Thought-provoking short explains 'how to think'

Video production company The Glossary has done a brilliant job in visualizing the inspirational words of David Foster Wallace, says designer and developer Tammy Coron.

How many school speeches do you remember inspiring you? How many made you struggle to stay awake? If the latter outnumbered the former, then this brilliant visualisation of David Foster Wallace's commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College may change your view of the power of motivational speakers.

First of all, the speech itself is brilliant (and one that personally touched me deeply), honing in on the frustrations of everyday life and how "the most obvious important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about" - then building to an upbeat, life-affirming conclusion.

Secondly, the way the speech has been brought to life by a video production shop The Glossary is stunning, from the beautifully shot scenes to the subtle and insightful use of typography and motion graphics. The visuals are fast-moving but never distracting; rather than screaming 'look at me', they help you focus on the words being spoken and bring out extra depth to the meaning.

Sadly, Wallace, a writer born in Ithaca, New York in 1962, took his own life in 2008 after a long struggle with depression. It's shocking to think such a brilliant and enlightened mind could be lost to us in this way. But in a strange way it makes the words of his speech even more powerful: that life is not always easy, that you need to be aware of your thinking and step out of your default setting; and that you should give others a break - you may not know what skeletons and demons they are currently fighting.

Words: Tammy Coron

Tammy Coron is an iOS developer, backend developer, web developer, writer, and illustrator. She blogs at Just Write Code.

WATCH THIS - The full speech:

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