Week 47: Flourishing

Achievement – Success

Sometimes people ask “What is the purpose of life” or “Does life have a purpose”. These are confusing ways of asking the question, because they suggest an inquiry into a cosmic purpose at which we can only guess. Asked like that, these questions are unrelated to anything that is going
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Relationships

Homo sapiens is a social species. We rely on each other for comfort, companionship, support, nurturance and guidance. We also rely on each other for a reassurance, so most of us respond positively to another person’s joy and negatively to another person’s suffering. By paying attention to and developing our
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Gratefulness

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. [Epictetus] We do not see that our life right here, right now, is nirvana. [Taizan Maezumi, Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice (Shambhala, 2001), p. 4.]
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Engagement

Early on, we identified “engaging the world” as a basic building block for ethical and personal development. This refers to engaging at some level, coming out of the cocoon. Engagement as an aspect of flourishing refers to being fully engaged in the affairs of life: in one’s activities and one’s
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Meaning

Meaning is an element of religion and it is also an element of flourishing. A person who feels that life is meaningless is at risk for depression and is likely to have difficulty functioning: after all, if nothing matters, then there is no reason to do anything. Meaning is a
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Positive Emotion

Having a good and healthy outlook on life is an essential element of living well. Positive emotions, such as optimism, joyfulness, kindliness and enthusiasm, set a tone for our lives. Whatever circumstances may surround us, if we can live with positive emotion, we can be happy and we can encourage
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Flourishing

Early on, we identified some basic preferences, which give shape and content to an ethical system: health, satisfaction of basic needs, pleasure, longevity, happiness and fulfillment. Many people group these under the single category of happiness. This week, we approach this question again, this time with more informed eyes. How can
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