Why do we fight to live? It’s a question that a lot of philosophers have addressed, but none have done so with as much miserable panache as this man here.

Arthur Schopenhauer was born in 1788 in the city of Danzig. A brooding and serious child from the very start, he later wrote this in his memoirs:

“Even as a child of six, my parents, returning from a walk one evening, found me in deep despair.”

At the age of seventeen, he was packed off to boarding school in Wimbledon where he spent his time learning to hate the English and fear attractive women. When one of his friends at the time suggested they flirt with some girls, he is reported to have replied:

“Life is so short, questionable and evanescent that it is not worth the trouble of major effort.”

He went on to become a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Berlin. He then wrote this in his magnum opus, The World as Will and Representation:

“Somewhere between love and lust a nut get bust and a baby get made,

It seems that trouble trouble us and follow us like all our days,

In every holy book it says we suffer, that’s what it is.

So riddle me this from the womb to the tomb why do we fight to live?”

Why is life so bad? According to Schopenhauer, it’s because we’re all manifestations of a thing he called the will-to-life (also known simply as the Will). This will-to-life, he says, is both the true reality behind all appearances and the mindless force that powers everything in the universe. As mindless force, it drives all our instincts and desires – forcing us to suffer in our pursuit of new things – but it has no ultimate goal or purpose and so it can never be satisfied. Getting what we want provides only temporary relief from pain. Before long we get bored and the thirst returns. We need more love, more money, more status, and so we suffer again. Schopenhauer thus takes life to be a pendulum swinging between pain and boredom.

So why do we fight to live? Schopenhauer says, because it’s rational to do so. He reckons that if we could see things clearly we’d all come to the same conclusion: we’d be better off not existing. We fight to live because it’s the will-to-life – not the intellect – that decides how we act. Schopenhauer compares the situation to a lame person riding on the shoulders of a blind giant. We can kid ourselves that our intellect is in charge, but it’s really the Will that dictates where we go.

The will-to-life supposedly manifests itself most strongly in our desire for sex. Schopenhauer writes that “the genitals are the focus of the Will” and “sex is the ultimate goal of almost all human effort.” Even though we’re unconscious of it most of the time, the will-to-life is always driving us to pair up and reproduce. It drives us to pair up with people who’ll help us create what Schopenhauer calls ‘well-balanced children’ (three words quite unremarkable in isolation but very creepy when strung together). The problem is, these people who’ll balance our children out are almost never a good match for us emotionally. Not only does the Will load us up with unattainable desires, it hitches us to someone we’ll soon hate. He writes:

“Love…casts itself on persons who, apart from the sexual relation, would be hateful, contemptible, and even abhorrent to the lover. But the Will of the species is so much more powerful than that of the individual, that the lover shuts his eyes to all the qualities repugnant to him, overlooks everything, misjudges everything, and binds himself for ever to the object of his passion.” – Schopenhauer

Schopenhauer thinks that baby-making happens somewhere between love and lust. Only after we’ve been sexually satisfied can we truly see things as they are. Only then can we realise that we’ve been duped by the will-to-life. He writes:

“Directly after copulation the devil’s laughter is heard.”

So when life is awful and even sex won’t fix it, where do you turn?

Schopenhauer turned to Eastern philosophy. In fact, he was one of the first Western philosophers to draw on Hindu and Buddhist traditions. He borrowed heavily from the Upanisads, an ancient set of writings on which modern Hinduism is based, particularly the idea that the world has two aspects: inner reality and outer appearance. What the Upanisads called Brahman and Atman, he called Will and Representation.

From Buddhism he borrowed the idea that the only way we can rid ourselves of suffering is to first rid ourselves of all desire. We have to learn, however difficult it may be, to overcome the will-to-life. We have to renounce all our striving and craving and learn to be satisfied with the barest necessities. We should, in short, learn to live like Buddhist monks, seeking salvation through resignation. Unlike Buddhist monks, though, Schopenhauer sees this kind of lifestyle not as a triumph but as damage control. He writes:

“Nothing else can be stated as the aim of our existence except the knowledge that it would be better for us not to exist.”

