What you really want

Dutch philosopher Joep Dohmen believes we should view life as a journey. But how do we plot our own course in these rapidly changing times? You can read an interview with Dohmen in Issue 18. Here’s a passage from the feature.

Isn’t the most important thing to enjoy the journey for its own sake?

I think this enjoyment thing is completely overblown nowadays. We’re under pressure to enjoy each and every moment of the day. At the hairdresser, at the supermarket while shopping, we are told to have a nice day. It’s like an incantation to camouflage a fear of emptiness, of the passing of time. Of course it’s important to enjoy the little things in life, but I think a successful journey is determined by focusing on the goals that you want to reach. If you don’t, life becomes something that just happens to you, even more so than it already is.

What else is important?

It’s important to discover what you really want in life. And then to develop good habits that will help you achieve what you want. Swiss philosopher and writer Jean-Jacques Rousseau spoke of listening to your inner voice. But you have to wonder, what is this inner voice? What part of you is actually speaking? We have so many influences in our heads- our parents’ voice, the media, .advertising- all telling us what is supposedly important. It’s very hard to tell what is genuine. In the romantic zeitgeist of today we all yearn for realness. Just consider all the current buzzwords and phrases: Authenticity, originality, being unique, staying true to yourself. It’s a large pool of concepts that are all circling around our search for a true self, for who we are and what our deepeest wishes are.

  • You can read the article ‘How can you figure out what you really want?’ in Issue 18.

Text Otje van der Lelij Hand-lettering Valerie Mckeehan