Whether you feel a new year is a new way to transform and make real change in your life, change that is obviously necessary or you feel you just want to keep doing what you were doing isnt anyones place to say.
 As we started a new cycle around the sun, the end to another Gregorian calendar, greeted with the ups and downs of an old year, popular culture does bring the idea of resolutions into full view yet again. 
I was tempted not to write a New Year related post and not really because am a little pessimistic or a cynic at times but, since its weeks into the year and 1 out of 10 people are still strong into their resolutions, I find it really funny and worth the talk. 
Life goals, family goals, professional goals, relationship goals and pretty much any other goals you could think of began to surface on the internet as the New Year blossoms. Its only a matter of time when you would be intimidated by these posts and start to feel bad for yourself, admire these that want these big changes and would in one way or another want to get on that train too.
These talks have a familiar tone of seriousness and a big helping of disapproval, dont you think? If you are not living life in a particular way, living the American dream, lost weight, have some unshakeable confidence, getting into the entrepreneurship game or anything that the writer of said book, article or what the social media so happens to be selling and thinks is right, you are doomed, screwed and very lifeless.
You go through the net, reflect and see others making it big and you wonder if you are living life right. People seem to be living their lives, happy and embracing life as is. Well, thats what you think. And you are not wrong. Some people are actually genuinely happy. 
Why, you may ask? Because they are not running after your dreams and not trying to achieve your goals. They know what makes them happy and chasing ones dreams does that for them. We dont always have it figured out but, in truth, New Year or not, one must be always realistic with their own life.

Your originality is what makes you special and different from the crowd. If you want to do something different, just do it. 

 In the words of Walt Whitman:

Know “That you are here–that life exists, and identity;

That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.”
If you havent done much or built your future in your 20s, you are a nobody. If you havent earned enough money before 35 or have a family, what have you been doing? 
Of course, these are essential and make up 21st century life but, you would also agree to the notion or thought that we all are different, see life differently and we all have sets of choices and goals. What makes me happy doesnt necessarily make you happy too. 
You could have different wants and aspirations. You know what makes people sad and in the long run makes people not make real good change and good life choices? Expectations and Comparison. 
Why not just live your life and be always smart about what you do year in and year out, take responsibility and make the best of it.
Neil degrasse Tyson once said 

“that the atoms that comprise life on earth, the atoms that make up the human body can be traced in the stars above and when one looks at the night sky, yes one may realize that we are part of the universe but in truth one should also know that the universe is in us as well.

You may feel small but your atoms are part of this universe. We have this sense of connectivity, we all want to feel connected, we want to feel special, relevant and thats what we are just by being alive.

We are made of the same fundamental elements and atoms of everything in the universe. You dont need anyone or anything to help or define who you are, you truly have everything you need within you. 

You are already connected with everything in the universe and its a part of who you are. It is important you know how important and powerful you are in crafting yourself and the world that we all live in.”

You are strong and you are stronger than you think, The message of philosophy in general isnt that it reminds as to start living or to live at all, but with this fact, it reminds us that we can think, we can dream and we can make that dream a reality. So make each day count. Dont just exist, LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   



Excerpt: Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

(Introductory Note: Zarathustra is a character who embodies the wisdom and ideals of Nietzsche’s philosophy. Zarathustra is speaking to his followers in this passage.)

 I now go away alone, my disciples! You too now go away and be alone! Thus I want it. Truly, I advise you: go away from me and guard yourselves against Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he has deceived you. The man of knowledge must not only love his enemies, he must also be able to hate his friends. One repays a teacher badly if one always remains only a pupil. And why, then, should you not pluck at my laurels? You revere me; but what if your reverence tumbles one day? Beware that a statue does not strike you dead! You say you believe in Zarathustra? But of what importance is Zarathustra? You are my believers: but of what importance are all believers?

You had not yet sought yourselves: then you found me. Thus do all believers; therefore all faith amounts to so little. Now I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when you have all denied me will I return to you. 


Part One, Of the Bestowing Virtue, based on R.J. Hollingdale and Walter Kaufmann translations.