When the problem is stated in such bare terms, the answer seems obvious. But suicide isn’t a solution for Schopenhauer because of another doctrine he adopted from Eastern philosophy: reincarnation. Schopenhauer writes that the will-to-life cannot be extinguished. When we die, the Will in us expresses itself through some other object, plant, animal or human being, where we are doomed to suffer all over again. Even death is no escape from the horrors of life. Only the destruction of reality itself could put an end to the meaningless suffering that pervades all existence.

Looking back on Schopenhauer’s philosophy today, it seems almost laughably childish. You might say that his greatest achievement was finally making compatible the two defining philosophies of teenage life. No longer do angsty fifteen-year-olds have to choose! Thanks to old Schopenhauer, they can have the best of both worlds. Everything is terrible and everything is sex!

The fact is that, although his philosophy hasn’t gained widespread acceptance today, it prefigured a lot of the big ideas to come. It’s easy to forget that The World as Will and Representation was published in 1818. That means that his will-to-life – a subconscious drive to create healthy children – prefigured Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by forty years and Freud’s ideas by seventy five.  He was the first Western scholar to seriously engage with Eastern philosophy and one of the first to think seriously about sex and love.

He deserves to live on in the hearts and minds of moody teenagers. It’s the only kind of life he wanted to live anyway.


    Lessons from Doing what you love.

    Let’s Go !

    1) Money is not everything, but it makes up for 99% of almost everything anyway.

    It is very normal to read about some successful person who would preach, “Money is not everything” or even “Don’t focus on the money. Focus on helping people and do what you love.”

    I find that that’s such a hilarious irony because all you have to ask is, “Take away the element of money. What are you then?”

    The answer is usually nothing. That’s how the world works and that’s how success is defined most of the time.

    Indeed, money is not everything, but it’s extremely ignorant to say that if you’re broke. It’s also downright selfish to say it to people struggling when you’re already making big bucks.

    It’s a tough lesson to balance this idea with elements of life that are more important money. It’s also tough to find sincere, successful people who believe the same.

    2) The connections you make with others will never be your friends, but they’ll act like they are

    Networking is pretty important in the business world. Making the right connection can even make or break your business.

    And it’s because it’s all business. There’ll be no real friendship involved.

    The folly was mine that I believed those who were trying to help were doing it because they really wanted to help, but they were always back for favors.

    Many were the times someone would message me to talk about business and shit, but when I ask, “How’s life?” the “away” status would soon appear, never hearing from any of them again.

    That’s just how it is with connections. It’s all business. That’s why kids run home to tell their mom, “I made a new friend!”, not, “I made a new connection!”

    3) Offering to help is nothing but an insincere formal opener

    When you make a connection, the textbook answer to making the best impression would be to offer to help the other party. That’s the best it is.

    Everybody would want to make a good impression. How do you do that? You offer to help, even if it means you’re not qualified to.

    Hence, not everyone will be a real connection since it’s all talk to most of them and they’re too cheap to followup with action.

    4) “Life coaching” is a fucking scam

    In summary, people who claim to be life coaches are nothing but psychologists wannabes with zero, real qualifications. They claim to have expertise because they write a bunch of a generic blog posts or put up some videos of themselves talking about their own life and then claim they can transform your life.

    Of course, that’s going to cost you a bomb, which from what I observed, cost up to hundreds even thousands of dollars for an hour of their time.

    There’ are good people out there who can really change your life, but you’re going to have to do your research, thoroughly.

    5) Even your supporters can be very discouraging

    I’m going to forgo the point of discouragement from your haters and critics because that’s a given.

    Guess what? Even your supporters can be very discouraging.

    Doing what you love is like modern art to others. As the quote by Craig Damrauer goes, “Modern art = I could do that + Yeah, but you didn’t.”

    6) Testimonials are mostly bullshit

    The bright and shiny testimonials you see on products and sales pages are mostly rubbish. I know you’re thinking, “Oh I know that” but really, you don’t know the half of it.

    It’s mostly made up or at the very most, constructed from a relationship were both parties just want to help each other. E.g. I’ve give you my product free of charge. Could you write me a good testimonial?

    What do you expect the other dude to say? Fucking no?

    7) Your most satisfying day ever isn’t going to beat a good sales day

    That is why money is still that important.

    I’ve had days where I made money from out of nowhere and I felt on top of the world. On days where I felt I wrote the best piece of shit ever, but felt low because I knew I was going broke.

