Found via Miguel at Simoleon Sense.
Here are a few basic truths: life is essentially meaningless; your hard work won’t dictate where your life goes; you will be struck down by death; and your loved ones and your achievements will whither and turn to dust. A grim way to look at things perhaps. But a long line of philosophers, starting with the Stoics, have seen wisdom in taking a dim view. As Alain de Botton points out, a pessimistic outlook reduces our expectations, our envy, our disappointment, and it creates room for emotional upside and healthier life decisions. The talk (which features a sing-along to Elton John at the 29 minute mark) runs 38 wisdom-filled minutes, and it’s presented online by The School of Life, a London-based institution co-founded by de Botton in 2008. A big thanks to Miguel for sending this our way.
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