No matter how wise Zarathustra or any teacher may be, and no matter how much we may benefit from their guidance, Nietzsche reminds us that ultimately we must each find our own way. Thus his hero, Zarathustra, a spiritual teacher of mankind, removes himself from his students lest they remain his pupils and disciples forever.
There is a dignity to each individual human being that Nietzsche defends, especially against the danger posed by a sage such as himself. If we worship him or any other sage, if our admiration for his genius turns into blind faith in his teachings, then we are in grave danger of losing our independence, our ability to think for ourselves, and ultimately our ability to be ourselves. To make an idol of anyone or any system of thought, Nietzsche warns, is like creating a statue that will eventually crush your own spirit. 
Of course one is to some degree shaped and perhaps even permanently influenced by one’s teachers, and Zarathustra does not ask his students to forget him absolutely. But there is a real sense in which every student at some point needs some space from his teachers, so that he can give shape to himself free of their immediate influence. This freedom may seem to involve a wholesale rejection and separation, and locally that may be true. 
The pull to remain in the teacher’s orbit can be powerful, and one might even need to go to the polar extreme to free oneself from it, to gain the necessary distance. Thus Nietzsche speaks in strong terms, of “guarding” yourself against and being “ashamed” of your teacher, “hating your friends”, and “losing” and “denying” your former guide. Nowhere may this be more true than in the parent-child relationship. Zarathustra sets a model for all teachers and parents, to not only tolerate this separation, but to actively support it in order to foster a healthy independence and individuality.
As Zarathustra and all wise teachers and parents know, there will be a time for reunion and reconciliation, all the more meaningful because between independent individuals—“only when you have all denied me will I return to you.” Thus Nietzsche offers his philosophy for our reflection, and, like many other great thinkers, his insights are often deeply instructive. But Nietzsche insists that in learning from him we never give up our own selves: “This – is now my way, – where is yours?’ Thus I answered those who asked me ‘the way’. For the way – that does not exist

Guest Post From The Daily Philosopher


​The garden is one of the two great metaphors for humanity. The garden is about life and beauty and the impermanence of all living things. The garden is about feeding your children, providing food for the tribe. Its part of an urgent territorial drive that we can probably trace back to animals storing food. Its a competitive display mechanism, like having a prize bull, this greed for the best tomatoes and English tea roses. Its about winning; about providing society with superior things; and about proving that you have taste, and good values, and you work hard. And what a wonderful relief, every so often, to know who the enemy is. Because in the garden, the enemy is everything: the aphids, the weather, time. And so you pour yourself into it, care so much, and see up close so much birth, and growth, and beauty, and danger, and triumph. And then everything dies anyway, right? But you just keep doing it.

Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott.

Lets say you want to create a beautiful garden. Prepare the land i.e. you pull the weeds, till the soil and plant and tend the seeds of the flowers, trees and plants youd like to see one day bloom.
Nice, right?
If we want to create a beautiful life, the good life, weve gotta treat our minds and lives with the same care we would a gardenpulling out the weed thoughts ,behaviors, actions and only planting the seeds we want to see come to fruition.
In other words, if you want a life filled with joy, love, appreciation, kindness, generosity, wisdom, patience, courage, creativity, and enthusiasm, PLANT THOSE SEEDS. 
So nature has her fair share of lessons for the good life.
To think youre going to get that goodness, strength and beauty, when youre constantly sowing the seeds of anger, fear, greed, impatience, laziness, half-assness, entitlement and hate, 
This just isnt very wise, huh?
So What seeds are you planting, o dear gardener?
What metaphor would you use to describe your picture of how life is supposed to work for you? How do we choose to view life?
One way we do so is the use of metaphors. In his book, Notebook from a Friend  A Quick and Simple Guide to Taking Charge of Your Life, Anthony Robbins says “Behind every metaphor is a system of beliefs. When you choose a metaphor to describe your life, or your situation, you choose the beliefs it supports too. This is why you want to be careful about the way you describe your worldto yourself or to anyone else.”
Of course, this use is one inspiring way to make life, a little less random and more pragmatic, a human craft from the parables of old to the narratives of today’s cinema as means to help us understand a big truth which cant be fully expressed, or accurately portrayed by the use of common or intellectual tongue.
What metaphor do you use to describe your life? Will you stick with that image, or change it? Hear is why I think the use of the great two metaphors i.e. the river and garden are not just rich with wisdom but, paint a vivid picture to what it may mean to embrace the act of living, and at best, are lovely, simple and calm fruits to the soul.
Here is why they resonant more than most life metaphors to me and perhaps why they can be said to be the greatest and somewhat bounce off each other in such a rich harmony.
Because so much of life is learning that living life well is so much about expectations; and how we react and later act to the said expectations that we  shaped by how we view life.
Your metaphor about what life is and is supposed to be really determines your life experience.  If you have a faulty view, you may not end up with a faulty life but may miss an otherwise ok one.  Your experience matches your worldview.


