Saturday, May 25, 2013

Weekend inspiration


Some days being a vet, or being an anything, is just a hard slog and we need inspiration, motivation or just something from somewhere (and let's face it, most veterinary textbooks just don't deliver on this front, although there are a few exceptions I'll be discussing later).

So this is a quote from philosopher John Armstrong, in an exceptionally brilliant little book called How to Worry Less About Money of all things (and no, the following quote won't make you rich - not in the bank account sense anyway).

He writes:

“Doing valuable things doesn’t always feel good at the time. You have to slog on, when you feel like giving up; risk annoying other people; accept the anxieties that come with competition; put your soul into things that might be rejected or are just plain difficult. Flourishing means getting on with the things that are important for you to do, exercising your capacities, actively trying to ‘realise’ what you care about and bring it into life
But these activities involve anxiety, fear of failure and setbacks, as well as a sense of satisfaction, occasional triumphs and moments of excitement. 
 A good life is still a life. It must involve its full share of suffering, loneliness, disappointment and coming to terms with one’s own mortality and the deaths of those one loves. To live a life that is good as a life involves all this.
Flourishing captures what we actually aspire to: the best use of our capacities and abilities; involvement in things we take to be worthwhile; the formation and expression of one’s best self”.

Its a bit of a mouthful and not the sort of cute quote one might tattoo on one's shoulder (unless one is built like the Incredible Hulk, perhaps)(which this one is not). But lovely nonetheless...
 


3 comments:

  1. Made me realize I never new what flourishing really meant: "...the formation and expression of one’s best self”. Well put. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Thank you for the review. Reminded me a little of Jon Kabat-Zinn's Full Catastrophe Living. Like Ludmila, I do love the concept of 'flourishing'.
    Very grounding.

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  3. Martin Seligman has written a lot on flourishing but the concept is not new. I like this paragraph though because I think our expectations about life are quite unbalanced (I know mine can be) so its a reminder that life has its good and less good moments.

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