self-growth

self-growth


How to Find Happiness in Modern America

happiness October 18th, 2022

Attitude is everything, so they say. There is truly something to that. According to one strain of research, our happiness is about 50% “determined” by our genes. There is little we can do to stray very far from our “set point” level of happiness. A death will bring us very low, and that “new car smell” will give us a happiness bump for days, perhaps weeks. A promotion will engender some greater satisfaction, but it’s effect, too, will fade (perhaps only leaving a somewhat larger paycheck and potentially greater stress associated with increased or different responsibilities). The point is, If genes account for 50% of one’s level of happiness, what does that leave us with? This is a blog about psychological research, applied philosophy, and values and virtues such as personal growth, free will, and responsibility.

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The Values and Virtues of “The Wise”

values and virtues February 23rd, 2022

The phrase “values of the wise” can be a little confusing at first glance. Made less succinct but clearer, the phrase essentially means those values and virtues which wise persons throughout history and across many cultures tend to find worthy, good, and worth pursuing. In other words, these are the values which wise people possess. Well, this is arguable, but it is my belief. At least, these 28 values represent a sampling of good and useful values and virtues. Some values such as love, happiness, and a tolerance for ambiguity aren’t specifically included, but a list of 50 or 100 values would be unwieldy. I find evidence for these values and virtues being worthy and valid in the form of quotations. This blog will list and describe the 28 values of the wise.

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Developing Wisdom As You Go

developing wisdom November 9th, 2021

If it is true that wisdom is much more complex and multifarious than, say, courage or passion, then it seems as though some aspects of a person’s wisdom would be more advanced than others, which would be relatively underdeveloped. I picture a bar graph for each individual with some levels (bars) being more highly developed and prominent than other levels. Life is a challenge, and a wise person knows where they’ve been, knows what they are about, and knows what it takes to get where they are going. Developing wisdom as you go is a concept I want to reflect on in this blog.

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Cultivating Virtue & Living Wisely

virtue December 22nd, 2020

Cultivating virtue helps us to live well, and within reason. But how are we to understand the kind of guardrails reason provides? Why suppose that reason can govern action and emotion in the way that modern Aristotelian theorists of virtue seem to suggest that it can? After all, there is an impressive body of empirical research suggesting that people frequently fail to live up to their own ideals. In this blog, Professor Candace Vogler writes about reason, virtue, and living wisely.

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Finding Meaning and Living a Good Life

meaning August 29th, 2018

This is a guest blog written by Paul Wong, Ph.D. In it, he writes that “All the great humanitarians, such as Albert Schweitzer, Maya Angelou, Oskar Schindler and Mahatma Gandhi, devoted their lives to a noble mission. In contrast, those who pursue money, power and wealth can achieve only a shallow life at best; when they fail in their egotistic goals, they are more likely to become bitter, angry and depressed than those who failed in pursuing a life full of meaning.” Read more about how meaning contributes to a well-lived life – a life of value.

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Self-Improvement Has Much to Do with Values

self-improvement has much to do with values August 2nd, 2018

The concept has many names: personal growth, self-help, psycho-emotional development, self-improvement, self-growth, etc. They can have a slightly “cheesy” ring to them, but much has been written about them (and there is a huge audience for this kind of material). In this blog, I will share some opinions I have about what self-improvement (or whatever name you want to use) is really about. Many inspiring quotes about personal growth will be presented. This piece should encourage the reader toward higher levels of psychological, spiritual, moral, and philosophical development to come to believe that self-improvement has much to do with values.

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Five Potentially Life-Changing Quotes

life-changing quotes July 30th, 2018

There are hundreds and hundreds of potentially life-changing quotes out there, and this blog is an attempt to bring just five to the fore for your consideration. Sit back, relax, slow it down, and let these enter your mind, and your heart. They are, as I believe, potentially life-changing quotes because they have the potential to provide a breath of fresh air in our busy, crowded, frustrating, isolating, difficult, money-centered society. These thoughts by some great thinkers from the past and present have the potential to wake us up, elicit great insight and enthusiasm, and help us integrate the often-separated and truncated parts of ourselves. 

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Quotes About Living Life on Life’s Terms

living life on life's terms June 12th, 2018

As I noted in a previous blog about living life on life’s terms, one has to take a long, hard look at life and in the mirror and not blanch. One will find a high challenge there. “Life is a tragedy to those who think, and a comedy to those who feel,” noted French author La Bruyere long ago. But Drew D. Brown believed that “[y]ou don’t look in the mirror to see life; you’ve got to look out the window.” Thus, I wanted to follow up that first blog with this, a piece featuring quotes about “living life on life’s terms”. Enjoy this look at coping, self-realization, personal growth, inner strength, truth, insight, and realism.

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The Challenge of Living Life on Life’s Terms

life on life's terms June 7th, 2018

I was either born or molded into a perfectionist. I just wanted to put that out there. I also am, how should I say, not given to optimism. I do realize the power of an optimistic outlook. In fact, my stepfather is in his 80s and is known among friends and family as being able to ignore inconvenient truths and view the world through rose-colored glasses. Usually, I would look upon that with a certain disdain, as I studied psychological science and clinical practice, and took a number of classes at “the school of hard knocks,” if you will. This blog is about the challenge of optimism (for me at least).

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A Poem About Wistfulness: “The Still Small Voice”

poem about wistfulness March 20th, 2018

This is a poem about wistfulness. Wistful is clarified by Vocabulary.com: “People who appear wistful often show a longing for something or a look of serious reflection. One way to describe the adjective wistful is as the sad appearance of someone looking back and thinking if only… A thoughtful or pensive mood centered on something good in the past that is missed or something not so good in the present that could have been better if only something had gone differently — these things make for a wistful outlook.”
This solid piece was written by the long-dead writer, John Rollin Ridge, reputed as the first American Indian novelist. It speaks of wistfulness, regret, selfhood, memories, pain, remembrance, meaning, and peace. It’s amazing not just for its stylistic excellence, but for how well it has lasted, considering it was written by a Cherokee Indian almost 75 years ago. Enjoy.

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