Pail Coelho says the river reminds us that we are always doing things for the first time. We should face these novelties with joy, not with fear  because it is useless to fear what cannot be avoided. A river never stops running.
Avail yourself to the unconventional, whatever you do above all be determined and dont get frustrated or give frustration the last word.
Sailing on the river of life isnt always a linear course, so be patient. Its a sailboat ride. And the weather changes, and the currents change, and the wind changes.

In life, we travel up stream, through the current of society. More often than we want stuff won’t pan out as you wish, but dont oppose or blame society. Society is in a situation of its on. Resist the temptation to renounce it, your time and energy are better off somewhere.
When hardship or torrents of life prevails say, Thats life” and marshal your dignity to navigating the disappointment the best you can. When the water calms and society tosses me out, is it wiser to stay the course or find another way?
You have to accept that in order to ultimately arrive where you want, you must allow course corrections often, be humble and accept the way of the journey.  You even have to allow for what might appear to be detours, repairs, unexpected routes, new discovery and failures being your greatest lessons.
The old stoic adage reminds us to know that not everything is within your control, only your response and attitude. So as with us and the river, we have to navigate with a strategy.
So much of life is beyond our control, and to tame this mighty road completely may be our demise, but that doesnt mean we have to simply be victims, for our sailing is surely within our control, shall we chatter the wind in the direction we aspire?
Where men see trouble, we sail and see opportunity, I can choose my attitude.  I can choose my environment.  I can choose my behavior.  I can choose to learn and build my strategy to overcome a task, I can choose to stay and not go.
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper once said A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things. A Ship is strong, so should we build ourselves to be strong .The storms shall pass.
Ships may sail out but, they always return to port. This essential maintenance is scheduled in, to keep it strong, to extend its life, so it can keep on carrying its cargo. How important is it for us to adopt and manage good habits and take care of ourselves uniquely each and every day.

An old farmer was once asked at a meeting of the Agricultural Congress to give his opinion on the best slope of land for the raising of a particular kind of   fruit.  “It does not make so much difference,” said the old man, about the slope of the land as the slope of the man.” ‘Many a farmer who has the right slope makes a good living and gets a competence on very poor soil,  while the farmer who does not slope the right way barely exists upon the richest soil. Happiness does not depend so much upon our being favorably environed as upon the slope of our mind. It is not enough to extract happiness from ideal conditions; any one can do that.  But it is the self -mastered, the self -poised soul who can get happiness out of the most inhospitable surroundings.  “Paradise is here or nowhere. You must take your joy with you or you will never find it.

Orisen Swett Madden

Just as you should have a vision for your garden, so to with life. What kind of life do you want to have? What flowers do you want to bloom, what soil is good for you and how do you achieve nourishment? What do you want to do or have, and experience in your garden?
Plant the seeds that will bear the fruit that are most important to you. Then, work with the seasons of your life if you wish, you can try planting different seeds. Seeds of love, kindness, right speech and generosity .You just cant plant too many things at the same time. If we dont consciously reap good fruit, the world will lay waste to our gardens. You Reap What You Sow.
Many people take a look at their lives, they dont like what they see, and they wonder what went wrong. Ask yourself, what mental seeds to we choose to plant daily? Are you looking for the so called greener pastures? Unaware of the Eden, you are living in and graced with every day?
The garden teaches us to prune negative people, thoughts and emotions from our lives wisely, to learning to bend with the challenges of Life and let go. To adapt to the hardships of lifes storms and think on our feet. The garden also teaches us to bask in the beauty of handwork, the brightness of creation and to always appreciate the small things and the course of growth with any projection.
Depending on what these factors are, some goals in your garden will be much easier for you to achieve than others. So make sure that you choose goals that are a good fit for you. As a gardener, analyze the environment and the circumstances you find yourself in. A garden needs constant tending, this requires we have the patience to create truth, love, beauty and goodness in anything we set our minds to.
All you can do is take the action that is most likely to produce the results that you want, and then patiently await the results. As with ships, many other things which are not within our control can be damaged and are no strange to harsh winds, be flexible and look for ways to keep moving forward.
To this, I celebrate the river and garden’s rich timely messages, to this I say be ever an art, to use flowers and fruit to paint, and the flow of water as a majestic canvas, and our lives a beautiful creation, we the artist, our lives all the more worth it.”

