Alan Watts was a fascinating 20th Century philosopher who brought Eastern philosophy to the West and put under judgement our society’s idea of success.

In his speech about Life and Music, he talks about the Western idea of happiness and success, and shows how our society encourages us to pursue professional success rather than personal growth.

“In music, one does not make the end of the composition, the point of the composition.”

As kids, we are put into schools and encouraged to pass through all the levels of primary education with the best marks so he can get into a good high school. Once in high school, we should study hard and try to be, again, the best students so we can be accepted into a respectable college or university, with the goal of getting into a decent job after graduating. A successful person will work hard to get promoted and go up the corporate ladder, to finally achieve “success” in his 40s or 50s…

“Then when you wake up one day at about 40 years old you say “My God! I’ve arrived! I’m there”. And you don’t feel very different from what you always felt.”


The question is: does this end justify missing all the joy of the journey?

We missed the point. We were supposed to dance while the music was being played. Click To Tweet


Listen to his speech in this animated video and leave us your opinion: