Your first step is to understand that life is suffering.

A shitload of suffering.

Now comes the fun part!

Do the things that make you happy. Eat that whole cheesecake. Get ridiculously drunk on a weeknight.

Forget what others think of you. At the end of the day, do they wash this body of yours? All your nooks and all your crannies? Do they have any idea about the burdens of life that you wake to? How could they possibly begin to understand what goes on under your folds of skin. You are the one and only, the best.

Love the people you love, practice witchcraft, buy the things you want, have that illegitimate baby, as long as you’ll love him with everything you’ve got. Renounce God if you don’t have faith (apologize to your parents, thank them for trying to save your soul, but explain to them that you are searching for the meaning of life, and this is the only way). Pursue art or music as a living even though you know that’s not where the money is. Live on top of a tree in the rain forest so that it doesn’t get cut down.

Do whatever you want. The world is your plaything.

Before you die, leave most of your estate to your favorite people and descendants (if you have any). But if you have extra, you should donate a significant sum to a charity with a cause that you truly believe in (think hard, there must be at least one).

And finally, now that you are dead, you must suffer the consequences of enjoying your life. Suffer away.

From The Real Meaning of Life, 2005 by David Seaman. Reprinted with permission of New World Library.

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