I Thought I Knew What I Wanted. I Was Wrong. This Is What I Learned

Fuck. Waking up, I was happy and found myself eagerly thinking about the super interesting amazing blog that I would write later today. I got out of bed and walked to the kitchen. While making my morning coffee, I realized something. I couldn’t spend any time on writing cool stuff today because I had a deadline for […]

Friedrich Nietzsche On The Secret Ingredient For Happiness

Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the great philosophers of the 19th century. Taking himself “philosophize with a hammer”, Nietzsche analyzed the way people think about a topic, took out his hammer and went to work. One of his targets was the most famous theory about the role of happiness in life. That sounds interesting. Happiness should not be your goal […]

How To Grow From Unhappiness

Whereas mankind has traditionally been concerned with the pursuit of happiness, greater wisdom would seem to lie in figuring how to beproductively unhappy. After all, misery is bound to happen to us, repeatedly. Therefore, the value of suffering fruitfully outruns the use of any Utopianquest for blissful happiness. Accordingly, the French novelist Marcel Proust (1871–1922) concurs that: “The whole art of living […]

The Threat Of Freedom And The Forgotten Value Of Being Powerless

“Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God.” — Martin Luther Newsflash: sometimes, I can’t get what I want. Let’s envision getting what I want as a two-step process: 1) Discover what the cause-effect relationships that govern reality are. 2) Figure out how set theright cause-effect relationships in motion. At step one, I can’t attain my objectives due to a lack of […]

The Difference: Living Well vs. Living Great

So many writers advertise their blog by promising ‘a better life’. On my Dutch website, I used to do the same, feeling increasingly uncomfortable about my pledge. Reading an essay and thinking about it is one thing, but changing your behavior is a whole different ballgame. I found it hard to imagine that my writings had a […]

The Truth about the Unexpected Danger of Being Yourself

I felt a splitting headache — hangover, again, I concluded. I was awakened by the beeping sound of my alarm. That, I realized, meant that it was noon and that I had to get up and that I could attend the late afternoon lecture if I would be really fast. (I had stopped caring for morning classes […]

Does happiness require struggle?

It is a rather unfortunate fact that the leading philosophies of how to live your life appear to be in direct tension with each other. On one side, there’s the ideology according to which you should work hard, be obsessed and make sacrifices. As echoed by Mark Manson (writer of The Subtle Art of Not […]

Alain de Botton on the surprising benefits of pessimism

“Optimism is the greatest flaw of the modern world.” -Alain de Botton Alain de Botton is one of the most well-known living philosophers. In opposition to the majority of undead philosophy enthusiasts, De Botton’s focus is on practical philosophy, aiming to understand and master the fundamental worries of modern life. Accordingly, his books have been described as […]