    Honestly, unless you’re a six-figure money-making machine who’s financially free, concentrate on making money to survive first before you try to change your life or the world with your whatever messages.

    8) A lot of entrepreneurs are faking their inspiration

    If you ever see someone post some testimonial or “real” reader’s email thanking them and then say something like, “This is what keeps me going”, know that the entrepreneur himself does not do the work or create any kind of art.

    They simply outsource everything and are pretentious enough to claim credit.

    It boils back to the question of how important money really is, because that’s the definition of success to most businesses. And that’s okay. It’s whether you want to look into it and see whether the entrepreneur really does his own work to spread a real message.

    Again, do your research to find the real deals. I know of a few.

    You can’t learn forever because it’s all the same shit

    You want to create a business and start making money? Then learn. Pay to learn from a coach or in a course even.

    Then once you get the basics down pat, stop. Anything further are nothing but shiny objects that contain what you’re already know inside.

    You need to create your own real lessons from your own actions from here on out.

    10) Nobody wants to hold your hand

    This isn’t school or the office where you can rely or even shift blame on someone else.

    If you want to do what you love, you’re going to have to take the reigns and do things your way. You’ve to call the shots. And it’s going to feel scary as fuck.

    And the people who claim to want to hold your hand and “guarantee” your success? They’re lying.

    11) The answers you seek come only when you think out of the box

    Picture this: For a long while I kept studying bloggers who were expert on making money online. I tried their shit out, but it never really worked for me.

    Then I realized I was looking for answers in the wrong places. My goal is to be a writer who create stories. I should have looked and studied real writers who inspired how to create art, not bloggers who taught about making money, tweaking, testing and all that shit.

    Any kind of knowledge may be good, but be sure to follow your gut from time to time. Take what you need and reject everything else. I learnt it the expensive way.

    12) 20/20 hindsight makes you feel dumb as hell

    You know how successful people teach, “The answer was within me all along!” and all that?

    It’s true.

    This is such a beautiful, yet ironic idea that you truly what it takes to succeed, but because you were merely distracted, you fall off the path and waste as much as a few years of your time.

    Also, sometimes you’re your own culprit. You hold yourself back because of fear of… pretty much nothing. It kind of makes you feel stupid.

    There is truly no secret to success. You DO know what it takes to succeed. So just do it.

    13) Humble yourself, for having passion doesn’t mean you’re good

    It can be a real downer to know that you’re not good enough.

    Learning is always good, but your ego is going to be pinched from time to time. It’s best not to take things so personally.

    14) Nobody gives a shit about your passion

    They just want a package-deal on what’s in it for them.

    You can show the world your beautiful story of how you plan to change the world, how you quit your job, how you courageously beat some disease or whatever, but they don’t make for good business.

    People will only fork out the cash if they know what you offer is going to help them. Your story can only inspire, not help.

    15) You must be dreaming if you’re playing on hope

    So many people simply hope to be discovered to be the next start. So many people hope their book becomes the next bestseller. So many people hope their whatever goes viral.

    Hope really doesn’t have a part in doing business. You might as well play the lottery every week and you’d have a better chance of striking it rich.

    Work hard and form a real strategy. Throw hope out of the window. Your rewards will come accordingly.

    16) No sales copy is perfectly honest

    Every entrepreneur I know will stretch the truth and then call it “It’s just business”, which is not illegal or even wrong I’d say.

    But it can make you very cynical especially if you think these guys are super honest or have a positive message to spread.

    So, as with how I mentioned that learning has a ceiling, don’t buy into too much courses or whatever. It will turn to crap in the end.

    17) Sometimes you want to give up

    But you’ve to keep pushing on anyway. That’s how it is.

    It’s not going to feel good at all because that’s when you doubt yourself and start to think what you love is a sham.

    It can be very demoralizing. It makes you question what you do and also your entire life itself.

    This is your make or break moment though. Best to choose the way forward.

    To Find Real Happiness ,Look Within One’s Self.

    There was this one saying by Tulsidas on which he focused to much,


    Meaning, Your companion in your trouble is your courage and patience, Rest have faith in Rama(God).

    Then, to support this he told us a story, it’s a very famous tale of king Vikramaditya.

