Many Psychology Today articles encourage civilization to introspect. ~ all, there"s at least some legitimacy to Socrates" admonishment the the unexamined life isn"t precious living.

You are watching: Life is hard and then you die

In one more of mine attempts come genre-bend, instead of a how-to article or checklist, here"s an internal controversy on joyousness versus nihilism, top top whether, for most people, life is beautiful or "is hard and then you die."


Perhaps that will indicate something you could want to carry out to relocate your life closer to the "life is beautiful" finish of the continuum.

PERSON: the course, life is beautiful: There"s love, nature, family, beauty, the iPhone for God"s sake. It"s every miraculous.

ALTER EGO: Yeah, if you aren"t struggling come survive. Execute you know how many people are homeless or a action away? and also even if they have a job, they"re doing some soul-sucking occupational that ever much more likely is part-time, temp, and also paying crap wages.


And we"re talking about healthy people---What about the zillions through depression, anxiety, not to mention schizophrenia. And don"t forget about physical diseases like diabetes, love failure, AIDS, and cancer. And also what around the literally billions of people on earth who are living ~ above $1 or 2 a day, who struggle to finish an mean life span of 45, life the sweltering heat, starving, fighting malaria, and in a society that may believe that AIDS is cured by having sex v a baby?


PERSON: You room looking in ~ the glass together 9/10 empty. It"s not. Even civilization who live modestly, also in emerging nations, are not wailing wretches. Once I visited bad people in Costa Rica, they seemed happier than we are. And in the U.S., virtually everyone has sufficient food, clean water, transportation, an unofficial health treatment safety net, and also housing the doesn"t indicate corrugated cardboard. 83% the people choose to pay because that cable TV, and also in 2015, 68 percent that Americans own a smartphone, increase from just 35% 4 years earlier.


ALTER EGO: large deal, a TV and smartphone.

PERSON: it is a huge deal. A smartphone"s Google search connects you soon to so lot of the world"s information. And also that tiny machine enables you come phone, text, send images and video to everyone in the world. Come on!

ALTER EGO: Yeah, if they have the right to afford the $1,000 a year.


PERSON: favor I said, 68% of american do and the percent is skyrocketing.

ALTER EGO: If life in the U.S. Is for this reason wonderful, just how come 16 million Americans suffer from major depression? how come 9.3 million Americans take into consideration suicide every year, consisting of 17 percent the high college students?

PERSON: that ignores the over 300 million americans who are neither depressed nor suicidal. Besides, the worry is not what the standing quo is. It"s whether life affords many Americans the chance to, with only moderate effort, have actually a good life. Even if your job is mundane, because that example, restaurant server or manufacturing facility worker, you can feel productive, do friends through coworkers and also have a temperature managed apartment, and at least enjoy life"s straightforward pleasures: music, art, nature, sports, a creative hobby, eating, friends, sex, love.


ALTER EGO: You"re presume that"s every so easy. It seems like almost everyone ns know has actually some huge issue: They"re having actually to pay earlier a college student loan lock can"t afford to. They"re caring for their screwed-up boy or dying relative.They have actually their own wellness problem. Housing and also college expenses are ridiculous. They"re fighting turn off the creditors. They"re overwhelmed. Ever before walk down the street and look at people"s faces? half of them look stressed the end or numb.


PERSON: You"re back to focusing on the half-empty glass and also are ignoring the malleability the one"s life. This debate with myself is make me realize i just need to make a little much more effort. No, my life won"t become a sewage orgasm yet it will be a helluva lot much better than "Life is hard and then you die."


ALTER EGO: Yeah, big shot, what are you walk to carry out that won"t call for unrealistically big effort and also still will boost your life significantly?

PERSON: I"m going come be grateful for mine job. I"m walk to start practicing the guitar again, and also I"m walk to try to make my partnership better.

ALTER EGO: I"ll believe it when I see it.


The Takeaway

Of course, whereby you loss on the continuum between life is great and life is awful is greatly affected by who you"re born to and also by other crashes of fate. However not completely.

See more: I Don T Know Where To Start When You Don'T Know Where To Start

So in light of analysis the over debate, is over there anything you want to commit to doing to move your life closer to the "life is good" finish of the continuum?


Marty Nemko"s bio is in Wikipedia. His brand-new book, his 8th, is The ideal of Marty Nemko.


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About the Author


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Marty Nemko, Ph.D., is a career and personal coach based in Oakland, California, and the author of 10 books.