Squid Games, Productivity, and Positivity

Either a scene from Squid Game, where actor Lee Jung-jae is losing his mind, or me when I didn’t accomplish a goal on time.

Who did you think would win the Squid Game?! What was the most surprising part for you? But most importantly, why were you so emotionally invested?

Quick background, the Netflix show Squid Game is the biggest show they’ve ever had, which is a Korean language drama about desperate people voluntarily competing in a violent series of children’s games for a chance to win a life changing amount of money.

What does binge watching a brutal Netflix show have to do with productivity & positivity? At first glance, you’d be right to say it’s a time-suck and should be avoided if you’re trying to focus.

And yet, there are lessons to be learned here. First, the explanations why the show has gone viral:

  • People gamify their life
  • Personal debt leads to a sense of desperation
  • How much control do we truly have over our own life
  • Validate the social & economic disparity of the haves and have nots

But perhaps my favorite reason why Squid Game is so popular is since it’s Korean, “it makes it easier for viewers to psychologically distance themselves and enjoy the escapism.” In other words, if it was American, it could be, “too close to the bone, it would take away the escapist appeal.”

Think about that — we don’t want to face the reality that all the above explanations are true, and are a reflection of the society we live in and would rather not confront.

My TAKEAWAY is that we can’t fake positivity in the face of real inequality. Let’s acknowledge that life is brutal and unfair. Productivity does not guarantee success. Sometimes you’re on top and sometimes you’re on the bottom, but we’ll be here for each other.

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I write about the adventure of positivity & productivity. 🔅 Over 25k people read my newsletter. 🔅 Wake up before 6 AM & crush it. 🔅 www.theventureout.com

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Johnny T. Nguyen

Johnny T. Nguyen

I write about the adventure of positivity & productivity. 🔅 Over 25k people read my newsletter. 🔅 Wake up before 6 AM & crush it. 🔅 www.theventureout.com

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