Yifeng Wang

Jeremy Strong Has No Chill and I Have Less

Elizabeth Spiers in A Defense of Jeremy Strong (and All the Strivers With No Chill):

The real question, then, is what is worth striving for? There is a difference between pointlessly toiling away for a company and working hard because you enjoy it, or you care about what you do, or most crucially, you are trying to economically advance. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do better than your parents did. Making an effort — even an over-the-top effort like Mr. Strong’s — should not be embarrassing. We strivers understand this because we’ve never been able to achieve great successes without that effort.

It could be unfortunate that my most relatable TV characters are Kendall Roy, Amy Lau, and Danny Cho,1 but I think it at least is fortunate that the screen content is now diverse enough I can see myself from a third person’s view.

I think parts of my constant feeling of stress, anxiety, and burnout coming from I want to believe I’m a chill and cool person and that I’m probably not — I’m as a wannabe as one can be. Maybe I can be way happier if I have the courage to face my true self: a striver with no chill.

One comment of the article said:

I think strivers are often also pleasers, or at least they want recognition that they’ve done well. My mom told me that you shouldn’t live your life worried about what other people think (she was born in 1924 for some perspective). And that’s the antidote to the problem this article poses. If you’re smart enough to earn your success and the fruits of your work, then enjoy it, share it, and don’t worry about what people who don’t matter think.

That seems to be the other key ingredient of the formula for happiness.

At the end of the day, it’s ok to care so much about what I care about, and in the meantime, for my own sanity, it’s also good to keep in mind that the things I care so much about are probably not the most important things in the world.

  1. I’d also like to honorably mention my spirit animal, Lin-Manuel Miranda.