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Alain de Botton: Professional Happiness

My favorite TEDGlobal speaker so far has been Alain de Botton, the philosopher for the knowledge worker. He mused about the "sorrows and pleasures of work" (the title of his latest book), our ever-more complex careers (formerly known as lives), the quintessential question of the 21st century (“what do you do?”), snobbery (“taking a small piece of someone to form a vision of who he is”), the direct relationship between proximity and envy ("proximity is the prerequisite for envy"), tragedy as a human way to embrace failure (”Hamlet lost but he was not a loser”), the loss of transcendence (“ for the first time in history, we have nothing to worship but ourselves”), and a vision of success that accepts that each and every win comes with a loss ("you can't be successful in everything"). De Botton's career advice (= recipe for happiness in the 21st century): “Be the author of your ambition.”