There's a strange push to evaluate the worth of everything you read, do and learn. If it doesn't contribute to your career or living to 110, then its value is questionable.
Experience for experience's sake is fading away. I think this is most prevalent in my neck of the woods, the Home Counties around London. Many people I meet assume I commute every day and work in the city, maybe tech or finance. They assume when I'm not doing that, I'm working on getting to the next rung of the ladder by working at home.
To be honest, I have always used my 'spare', non-working time to learn and grow, but I've often chosen what to focus on by its impact on my career.
Recently, I've begun exploring not wanting this rat-race career. Living on less money, and being more of a polymath – enjoying learning a wide range of skills from mending clothes to growing herbs (no garden for vegetables – yet!).
When I think of my job I think of jail. A restriction of freedom. I do enjoy it – and our small team are mostly kind people – but it leaves little mental room for much else. What is the purpose of life if you don't live it? Surely exploring the country, talking to different people, creating art in whatever form and learning about people who have come before us are valuable parts of the human experience?
Reading 'Early Retirement Extreme' by Jacob Fisk has brought this perspective on, if I'm honest. Or at least clarified some underlying feelings that specialising and dedicating most of your life to one (almost always pointless) area of one industry might not bring happiness and security.
But most of all, it is the pressure to be extraordinary. Living a normal life is no longer acceptable to society. You have to do something remarkable. If everyone can start a tech company and be a millionaire within 6 months, aren't you a lazy fuck if you don't do that? I think this is a lie. I think you are no less of a person for not reaching for the stars. If you're happy, you've won.