Many have identified the weaknesses in Deresiewicz's jeremiad. In his forthcoming novel, Supreme Ambitions, David Lat, founder of the legal blog Above the Law, takes a different approach. What happens, he asks, to all those excellent sheep after graduation? His answer won't surprise many: The sheep get herded to law school.
The more fully we live and love, the more sadness we are bound to experience. Our inner critic tries to shield us from feeling the joys and pains of existence. It keeps us in a chronic state of numbness or dissatisfaction. In order to face our fears, we must consciously identify and actively ignore this coaching.