    There was a very skilled sculptor, who made beautiful statues. This time he mad a statue of misfortune. Who will buy the statue of misfortune? So he could not find a buyer for weeks. He heard about the generosity of king Vikramaditya and reached his palace. The king purchased the statue of misfortune. He installed it in his private bedroom.

    The same night, as the king was about to go to bed,

    He saw the beautiful image of a lady emerging from his body.
    He asked her, “Who are you?”
    She replied, “I am Laxmi, I have filled you with treasure, now that you have misfortune, I am leaving.”
    He let her go.

    Then he saw a powerful man emerging from his body.
    He asked him, “Who are you?”
    He replied, “I am Hanuman, I have filled you with strength, now that you have misfortune, I am leaving.”
    He let him go.

    Then he saw a beautiful woman emerging from his body.
    He asked her, “Who are you?”
    She replied, “I am Saraswati, I have filled you with Wisdom, now that you have misfortune, I am leaving.”
    He let her go.

    Then he saw a brilliant man emerging from his body.
    He asked him, “Who are you?”
    He replied, “I am courage,Ever since your heart has started beating I have pervaded in you, now that you have misfortune, I am leaving.”

    He held him tight and did not allow him to go.
    He said, “I don’t need wealth, strength or wisdom. I need courage to get them. I might be dead if you leave.” He did not allow courage to leave.
    So, because of his courage to get them back wealth, strength and wisdom followed him back.

    Now, this story tells a lot about human,

    If a person has courage to achieve, all the other traits follow, may it be happiness, may it be wealth, wisdom or strength.

    You are your enemy, You are your own friend.

    Let both live inside you, your enemy will provoke you and somehow it will improve you and teach you, your friend will always support you and give you strength to achieve.

    Happiness is within, Courage is within, look inside you!

    30 Things To Let Go Of In 2016

    Just as important as the goals you are reaching toward, however, are the things you are intentionally letting go of. A big part of designing a good life is being able to let go of things that hold you back in life and things that are not important to you.

    Here are 30 things to let go of in 2016 to make this the best year you’ve ever had.

    1. Let go of self-sabotaging habits. Work on being kind and loving to yourself. Click here to learn 50 small things to do every day to really love yourself.

    2. Let go of perfection. Waiting to do something until the timing is perfect often means you’ll never do it at all.

    3. Let go of saying you’ll do things “someday.” This life is not a dress rehearsal.

    4. Let go of trying to please everyone all the time. You’ll never be everything to everyone and that’s okay.

    5. Let go of living the life that everyone else has planned for you. It’s time to design your life the way you want to live it.

    6. Let go of the pressure to spend your entire career at a 9-5 job you don’t love. Make a point to find your passion this year. This free workbook is a great start to help you find your passion this year.

    7. Let go of being paralyzed by fear. Remember the biggest risk is often doing nothing; the biggest risk is that you’ll wake up years from now and wish you would have acted on your dreams.

    8. Let go of neglecting yourself. You can best serve the world when you take care of yourself.

    9. Let go of toxic relationships. You deserve to spend time with people who are uplifting.

    10. Let go of letting your past define your future.

    11. Let go of constantly competing with people. Focus on your path and work on improving yourself every day.

    12. Let go of sitting on the sidelines. Life’s too short to sit there and watch it pass you by just because you don’t think you have the ‘perfect’ body, you’re ‘too old,’ you’re ‘too young,’ or you’re too (fill in the blank).

    13. Let go of items you don’t need. Decluttering your life is incredibly freeing.

    14. Let go of trying to be good at everything. Instead, focus on being great at a few things that line up with your priorities and strengths.

    15. Let go of thinking you can’t make a difference right now. It’s often possible to turn a difficult job into an amazing mission, right where you are.

    16. Let go of always saying yes. Learn to say no to certain commitments so you can say yes to what matters most to you.

    17. Let go of of excuses. Decide what you want and go get it.

    18. Let go of self-doubt.

    19. Let go of procrastination.

    20. Let go of blaming others.

    21. Let go of negativity. You really can live an amazing, fulfilling life that you love. It’s time to work on having a great mindset.