Does Heaven speak? The four seasons pursue their courses, and all things are continually being produced, but does Heaven say anything?



​There is little chance of success in your ventures, plans, projects or business without a well thought out executed strategy or well applied action. However, beautiful the strategy you have to look at results drawing toward your goal as this is just as important.

Everyone begins as a rookie or novice. Every Individual, business, empire starts with a vision or goal. No doubt, a vision is a good thing. Like a journeyman or traveller, the vision is your desired outcome and the North Star guides you to your desired point of interest.

Your strategy is your map and involves a designed plan of action. A vision is nothing without execution. Taking action is just as important as the plan made or the success desired. Deliverance is the spotlight moment, the do or die moment as to whether the plan goes as planned.

The execution is vital. Strategy involves a conscious decision to move from your current position to the one you have envisioned. It requires you to take the steps needed in order to achieve the goal.

There are a lot of numerous examples of people who moved from point A to point B. Point plan to point achievement by taking good effective action. Yet there are also more examples of people running out of steam and becoming stagnant or going backward during execution.

Sometimes, the problem isn’t that the strategy is wrong or because it is outdated and circumstances change, of course one can never truly see or determine the consequences of one’s choices. But the most likely cause lies in the failure to properly execute the strategy.

Bridging the gap between the strategy and the goal is the most difficult in any venture. Rudy Giuliani says “Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy”. Anyone can work hard when you feel like it or are feeling super motivated or if life is basically going well for you but, what about when you get bored? The journey feels hard as it usually does.

What separates losers and winners when genetics, talent, luck or resources mean little? Top performers in any act embrace the daily practice that requires mastery of their act and simply deciding not to change course, following the North Star, adopting and never giving up –no matter what. So true execution comes from embracing execution through the daily grind.

So of course, Rome wasn’t built in a day and execution is just as important as the plan and the results you hope to see and in one way or another better than the goal itself. 

Take for instance, mountain climbing, the thrill of it all isn’t reaching the top per se but, battling and overcoming the elements, overcoming the self and embracing the constant zest and zeal of the unknown, no turning back but, being in constant motion. 

For it is true, as with life, goals and desired results only begin out of the comfort zone. To move from strategy to execution in all aspects of one’s life makes “a man worth his word” 

“All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved…Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to Victory, tactics with strategy is the noise before defeat”

– Sun Tzu


​How do we listen to our hearts? What kinds of insights or aid is required to be authentic? How do we embrace the daily grind? The monotony of daily living without regrets, managing our despair and other general ailments?

Existentialist Martin Heidegger’s reply is that everyone comes equipped with an existential conscience that calls to them to live authentically. This conscience turns out to be you talking to yourself about yourself.

This conscience is you trying to shake the part of you lost in the crowd, yourself out of its conformity. When you heed the call of your conscience, you take a necessary step toward embracing yourself and living authentically.

Your existential conscience shakes you from the inauthentic life of the crowd by reminding you of your guilt, which in turn, points out to you your responsibility for taking ownership of what you are as a self or as a being. What this means is that your conscience wants you to own up to the fact that as an existing, choosing, self-determining being, you’re incomplete in some key ways.

The possibilities available to you for self-definition aren’t limitless; in fact, the options you have are structured by the historical and cultural world you’re born into and you can’t simply make all the possibilities available to you, it’s an inescapable reality.

