Oh, wow. Properly internalizing this on a deep level could be one of the most valuable mental shifts for me in a while.
> Advertisements and media often push the narrative that the purpose of all our toil is to win a chance at relaxation. We're supposed to work hard at boring jobs in order to earn our vacations. We're supposed to work hard for decades so that we can retire. (We're supposed to conceive of heaven as a place where nobody does anything except lounge on clouds.)
> I call bullshit. For almost everybody, inaction is boring. That's why we pick up books, go exploring, and take up hobbies. The ground state is an active state, not a passive one.
> The actual reward state is not one where you're lazing around doing nothing. It's one where you're keeping busy, where you're doing things that stimulate you, and where you're resting only a fraction of the time. The preferred ground state is not one where you have no activity to partake in, it's one where you're managing the streams of activity precisely, and moving through them at the right pace: not too fast, but also not too slow. For that would be boring.
> And yet, most people have this model of the world where whenever they're not resting, they're taking damage. When the homework isn't done, they're taking damage. When they're reading a textbook, they're taking damage. When they go to sleep with work unfinished, they're taking damage. When they're at a large social event, they're taking damage. Some part of them yearns to be in the rest state, where they don't need to do all these things, and insofar as they aren't, they're suffering a little.
> This is a grave error, in a world where the work is never finished, where the tasks are neverending.