Sunday, January 18, 2015
Flourish or Flail
Is my life flourishing or failing? Neither, it has flourished in the past, and failed in the past. It is in a stage of regrouping.
Seligman book Flourish has some interesting points, and some wrong items as well. Question 18 of the purpose of life test is: "my life is: 1 out of my hands and controlled by external factors, ... 5 in my hands and I'm in control of it. Throughout the book, it is suggested that it is up to us. Bull carp. Epectetus said it best: "some things are up to us and some things are not. Up to us is our judgements, our opinions, our beliefs, our values, our decisions, all else not truly our own are not up to us." We can choose a course of action, a purpose in life and make our moves. And if fate permits, the outcome may be favorable or not. Perseverance can be highly prized character trait, but battling the inevitable is just bad judgement. It is better to retreat, with a parting shot or two, and regroup.
Now on the clincher, a flourishing life does not necessarily make a good person. Consider Nero, or any of the other nefarious leaders. If the purpose of life is to flourish, then have at it. Positive psychology is as much about selection of suitable people as polishing up those with no physical, social, emotional problems and are philosophical malleable. Those of us that are Philosophical rigid or stiff may have issues. The book contains some philosophical oxymorons, and some sloppy logic.