Lessons From David Foster Wallace’s “This is Water” You can Apply in 2022

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Here are 8 lessons from David Foster commencement speech “This is water”.

Lesson 1:

The most obvious realities are the ones that are often the hardest to see.” Sometimes, we’re so deeply entrenched in something –– shall we say –– “swimming” in it, we’re unable to see clearly. Other times, we simply haven’t acquired enough knowledge. Step back, give it time.

Lesson 2:

A huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong.” At our core, our beliefs are heavily influenced by who we are, where we’re from, & how we were raised. This leads to a kind of “built-in” self-centeredness. Step outside of yourself.

Lesson 3:

“This is not about virtue –– it’s a matter of my choosing to do the work.” Altering the lens through which you view the world, sounds simple – but it’s not easy. You’ve got to put in the work. Consider differing views, LISTEN to others, be willing to change.

Lesson 4:

The most dangerous thing – to get lost in arguments inside my head.” Sometimes, the best thing you can do is get out of your own way. Your mind is racing – filled with thoughts that are important, & those that aren’t. Focus on what’s in front of you & under your control

Lesson 5:

“The mind is an excellent servant, but a terrible master.” Pick your inputs wisely. The superpower here is learning to CHOOSE what you pay attention to & how it affects your life. Consume a constant diet of negativity? You’ll be a negative person. Be ruthlessly selective.

Lesson 6:

“There happen to be whole large parts of life that nobody talks about. Boredom, routine, & petty frustration.” Traffic jams, disagreements with others, never-ending meetings. These things are going to happen. How do they affect you? Well, that’s really your choice.

Lesson 7:

“I’m operating on the automatic, unconscious belief that I am the center of the world.” Wow. Don’t we all. Here’s what we don’t know… How someone’s day is going, what they’ve been through, what’s going on in their life. Cut people some slack, it’s not about you.

Lesson 8:

“There’s actually no such thing as atheism.” Everyone worships something. What you worship, well, that’s up to you. Money – you’ll never have enough. Fame – be careful, you might get it. Work – Your family may resent you. Worship kindness, compassion, helping others.

That’s it. As your start your new year, i wish you try implement these lessons and see your life move to higher level.

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