This is water

December 16, 2018

(From the The New Yorker)

In 2005, David Foster Wallace addressed the graduating class at Kenyon College with a speech that is now one of his most read pieces. In it, he argues, gorgeously, against “unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.” He begins with a parable:

There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”

We are about to hit the last full working week before most people go into lock down to celebrate a gone year, Christmas and the coming 2019.

The majority will already have taken the foot of the gas for a few days to celebrate, drink and eat excessively, “letting their hair down”. I am all for celebrations and don’t want to spoil the party, however year after year I realise an almost exponential growth of “we need to have fun”, over drinking and eating, overspending on presents and “Detox January” with all resolutions out of the window by week 2.

Year after year, same story. Instead of using the time to reflect, pause and thinking on how to grow next year, its mostly about distractions.

What if you’d spend the quieter days less about partying and more about looking into the next year? Where will you grow next year? Intentionally, not accidentally. Learning to consciously pause allows growth and ideas to catch up with you.

What have been the experiences, “life markers”, and when explored will become your life makers?

Who would you like to be in 2019, what goals would you like to reach? Or will it be just another year? What if 2019 will be your best year ever, until you make 2020 your “ever best”?

Time flies and before you wake up its January 1st.

You matter. Your life matters and you can make a difference. Go make it.


This is water.


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