Learn to Express, Not Impress

Leo Tolstoy famously observed it about families, but all happy individuals, too, are alike; each unhappy individual is, also, unhappy in its own way. We live in a time were, using Instagram, Facebook and whatnot, many (young) people curate their lives: we present ourselves to the world as how we want to be seen. And not as how we are. Of course, […]

Life’s Most Uncomfortable Question and Two Ways to Answer it

I thought it was a gift from heaven. About two years ago, some uni was crazy enough to offer me a position as PhD-candidate in philosophy. Ever since I was small I imagined grown-up me as a wise university professor with a grey beard. And landing a spot at a top-50 uni is hard. I was […]

The Best Way to Spend Bad Days

“It’s all so pointless,” the voice was telling me over and over. Depression has a life of its own. It was making its bad-day morning routes, delivering its message to every cell in my brain. Soon I would feel it everywhere. Lying in my bed, on my back, I realized: today was a shitty day. I briskly turned on my right side. It was a desperate attempt to go […]

Sleepwalking Through Life

People say we live in bubbles and echo-chambers and wait I thought echoes were about babies. I don’t think that’s true (I’m not sure about the babies part). There’s more confrontation with those characters who have other opinions than ever. If you don’t buy it, just ask your grandmother how many non-Christians, or non-Muslims, or […]

The Rationalist’s Mistake: How (Not) To Miss The Extraordinary

I have always had a tight bond with reason. This is an intimate part of my identity, and for the most part, it has led me in the right direction. When I was young, for example, I dreamt of being like Sherlock Holmes. Extremely rational and not contaminated with these inconvenient things called feelings: “All […]

Science And The Myth Of Being Worthy

Traditional morality has it backwards. In a cruel way. It features this prevalent idea that happiness requires upfront payment. Both chronologically and morally, enjoyment comes after work. First toil, then fun. Suffer. Then laugh. Monks hitting themselves and locking themselves in rooms for days and not eating or even speaking for years on end to deserve bliss […]

How Andy Won The Game Of Life

The Shawshank Redemption is the most gripping film I’ve ever seen. It tells the story of an innocent man’s (Andy) hell in prison, his unusual friendship with an inmate and prison contraband smuggler serving a life sentence (Red), the former’s miraculous escape and the friends’ reunion as free men. My favorite scene is a very short one. It features Andy in the prison […]

Nothing Matters. But That’s Not What Matters

“I wake up in the middle of the night and notice tears in my eyes. … I know that I’m not depressed; not anxious; I don’t even think I’m lonely. But what’s left? I can’t put my finger on it. It feels like the whole Universe is silent — that it’s right here, everywhere, inside of me, outside of me, […]

I’m Losing My Battle With Shame

No. This couldn’t be true. I was watching Brene Brown’s second TED-talk last week. She’s the ‘vulnerability researcher’ whose first TED-talk went so viral that random people now yell at her — “VULNERABILITY TED! VUL-NE-RA-BILITY TED!” — in the supermarket. In her follow-up presentation, she tells us about two self-talk patterns shame drives. The first: “You’re not good enough.” This is not a remark about […]

Life Is Not A Journey, But A Meal

Let’s think about today’s most popular life advice. Focus on the process, not the results! Live in the moment! Life’s about the journey, not about the destination. The ultimate reward is the process. It’s so frequently offered as well-intended guidance that it’s becoming a meaningless cliché, stripped of its wisdom through overuse. Here’s another gem of often-expressed wisdom: […]