Finding Meaning in Work and Life: Combining the Wisdom of a Successful Book Club and the Battle against Burnout and Boreout


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 24, 2023

3 min read


Finding Meaning in Work and Life: Combining the Wisdom of a Successful Book Club and the Battle against Burnout and Boreout


In today's fast-paced and demanding world, many individuals find themselves struggling to find meaning and purpose in their work and life. Two seemingly different phenomena, the success of a book club in Japan and the battle against burnout and boreout, actually share a common thread - the need for a sense of purpose. This article will explore the insights gained from these two sources and provide actionable advice on how to find meaning in our work and lives.

The Power of a Book Club:

In Japan, a particular book club has gained immense popularity and success by adhering to a single rule - the elimination of hierarchy. This book club holds over 200 meetings a year, providing a space for individuals to discuss and share their thoughts on a single book. By removing the barriers created by hierarchy, the book club fosters an environment where everyone's opinions are valued and respected. This approach highlights the importance of creating an inclusive and collaborative atmosphere in the pursuit of finding meaning and purpose.

Burnout and Boreout: A Shared Struggle:

Burnout and boreout may appear as opposite ends of the spectrum, but they both result in feelings of exhaustion, emptiness, and an inability to cope with the demands of work and life. Early symptoms such as demotivation, anxiety, and sadness can escalate into depression if left unaddressed. Both burnout and boreout indicate a lack of stimulation or misalignment in the way we engage with our work. This realization opens the door to finding solutions that can bring back a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Aligning Work with Goals and Values:

To combat burnout or boreout, it is crucial to assess the alignment between our work and our goals and values. Take a moment to reflect on why you initially chose to work at your current company or on your current project. Is your work still in line with your aspirations and values? If not, it may be time to consider changing projects or even exploring new job opportunities. Aligning our work with our personal goals and values can reignite our sense of purpose and motivation.

Brainstorming for Solutions:

Sometimes, finding solutions to a lack of meaning in our work can be challenging when we are solely relying on our own perspectives. Engaging in brainstorming sessions with trusted colleagues or friends can provide fresh insights and ideas for moving forward. By bouncing ideas off others, we can gain new perspectives and identify potential changes that can restore a sense of purpose. Collaborative problem-solving can be a powerful tool in the journey towards finding meaning in our work.

Experimenting with Small Changes:

When feeling burned out or bored out, it is essential not to rush into radical decisions. Instead, start by implementing small changes and observing their impact. Taking the step to speak with a counselor or mentor can provide valuable guidance and support during this process. Remember, finding purpose is not an instant revelation; it is a continuous journey of self-discovery. Embrace experimentation and be open to discovering new paths that can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.


Finding meaning and purpose in our work and lives is a universal quest. The success of a book club in Japan and the battle against burnout and boreout share valuable insights on how to navigate this journey. By fostering inclusivity, aligning our work with our goals and values, brainstorming for solutions, and experimenting with small changes, we can take significant steps towards finding meaning and purpose. Remember, building our purpose is an ongoing process that can ultimately bring fulfillment and satisfaction to every aspect of our lives.

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