“Think of the call of conscience like a phone call. On one end, you have the person dialling (the caller). That’s you. But it’s the you who’s always in there, in your life, always capable of authenticity (no matter what you do, unless you magically turn into a stone or an animal, this part of yourself is always present). That self always capable of authenticity is the caller. We call it the “You-Self.””-Greg Gale

The You-Self (person you want to be) is dialling up the you who is presently lost in the crowd. It must: Heidegger says the call can’t be addressed to the They-Self. The They-Self is the self of the everyday — the self within you that represents the voice of the crowd. 

The They-Self is the everyone-self that has no identity of its own, the identity you take on when you become steeped in your conformist routines. The They-Self actually avoids the call. In fact, as Heidegger puts it, in the call of conscience the They-Self “gets passed over in this appeal.”

Just to be clear the existential conscience calls you to recognize your guilt — not moral guilt, the difference between the two is that Moral guilt typically acts as a spotlight of sorts. The former results from performing some shameful action, and the latter points to an absence of something in you. 

When you steal or lie, moral guilt pains you because it makes apparent your lack of honesty. Moral guilt makes clear to you that you’re incomplete or limited in some important way.

In contrast, existential guilt doesn’t point to an action, but to you as a being. Moral guilt points to a lack in you that causes that action, but existential guilt points to an absence that’s a fundamental and an essential part of what you are as an existing being. The lack that moral guilt points to should be filled in; the lack that existential guilt points to should be embraced.

To be completely assured that your choice is right, you need to be able to step outside any context that may influence your way of looking at things. What you want is a timeless, “God’s-eye” view of your situation. 

From this standpoint, you could objectively and dispassionately sort through the possible options and figure out which option is right. Heidegger’s point, however, this is when you truly see what you are, you see that this will never happen. You can never step outside your biased framework to see with assurance what’s objectively right or the one true choice.

Heidegger’s point here is that, as a self-defining being, you have to make choices within an historical and cultural framework — one that structures not only what’s possible for you, but also how you think about those possibilities. 

What’s possible for you, in a given situation? Whatever is in your situation, you don’t share the same world or the same history as everyone else. You would inevitably respond differently even to the same situations.

Being a self-defining being daily requires recognising that one is “thrown” into a certain historical situation, a certain time period, a certain culture, and a context that makes a specific set of lives possible. Heidegger thinks that although this does function as a limit, because your power of self-definition is indeed limited, it isn’t something to complain about. 

Instead, it’s the very ground of your freedom. To want to create yourself from the ground up should be seen as inauthentic, essentially obscuring and refusing to face up to the fact that your human existence is a situational one. All lives have a context in which they should be understood.

One as such makes a resolve to embrace their death and view the seriousness of one’s choice as joined together with one’s past, heritage, and selection of possibilities. This joining involving your past and future, birth and death is now expressed in the way you act in and see the present. 

Your life as a whole is unified and self-driven; your present situation and your action make sense in a story that connects your past, your present and your future. This means you daily are an authentic individual. You have to keep it up and keep marching on. This is in a sense, who we are daily and anything else does mean we are living inauthentically. 


​Critics of Nietzsche accuse him of being an elitist who was obsessed with greatness and with the creation of the Übermensch (or superman). He believed great individuals go beyond good and evil to accomplish their ends as such, this fuelled a lot of Nazi ideas of fascism.

The Übermensch is largely misunderstood but, is more of an individual and spiritual goal. Nietzsche calls himself the Übermensch (which means superperson or overman, the person who is beyond the form of current humanity)  has yet to exist on earth.

Nietzsche says, Live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships into uncharted seas! Live at war with your peers and yourselves! He instead challenges us live passionately, to challenge ourselves and to always push the envelope.

Nietzsche doesnt actually mean that you should literally sell your home and rebuild on the slopes of an active volcano but, life is no fun without risk and challenge through self-mastery. Nietzsche thinks of self-mastery as a kind of art. 

He says, Only one thing is needful; to give style to ones character  a great and rare art! In a sense, when you strive to be an individual, you are at the same time the artist and the mound of clay. You fashion yourself into a sculpture. You look at the desires that compose you and decide what goal or aim you want to see for your life. 

This self-formation requires choice. You have to decide that the clay should take on some particular shape as opposed to some other. Self imposes upon desires a sense of style by making them conform to that self-chosen shape. Nietzsche doesnt mean the imposition of some contemporary style but, a notion of style as expressive of ones individual creative and aesthetic nature.

