Introducing “Progradiction”: the Addiction to Progress

  • Post category:Articles
  • Post last modified:April 12, 2023


  • Progradiction is the addiction to progress, that is, the addiction to constantly doing something and the inability to “do nothing”.

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As I was trying to grapple with the reasons that push me to stay out of a job, I realized that it was (partly) because jobs are circular, not linear.

This means that the progress curve of a job is flat. A job is a routine.

None of what you do or receive in the beginning improves with time. If you had to draw it on a graph, it’d look like this:

Made by the author.

On the other hand, things like entrepreneurship or freelancing have unlimited room for progress.

Something progradicts actively seek.

Introducing Progradiction

Progradiction is a term I proudly invented to describe the tendency to be addicted to constant progress.

It can be linked to the concept known as “fomo” (fear of missing out) as you’re constantly looking for “the experience that will be better than yesterday’s”.

Who are the progradicts?

Progradicts are people who feel a strong drive to constantly progress in all realms of life, and who feel a deep existential emptiness if they don’t.

Progradicts want:

  • To have more money today than they did yesterday.
  • To lift more weights today than they did yesterday.
  • To have more and better friends today than they did yesterday.

The idea is to always be moving forward in all realms of life.

When the progradict does so, he feels fulfilled.

When he doesn’t, he feels bad. Sometimes, he feels really bad, up to having panic attacks.


Progradicts are everywhere in our life.

It’s the backpacker who counts how many cities/countries he’s been to (guilty).

It’s the 16-year-old girl who checks how many TikTok followers she got in the morning.

It’s the Medium writer who checks how many people read his articles this month (guilty).

It’s the seducer who counts how many girls he slept with.

Or it’s the rich guy who can’t stop getting rich (Bezos, Gates, etc).

One severe case of progradiction was experienced by Jho Low, as told in the book “Billion Dollars Whale”.

Low was a Malaysian con artist who siphoned billions of dollars out of his government and invested them in real estate, entertainment, music, and bought his own private jet.

At some point in the book, Low is described as living in his plane and circling the planet every 15 days while feeling acute pain if he stays too long in one spot without flying.

Low was addicted to the feeling of “moving forward”, which can be experienced when making big decisions in life (psychological progress) or when physically moving (physical progress).

I used to book plane tickets when I felt my life wasn’t going anywhere— bad habit which I still practice to this day.

Others just take their car and aimlessly drive around.

Others go for a walk.

What to Do If You Are a Progradict?

I think progradiction is one of the worst addictions to have due to the nature of the society we live in.

Everything needs to constantly be better.

  • Make more money.
  • Date hotter girls.
  • Lift heavier weight.
  • Start more companies.
  • Write more articles.
  • Visit more countries.

This isn’t helping progradict people. In fact, it’s turning us all into progradicts.

My progradiction is grave enough that when I am in a low period and lose the feeling of moving forward, I get acute anxiety (up to panic attacks) and heightened tinnitus.

My friends have been amazed at how fast I could make decisions. They don’t know that it’s because I cannot stand immobilism. I get “a black hole in my stomach” when I do.

In a way, progradiction is good as it’s a formidable engine for doing stuff (one of the reasons why I write is that it helps me feel like I am moving forward).

But it’s bad when you go too far into it.

I have noticed that doing sports, taking a moment to observe nature, watching a sunset, or simply spending time with a lover can reduce this extreme dependence on progresses.

Another idea is that progradict people are somewhat struggling with low self-esteem.

They derive a sense of being and identity from the progress they’re making in life, often comparing it to other peoples’ progress.

Ring a bell?

I suppose that by working on self-esteem, one can slowly resolve his or her progradiction.

But it remains to be tested.


If you pay attention, you’ll see progradiction everywhere in society. It’s partly why people buy stuff.

It’s why my parents change their interior every couple of years or so. It’s why women change their haircut after a breakup. And it’s why I write more when the rest of my life stalls or regresses.

Acute progradiction though, is terrible for two reasons:

  1. It’s painful to yearn for progress and not have any.
  2. It hasn’t been conceptualized (up until now) and hence cannot yet be treated.

So let this day be the day of progradiction.

I hope this new term will become as famous as recently-invented terms like anti-fragility, post-truth, or neurodiversity.

That would be cool!

And if it does, remember: you heard it here first.


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