Thursday, December 28, 2017

Rediscover afresh..................


     Self-knowledge - an ancient remedy so old that its value is easily forgotten - is the process through which one may organize conflicting options.  "Know thyself" was carved over the entrance to the Delphic oracle, and ever since untold pious epigrams have extolled its virtue.  The reason the advice is so often repeated is that it works.  We need, however, to rediscover afresh every generation what these words mean, what the advice actually implies for each individual. ...
     Inner conflict is the result of competing claims on attention.  Too many desires, too many incompatible goals struggle to marshal psychic energy toward their own ends.  It follows that the only way to reduce conflict is by sorting out the essential claims from those that are not, and by arbitrating priorities among those that remain.  There are basically two ways to accomplish this:  what the ancients called the vita activa, a life of action, and the vita contempativa, or the path of reflection. ...
     Activity and reflection should ideally complement and support each other.  Action by itself is blind, reflection impotent.  Before investing great amounts of energy in a goal, it pays to raise the fundamental questions:  Is this something I really want to do?  Is it something I enjoy doing?  Am I likely to enjoy it in the foreseeable future?  Is the price that I - and others - will have to pay worth it?  Will I be able to live with myself if I accomplish it?

-Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,  Flow:  The Psychology Of Optimal Experience

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