Sam Radford

September 2, 2021

Sunday neurosis

I’m reading a book called Ikigai at the moment. It’s a delightful and insightful read, exploring the lessons we can learn from this Japanese ‘secret’ about living life with purpose.

One paragraph about ‘Sunday neurosis’ jumped out at me when I was reading last night:

Sunday neurosis, for example, is what happens when, without the obligations and commitments of the workweek, the individual realizes how empty he is inside. He has to find a solution. Above all, he has to find his purpose, his reason for getting out of bed – his ikigai.

It made me think how many of us in the West spend our lives protecting ourselves from this empty feeling inside. We don’t even get this Sunday neurosis as we rarely have a down day any more.

Perhaps one of the reasons we’ve gradually moved further and further away from a day of rest is to guard against this state of emptiness.

If we ever slow down, we’ll have to face up to life’s deeper questions and realities. Instead, we fill our lives with endless activities and entertainment, ensuring we keep surviving through life – but without ever thriving; without ever finding our ‘ikigai’.

–Sam

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