I’m not sure I agree with the author’s conclusion here that we should always be setting some sort of goal or challenge to “work” on, but this is still worth a read as a reminder of how hard we must work to be satisfied with doing nothing:
The mind works in deceptive ways. In order to generate the momentum required to induce us to finish any task, this mind pretends that once the work is done, it will finally be content, it will accept reality as it is. It will cease its restless, persecutory questions, it won’t throw up random unease or guilty suppositions. It will be on our side.
But whether by intent or coincidence, our mind isn’t in any way well suited to honouring such promises. It turns out to be vehemently opposed to, and endangered by, states of calm and relaxation. It can manage them, at best, for a day or so. And then, with cold rigour, it will be on its way again with worries and questions. It will ask us once more to account for ourselves, to ask what the point of us is, to doubt whether we are worthy or decent, to question what right we have to be.