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Are you languishing or flourishing?’
In a New York Times article by writer Adam Grant that went viral in April, we all nodded our heads at the fact that, yes, indeed we are languishing right now in the messy middle of this long, drawn out global pandemic.
Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at Wharton and author of books such as Originals and Give and Take as well as host of the TedX podcast WorkLife, wrote in this article that we are all languishing, which he defines as the following:
“Languishing is the neglected middle child of mental health. It’s the void between depression and flourishing — the absence of well-being. You don’t have symptoms of mental illness, but you’re not the picture of mental health either. You’re not functioning at full capacity. Languishing dulls your motivation, disrupts your ability to focus, and triples the odds that you’ll cut back on work. It appears to be more common than major depression — and in some ways it may be a bigger risk factor for mental illness.”
Like most, I felt a big YES when I read this … that is how I am feeling. I am not used to languishing. In fact, 2020 was my best year ever for many personal and professional reasons.
But 2021 has been less than thrilling for many reasons. At times it has felt exhausting and depressing.
Grant wrote in his article: “Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.”
So I resonated with his belief that we are languishing.
Until I got to thinking more about my own research for an upcoming project and sat with the idea … and then it occured to me.
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