The Cycle of Hunger

Jake Kahana
Mar 1 · 3 min read
How can we foster a hunger for work?

Remember when you were an intern or at your first job? That first week, you’re so excited to go into work and meet lots of new people and you’re asking questions and being helpful.

“Is there anything else you need me to do today?” You were so hungry for work and to feel important and needed.

Over time, you stuff yourself day after day with a full plate of email and desk lunches and you satiate yourself with all the work you can do at once. And you go back for more on the weekends and late into the night. So much so that you’re just not hungry any more.

Are you taking more even though you’re full? Is your boss force-feeding you? Are you going back for seconds of work because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do?

It’s important that we know our limits. It’s important that we recognize when we overeat. Especially if it’s every day. It’s crucial to us wanting to ever eat again that we can step away and give ourselves time to get hungry again.

We can look at this in the short term and take breaks during our day. Take a little walk. Stand up for 2 minutes and stretch. Talk to a coworker. Nap. Exercise. We can look at it medium term during evenings and weekends. Spend the weekend away from a computer. Don’t check email for a whole Sunday. Take a class one night a week that you are committed to. And long term breaks away from our work altogether. Go on a vacation. Take a staycation but tell your team you’re “off the grid.”

Whatever it takes, find a way to not eat at the never-ending work buffet every single second. Because no matter how good that cake (or new client) looks, if you’re so full that you can barely remember what it was like to be hungry, you’ll regret it.

Sometimes we forget what it’s like to be hungry.

And when your boss makes you believe that even though you’re full, this giant piece of steak should be seen as a dessert and don’t worry because they’ll pick up the check, sometimes you just have to excuse yourself from the table and let it digest.

How are you making sure you stay hungry?

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Ideas and stories to improve your relationship to work

Jake Kahana

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Artist and teacher helping people thrive in a distracting world by leading them in unlearning. Cofounder of and US faculty at



Ideas and stories to improve your relationship to work