This ability to give style to your own person requires a lot of inner strength. Treating yourself as a work of art isnt easy. Organizing your life in accordance with a purpose or meaning that reflects your own unique individuality. Only in this way can you be said to truly control your own self. Nietzsche thinks of this person as a noble”.

Being a self requires unifying those warring desires under a central purpose or meaning. So being a self requires mastering yourself by giving your desires a common direction. Challenging self requires the activity of mastering your desires and ordering them around a choice that expresses the meaning youve given your life.

True power seeks to develop internal beauty as a result we must embrace challenge. Truly honouring your purpose in life is living it passionately  pushing it to go faster and faster, each time pushing it, and yourself, to the limit.

Embracing change means exposing yourself to new and different perspectives. This is challenging oneself at best.

Greg Gale put it, Read a book on a subject that completely disagrees with the way that youve chosen to live your life. Learn about your history. See whether youre the victim of self-deception.

Seek to unsettle yourself; shake up what you think and believe. When youre in public, seek out the kinds of people who disagree with you passionately, and talk to them. Cultivate friendships with these kinds of people. Surround yourself with the seeds of your own destruction.

 Nietzsche once claimed, I am not a man, I am dynamite! Well, if youre dynamite, surround yourself with matches. Love the ashes that through it you build your empires.

Life will always be an uphill battle, whether you realise now or not and in true fashion, Nietzsche to put it bluntly in a modern sense says Fight the Power. He views a good and excellent life as one thats always put at risk. Thats the only way to truly value and honour life.
Are you ready to be a warrior for your self-created identity and goal? Can you subject your identity to that kind of battle? Do you love yourself enough? Are you willing to be who you are?

“”Who am I?” remains the ultimate question of human existence, and it is a question we are continually challenged to answer anew, as we go on evolving. 

Nathaniel Brande


​How can we live authentically? Since the dawn of philosophy, many have paused such a question. Also questions, Like how do we know we exist? Does this object exist? How do things exist? But Heidegger, said before asking about existence we must ask what the meaning of being is?

In being and time, he introduces man as “dasein”, the being that stands out from everyday consciousness and recognizes his own being and asks the question “what does it mean to be”. Before this one fact, one realizes this one fact. One is completely absorbed in the world, dasein is in the world.

Living authentically involves dasein’s understanding of itself as a being that exists and that potentially doesn’t exist or eventually will not exist. We do our everyday things but, with everyday monotony, most don’t heavily realize how their acts respond to themselves and others. 

A craftsman has tools and doesn’t see the tools as independent of self but, when the tool breaks the craftsman sees the tool independent of self and this promotes the thought that dasein will in fact be of non-existence or will cease function as does his tools and the craftsman’s self as does his tools are subject to entropy.

Living with the reality of non-existence or that one may die one day is of importance to living authentically. Heidegger brings out the idea of the “own most” which means that by fact, you will experience your own death and you can’t share it with someone, no one but, you has your life and no one but you will have your death.

“We were born into a world of quiet conformity.

Initially everything we do and say, think and believe

Have been done, said, thought and believed before. The activities we regard as worthy of our time and effort, the ultimate values and meanings we pursue

And the particular styles and forms through which we pursue these goals have all been provided by our various human cultures.”

Unless we find ways to wrest control of our own lives from society,

All of our decisions will continue to be made for us by the unnoticed forces of the cultures in which we live.’

They (Other People) even hide the process by which ‘they’ have quietly relieved us of the ‘burden’ of making choices for ourselves. 

It remains a complete mystery who has really done the choosing. We are carried along by the ‘nobody’, without making any real choices, becoming ever more deeply ensnared in inauthenticity.”

[Martin Heidegger Being & Time, Macquarrie p. 312-313; Stambaugh p. 248; paraphrase]

The authentic dasein sees one existence as one’s own, to be defined and made by one’s thoughts and self. The unauthentic dasein is moved and defined by the public and allows one’s self to be socially constructed and one is lost. 

One must not live alone to be authentic but, to be authentic has more to do with your attitude, it involves confronting one’s values, understanding the social, universal reality one exists in, ceasing one’s existence and making it one’s own.