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How to avoid ‘boreout’: engage with actual creative people doing actually creative things

Dear F and L

Wow. Thank you both so, so much for the conversations this week. I really appreciate it. I had forgotten how nice it is to sit and talk, at length, without interruption, in English, to highly creative and talented people who know and value me and my work. These are a lot of buttons that got pressed in a beautiful moment, in which, I think, I remembered something.

Namely: a composed feeling.

A feeling of comfort. Of safety. Of connexion.


In short, harmony.


 

 

 


To go where we go isn’t to ‘discover,’ for me, now. I think that chapter of S P A C E is finally finished. After wandering the world popping into 27 countries and staying in some for six years at a time, gosh, that’s crazy, and finding out the things, I realize that the time to ‘keep looking for things’ has necessarily come to a punctuation mark that looks more like

.

Than

;

 

Or

So yeah! I’m done traveling, lads! Not just because I can’t ’cause of the pandemic and stuff. I’m just… I’m done! I forgot to tell you. I got on another call this week, too. Which was far less exciting, but probably only because the value of seeking (philosophers appreciate this, and so do CEOs who care about what I find out when I go on these jaunts to agendalessly and free-formedly look, listen, and discover). Many people, too, have shown support for this effort by taking me up on one or another offer posted at our ever-changing #spacethezine crowdfunding campaign. Why? Because I do what I say I will. And* I don’t quit in the middle. Which is why I am very, very choosy about what I say ‘yes’ to. ‘No’ is more important to learn how to say, I feel, because more ‘no’ responses to non-interesting propositions leads to more focus and awareness of what to say ‘yes’ to. For me, I always say ‘yes’ to S P A C E. I’ve always wanted to have a magazine of my own since I was 12.



I was telling V. about it, how I wanted a staff and an office in like London or something. I have a virtual zine now, and I print what I want when I want on photocopiers. Why? It’s so simple. And the digital archives are good enough. Fine. No need for an office in London or a staff. I can do this. Because… I just can. DK is DK and does what it does and how it does it. Why make S P A C E? Mostly, because I feel like it. I go where I go because it feels rightest. Enter The Book of Five Rings. Exit The Book of Five Rings. HT SHR. And now, I’ve just returned from both an overnight trip as well as something else. A clarification journey. This week has been the week of going through the notes that I have written by hand, here in Vietnam, this last year and some months that got tacked onto that ‘calendar year’ thing that is always such a big deal for those of us who like to ‘reflect.’ I mean, gosh. I have all these giant lists of things that I have designed for, and optimized for, in my life-to-date. Well, I’m pretty intentional about what I do, and what I don’t do, and that’s what makes me me, aka, ‘DK,’ ‘Design Kompany.’ That is nice that that name is still working out for us, isn’t it AM? Lucky that.

Thanks to the new learnings from Vietnam and my collaborations here with a few (and my dead-ended collaborations [deleted]…together.) Ergo. The new thing. Harmony. Soon. Or when I finish it. I’ll tell you. I made a new mailing list, by the way. Link at the end. I’m not going to spam you guys now, sorry about all that.


 


Staying still now. It’s a good time to go through the digital archives. And put together writings that spell out useful bits and pieces that are original, and based on my own personal reporting from 20 years in the field and 4 in journalism. Doing this now. The goal is to package information in ways that are useful to the people who are curious about how to do things in new ways, try things without being too scared of outcomes, and get past the inevitable hurdles when you fail. After numerous attempts to ‘give it a go’ here in Vietnam to make projects happen (giving up, eventually, because it’s tooooo hard), I am doing something different now with DK and our weekly e-mag. Now, when people ask me, ‘Why do you make S P A C E?’ I will say: because of ‘boreout’.


Let’s talk about it. This is what Wikipedia says about ‘Boreout’… Source: Wikipedia page on Boreout.

‘Boredom boreout syndrome is a psychological disorder that causes physical illness, mainly caused by mental underload at the workplace due to lack of either adequate quantitative or qualitative workload. One reason for bore-out could be that the initial job description does not match the actual work.[1]  This theory was first expounded in 2007 in Diagnose Boreout, a book by two Swiss business consultants.[2]

‘Symptoms of the bore-out syndrome are described by the Frankfurt psychotherapist Wolfgang Merkle as similar to the burnout syndrome. These include depression, drive and insomnia, but also tinnitus, susceptibility to infection, stomach upset, headache and dizziness.[1][3][4] The consequences of boreout for employees are numerous both psychologically and physically and more or less serious. On the psychological level, boredom, dissatisfaction, and permanent frustration gradually lead the victim of a boreout into a vicious circle. They gradually lose the will to act at the professional level and at the personal level. To the loss of self-esteem is added the constant anxiety of being discovered. The boreout victim lives with the constant fear that their supervisor, colleagues, or friends will discover their inactivity and duplicity. The confrontation with and enduring the unsatisfactory situation leads to further stress that paralyzes and strains.[5]


‘Being constantly confronted with the emptiness of their professional life and their uselessness in society, the employee is in great pain.


‘The suffering all the more accentuated because it cannot be shared and if it is, is not understood… This can lead to serious mental disorders such as personality destruction or even depression or suicide. Boreout is also a trigger for physical diseases such as certain types of epilepsy caused by stress or exhaustion, severe sleep disorders, hand and voice tremors, shingles, and ulcers. On the physical side, according to the British “Bored to death” study, employees who are bored at work are two to three times more likely to be victims of cardiovascular events than those whose employment is stimulating. The permanent anxiety in which the employee lives exhausts him physically. Fatigue is constant despite physical inactivity. Boreout can lead to eating disorders such as untimely nibbling or loss of appetite. Some people may use alcohol or drugs to overcome their discomfort and thus develop a harmful addiction.



‘In 2018, the internation company Interparfums was ordered to pay the sum of 50,000 euros to Frederic DESNARD (France) to the labor court for “no dismissal” resulting from “the existence of moral harassment” with a “practice of sidelining”.

‘According to Peter Werder and Philippe Rothlin,[7] the absence of meaningful tasks, rather than the presence of stress, is many workers’ chief problem. Boreout consists of three elements: boredom, lack of challenge, and lack of interest. These authors disagree with the common perceptions that a demotivated employee is lazy; instead, they claim that the employee has lost interest in work tasks. Those suffering from boreout are “dissatisfied with their professional situation” in that they are frustrated at being prevented, by institutional mechanisms or obstacles as opposed to by their own lack of aptitude, from fulfilling their potential (as by using their skills, knowledge, and abilities to contribute to their company’s development) and/or from receiving official recognition for their efforts.’

Source: Wikipedia page on Boreout.

 


 

How’s this for a ‘value proposition?’… Avoid burnout and boreout. Be a part of something that actually engages you, intellectually and creativelyWelcome to Design Kompany…. The new journeys begin… here.

 

 



*Unless it becomes ridiculous in the middle because of, say: toxic relationships, boring people and lack of creative vision, power struggles, intimidation, racism, misogyny, the usual gamut of dumb stuff that is the whole set of reasons why anyone leaves anything when they wake up to the fact that they can change stuff if they feel like it. ‘If you don’t like something, change it. You are not a tree.’ Who said that, I wonder. I always liked it.