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This Is Water - Full version-David Foster Wallace Commencement Speech. The Most Important Question of Your Life. Everybody wants what feels good.

The Most Important Question of Your Life

Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room. Everyone would like that — it’s easy to like that. If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” And you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything. A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life?

Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence — but not everyone wants to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork, to navigate arbitrary corporate hierarchies and the blasé confines of an infinite cubicle hell. The Four Stages of Life. Life is a bitch.

The Four Stages of Life

Then you die. So while staring at my navel the other day, I decided that that bitch happens in four stages. Here they are. Stage One: Mimicry We are born helpless. As children, the way we’re wired to learn is by watching and mimicking others. The goal of Stage One is to teach us how to function within society so that we can be autonomous, self-sufficient adults. But some adults and community members around us suck.1 They punish us for our independence. In a “normal” healthy individual, Stage One will last until late adolescence and early adulthood.3 For some people, it may last further into adulthood.

This is Stage One. We must be aware of the standards and expectations of those around us. Stage Two: Self-Discovery In Stage One, we learn to fit in with the people and culture around us. 7 Books That Will Change How You See The World. If you’re a human and you have a brain, then you probably like using your brain.

7 Books That Will Change How You See The World

And if you like using your brain, then you love having those epiphany moments where your hair blows back and you go “Whoa” like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix when he learns Kung Fu from a USB drive in his neck. I know it’s not what the cool kids like to do, but I like to read non-fiction. Lots of non-fiction. And my favorite moments reading non-fiction are when a book bitchslaps my brain and reconfigures my entire understanding of reality and my place within it. I love that. I get a lot of emails asking me for book recommendations. So instead of divulging what my favorite books are, I’ll leave you with something better: seven of the most mind-fucking, reality-reshaping, Keanu Reeves “Whoa” inspiring books that I’ve ever read. In no particular order… Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert What It’s About: Stumbling on Happiness is like the red-headed stepchild of happiness books.

Notable Quotes: by Nassim Taleb. No, You Can't Have It All. I saw a story on Facebook the other day.

No, You Can't Have It All

Like most stories that get passed around Facebook, it’s probably only 38% true and written by a 16-year-old. But regardless, I found it cool, and at the very least, thought-provoking. It was about a man named Mohammed El-Erian. Mohammed was the CEO of an uber $2 trillion bond fund called PIMCO and earned upwards of $100 million per year.

In January, he unexpectedly resigned in order to spend more time with his 10-year-old daughter. Now here’s the bad news: A decision like this is apparently a big deal in our society. Apparently El-Erian’s decision came after a fight with said daughter. 5 Life Lessons from 5 Years of Traveling the World. Almost five years ago today, my apartment lease expired, I shipped a few boxes to my mom’s house, packed a suitcase to (hopefully) last me a few months, and took off across the Atlantic.

5 Life Lessons from 5 Years of Traveling the World

I had less than $1,000 in my bank account. The first stop was Paris, where, still reeling from breaking up with my girlfriend, selling all of my possessions, and maintaining an online business that was hardly making any money, I proceeded to sulk and gripe my way through the streets of La Ville-Lumiére totally not appreciating what was around me. Eventually, things got better though. And I moved on. Both from Paris and my own personal pity parade. Over the span of five years, I moved on to 55 separate countries, dozens of new friendships, hundreds of fascinating people and experiences, and even picked up a couple languages along the way. Are You An Emotional Vampire? Here’s a quick quiz for you to take.

Are You An Emotional Vampire?

Answer the following questions. Be as honest as possible: Do you feel that people often don’t (or can’t) understand you or your problems? Do you feel that there are many barriers in your life which you have no control over? Do you often ask for help from others and/or feel like few people are willing to help you? If you answered “yes” to more than half of the questions above, then please read this post carefully. If you did answer “yes” to at least half of the above questions, chances are you are an emotional vampire. By now you may be saying, “Fuck this guy, what does he know?

Who Are Emotional Vampires? Emotional vampires are called emotional vampires because they have a tendency to drain the emotional energy out of everyone they come in contact with. All emotional vampires suffer from low self-esteem, but not all people with low self-esteem are emotional vampires.