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What is Big Quit Energy?
As of May 2022, anyway
As a good number of you have recently joined this adventure (Welcome! And thank you to The Drip for the recommendation!) this is a good time for me to finally, over a year in, write an actual description of what we’re going for here.
“What do you mean Big Quit Energy?”
At their core, the writing and projects on here are about helping us develop “Big Quit Energy”—a term I’ve coined for the mindset under which one feels freed from any shame or status linked to productivity or “career achievement.” These “work-humper” attitudes are not only thin and unsubstantial to a good life, they’re also what keep many of us workaholic without the need for a boss breathing down our necks.
Having Big Quit Energy means holding the knowledge that it’s OK to take some slack and set some boundaries. Holding it so deep in your being, in fact, that you take this self-care unapologetically and defiantly despite immense pressure from our work-centered society.
While goofing on bosses is fun, and BQE has its fair share of that, the biggest focus here will be on identifying and debunking the internal stories many of us (our bosses included) make ourselves prisoners to. I think of it as firing the boss within, and I find it a worthy goal because life is best when we can shamelessly fill it with leisure.
“Why are you doing this?”
In all honestly, mostly for self-help. I’m very beholden to these work-humper stories. I still have a job at which I must act the part of the go-getter. While I’ve always been deeply upset by the idea of a “job” being our society’s central institution, discarding perfectly wonderful beings because they “don’t produce value” as defined by a boss or a manager, I’m still very much scared to fully rebel against this arrangement. To set boundaries, or to walk away completely and derive my sense of self completely separately from a career.
Case in point: I make this stuff under a pseudonym, cause I don’t yet feel like being found out, fired, and blacklisted as unemployable. I’ll even admit that I have annoying “achievement brain” when it comes to this project. As much as I just do this because it’s helping me personally, I’m still always tempted to see if what I’ve just published has “done well,” gotten likes, all that stuff.
I’m trying to wean myself off that mindset, because I’ve had it long enough to know that it saps the fun out of all activities. Maybe you feel the same way, and we can build our Big Quit Energy together.
“How are we building our Big Quit Energy, exactly?”
I’m still working out, through trial and error, how BQE can be most helpful. For now, all the content in mind that you’ll see here falls in one of the following areas:
Visions for better work messages, attitudes, and societal arrangements
This includes reframing and debunking our current outdated and harmful assumptions. More important than my own musings, I’ll share and comment on more seasoned and brilliant and thinkers in this space. For example, I’m currently digging into work that ranges from an analysis of how the notion of “love” is used to exploit workers, to a take-down of the concept of “laziness,” to a more straightforward psychological analysis of workaholism.
I haven’t settled on my own vision or solution. Maybe it’ll means doing away with the institution of jobs altogether (I’d love that) or, as some people propose, “abolishing work” (I’m currently less into that, a distinction I make here—but I’m keeping an open mind). Maybe it simply means more horizontal, democratic workplaces, such as worker co-ops—something else I’m learning about at the moment.
Studying and neutralizing the worst examples of work-humping in popular media
I’m a big believer in media literacy generally, as the subtle messages we can recognize become less effective in manipulating us. Some of my favorite movies and shows, sadly, perpetuate some of the unhealthiest work attitudes. I’ve already begun to look back at some works that were foundational in life and resurfacing how messed up they were. I’ll be doing more of this soon.
Stories, video, and art to help us tap into Big Quit Energy when we need it
Knowing intellectually is not enough. We all need little reminders (in the form of videos, illustrations, poems, etc.) to give us courage as we set boundaries, take time for being instead of achieving, or catch ourselves once again chasing the fool’s gold of career status in other people’s eyes.
“How often will I hear from you?”
There’s no set schedule because I only want to clog your inbox when I for real have something to say, but in practice I post on here every one or two weeks. If I ever notice that I’m posting more than once a week, I’ll start consolidating it all into a weekly roundup, to minimize spam.
Thank you for your interest in Big Quit Energy—I’m glad we’ve found each other in this vast internet ocean. If you have any ideas for collaboration, comments, insults, whatever, you can comment here, write to me at LVago@bigquitenergy.com, or find me on Insta, Twitter, and Youtube.
See you around!