I wonder sometimes if the emptiness so many of us feel is only difficult to cope with because we live in a world which sells us another self altogether. We participate through consumption, craving experience and accessories through which to define ourselves, in which to seek validation through others and those internalised perceptions, assumptions and expectations we constantly absorb from the culture in which we are embedded. We keep pouring more fuel into the tank but find ourselves perennially running on empty. We seek a completeness and concrete logic of psychological, existential continuity but this completeness and certainty does not actually exist. The discomfort caused by the dissonance between what (we think) we need to be and what we actually are – this creates manifold individual and shared narcissistic neuroses and a deep and unremitting feeling of unease. While consumer culture (and its associated economies of culturally-mediated experience and artefact-aggregation) benefits quite well from this foundational discomfort, our personal lives suffer endlessly. Letting go of this shared illusion and aspiration to participatory self-validation is the hardest thing to do, but it also remains the simplest and most important step anyone could take towards their own happiness.