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: […]

What If Unhappiness Contains The Secret To Happiness?

Maybe we should just give up the pursuit of happiness. When you go for it head-on, you will miss it. As the 19th-century philosopherJohn Stuart Mill wrote about his existential crisis: “Those only are happy (I thought) who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on […]

The Fear Conspiracy: How To Unite With Anxiety

“I can’t take it anymore,” she stuttered with a broken voice, fighting to hold back her tears. It’s the beginning of my Monday-night mediation class and we’re all sharing something personal. A minute ago, I shared my wish to be kinder to myself. There’s an evil whisper in me that’s relentlessly hunting for something that I […]

Some Practical Thoughts On Unhappiness

“Tomorrow will be different”. When I feel lonely or out of place in Budapest, this is what I tell myself. It gives me hope. It tells me that my happiness will improve when my circumstances improve. Small problem: this is false. How does one alleviate unhappiness? Because we’ll have our portion of misery anyway, we’d do best to try to […]

If It Sucks, Do Something Else

I nearly cried when I had this realization: I don’t allow myself to do things solely because I enjoy them. After my Master’s, I went volunteering in Africa. My family encouraged me to keep a travel blog, so I reluctantly started one. Some months in, I discovered that I actually like to write. Later, I started blogging […]

I Worry About Forgetting My Life

He always knows how to hit me where it hurts the most. “It was all for nothing.” According to one of the more annoying voices in my head, if I don’t remember something, it was wasted. Perhaps you know the feeling: you’ve lost your memory of an awesome event or an instructive book. You feel […]

Learn to Express, Not Impress

Something’s wrong. Using Instagram, Facebook and whatnot, my generation of millennials curatestheir lives: we present ourselves to the world as how we want to be seen. Not as how we are. Of course, the desire to make oneself look good is nothing new, but nowadays we have more control over our appearance than ever. It’s not that we mention […]

The Philosophical Argument for Strategic Ignorance

I’ve stressed the — underestimated — value of examining ‘deep’ questions several times. It’s essential to understand what makes you tick on a profound level and asking such questions can reveal your underlying motivations and values. However, some deep questions are better than others: not all of them can be answered. Those, you can safely ignore. Wittgenstein commands “The very idea of objective reality guarantees that such a picture will not comprehend everything. […]

My Year Of Growth And Disappointments

The academic year 2017–2018 is done. Time to reflect. To keep track of my progress, I conduct monthly evaluations. They are metric-based and are designed to answer the question: ‘Am I making enough progress towards the goals I’ve set?’ This annual review goes beyond assessing goal-attainment and covers the deeper stuff. It reminds me to look back on […]