 

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