I’ve been struck by the paradox that many of us feel busy—as busy as we’ve ever been—but technically humans are the least busy they’ve been in centuries.
What has actually changed is the number of choices available to us. In a previous life you might be born to a baker, and you’d be the baker’s apprentice, so you’d work 12 hours that day and go to bed. There was no need to aspire much further. In many ways life was far less complex. We now have so many options that every choice seems to ripple through your life and drastically change your fortunes and future opportunities.
We work less hours each day than any humans that have ever lived and yet we are obsessed with finding solace in tomorrow, and making choices today that might reflect a better future.
The knowledge that we have a near-infinite number of things we can do results in the idea that we must try all the things, or at least fill our days with as many of the most pleasurable and fulfilling things as possible. When the option exists to fill your day with more than just work, or at least more than just one type of work, time suddenly feels scarce.
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