The existentialist’s reluctant guide to life

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Source: Ephrat Livni and Olivia Goldhill
Affiliation: Quartz

In this article, Ephrat Livni and Olivia Goldhill contend that even those who feel constant existential dread brings a sort of freedom. Citing Sartre, the authors say that existence might be meaningless, but one can find meaning by exploring their essence. The authors consider a few areas of life: work, dating, hosting, and exercise. For work, citing the Sisyphus myth, the authors advise that one just pick something and go with it, throwing oneself into the tasks at hand without trying to give them too much meaning in the broader context of one's life. When discussing both dating and hosting, inauthenticity and bad faith are juxtaposed with authenticity. For exercise, it is important to recognize that there is no 'winning' – only improvement. The authors conclude that this outlook may not bring you the most joyful life, but it allows you to authentically acknowledge the reality of existence while searching for meaning in the depths of one's despair. 

Keywords: Anxiety , Existentialism , Meaning , Purpose