Career crises, job snobbery and… philosophy.

Imagine you’ve published a string of highly successful books, that have been acclaimed as both profound and accessible. You’ve presented tie-in TV series that did very well in the ratings. You’ve got a big house in a fashionable part of London. And as if that weren’t enough, before you even started to climb the ladder of success, you had a trust fund of £200m (that’s more than $300m), thanks to your banker father. You’re happy, right? Not if you’re philosopher Alain de Botton. In his presentation to TED Global 2009 in Oxford in June, he confessed that the gap between his hopes for his life and the reality are so divergent, he ends up weeping into his pillow – usually on a Sunday evening, as the sun goes down. Sound familiar? De Botton’s talk, A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success, is humourous, entertaining and highly practical. In a world that spins ever faster, with success seemingly forever beyond our grasp, he injects a welcome note of reality into our frenzied lives. It’s 16 minutes long, and you’ll feel better after watching it. I guarantee it (or your money back). If you’re reading this in an email message, click here to view the talk. Find out more: