In 2005, renowned writer David Wallace gave an important commencement speech commonly referred to as This Is Water. The speech focused on the importance of being conscious, sympathetic and well adjusted. He came with the concept of a natural default setting that encourages self-indulgence and lack of consciousness.
What did David Foster Wallace mean by default mode setting?.
According to Wallace, we have a default setting that leads to the assumption that the world revolves around us. We tend to think that everything that takes place in our lives only occurs because it has an impact on us. He was pointing to the fact that people view the world from their personal perspective. This type of default setting leads to self-indulgence since we become trapped in internal monologue. He argued that people need to change their thinking and learn how to control how they construct their meaning from experience. Wallace urged that we should extend our perspectives beyond the self, because there is more happening around us. Well-adjusted people are those who can adjust their natural default setting.
What is your default mode setting?.
My default setting is not far removed from what Wallace described in his essay. I lived in a world dominated by my thoughts. In my world, I am the centre of my reality and everything else just occurs to affect me. External occurrences are usually viewed from my perspective because I have limited myself to automatic unconscious thinking. If you ask me I would tell you that I am well adjusted, because I get along with others and I am well educated. Now, I am aware I over-intellectualize because I have not adjusted my natural default setting. I get easily frustrated when things do not go my way. Sometimes, I even think that there is a conspiracy to defeat my efforts. As a slave to my inner thoughts, I have often failed to engage the external reality.
I come from an individualist culture where the self is king.