    22. Let go of thinking small. There truly is power in thinking big.

    23. Let go of time-wasting activities that prevent you from working toward your meaningful goals.

    24. Let go of inaction.

    25. Let go of being ‘too busy’ to do what matters most to you.

    26. Let go of worrying about what others think of you. It’s time to find your tribe of like-minded, encouraging people, and blaze the trail you want to blaze.

    27. Let go of being closed-minded. Great innovations happen when people dare to dream about possibilities.

    28. Let go of refusing to try new things. You never know what you might love. Sign up for a random community ed class, try a new physical activity, or start a new book club. Life is so much richer with new experiences.

    29. Let go of feeling unworthy of your dreams.

    30. Let go of thinking your dreams are impossible. Set big goals and surround yourself with people who encourage, support, and inspire you to reach them.

    It’s going to be a great year!

    5 Things You Need to Stop Doing If You Want To Be More Productive

    So many things to do, so little time.
    In a world where things move at rapid pace and people get impatient waiting for anything longer than 5 seconds, it feels like there are tons of things on our plates.

    There’s that urgent email we need to get back to, a project that needs finishing, and of course, time off with friends and family (if there’s even time left).


    The more work we have in front of us, the easier it is to get into a frantic state of mind.

    I noticed that busy people often work on tasks that they think need to be done, but are actually counterproductive. I’ve managed to pinpoint these habits in my own life and replace them with better habits.

    Here are a few things you should stop doing if you want to get more done:

    1. Trying to do everything at once

    Do you ever see those people who are completely frazzled?

    They’re pulling their hair, running from place to place, and barely have time to breathe. It’s like they’re trying to do everything and completely panicking.

    I used to think people like this got more done. That is, until I saw their results. I then realized that trying to do everything prevents you from getting really good at anything.

    Trying to do everything is an indicator of lack of decisiveness, not ambition. So if you want to become an expert at something, it means saying no to other opportunities – at least for now.

    For instance, top ranked tennis player Serena Williams is into fashion and has her own clothing line. But when she first started out, she focused all her energy on becoming the top female tennis player. Her fashion business came later.
    Become the best in one area, and then branch out later.

    2. Micromanaging everything

    Micromanagement is a common problem for perfectionists who need everything to be done their way. They tend to hover over other people’s work, and try doing things that could have been done more easily by someone else.

    The worst part about micromanaging is that other people feel smothered and dissatisfied that their work isn’t respected.

    Instead of looking over every single detail, try to focus more on the big picture. Loosen the reins to give others some decision-making power (to a certain extent). It’ll be better for your health and well-being.

    When you learn to let go of some things, you’ll find that you can accomplish more of your goals.

    3. Just winging it

    I remember back in school when we had to prepare presentations for the class. There was always someone who would say, “I’m just going to wing it!”

    Chances are, that person wasn’t performing at the top of the class. Even if they were, the person wasn’t actually winging it.

    High-achieving people are proactive, rather than reactive. They prepare relentlessly and practice daily so that when the time comes, their performance is flawless.

    I like to get ready for the next day by preparing myself the evening before by using the Page Turner Technique. Doing so keeps me organized and calm, even when things get hectic.

    If you want to excel, don’t wing it. Practice instead.

    4. Not giving yourself any free time

    A common misconception is that successful people work day and night non-stop. They don’t have time for fun or games.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Creative people and innovators often need spare time in order to explore. By taking time to relax, they can reflect on obstacles they face and see them from a different perspective.

    Arianna Huffington herself said that sleep is the secret to success. So often, we think that not having any time to rest is a badge of honor that we wear proudly. Instead, we should think about getting more sleep to re-energize, become happier, and get more done.

    If you want to feel refreshed and creative, try taking a break from your work.

    5. Skipping lunch

    A friend bragged to me the other day that she had worked for 18 hours a day, non-stop. She revealed that she frequently forgets to eat because she’s so busy.

    On the other hand, another friend gets lots of sleep and cooks his own food. He has more spare time and energy for hobbies. Guess who burned out eventually?

    Skipping meals lowers your energy and concentration levels, so that you get less work done for each hour you put in. It also leads to increased cravings for foods that are quick fixes, like junk food and sweets.

    I find that preparing my lunch beforehand helps to set up my day right so that I don’t have to look around for something unhealthy to quickly satisfy my hunger. It also gives me one less thing to worry about.