Thursday, July 09, 2015

Nietzsche on living dangerously

The secret of realizing the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment of existence is: to live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships out into uncharted seas! Live in conflict with your equals and with yourselves! Be robbers and ravagers as soon as you ca not be rulers and owners, you men of knowledge! The time will soon past when you could be content to live concealed int he woods like timid deer!

Friedrich Nietzsche

 The Gay Science: with a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs



View Alain de Botton's programme on Nietzsche

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Vivian Greene on not waiting for the storm to the pass

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain.”
 Vivian Greene


Whilst this quote might sound over-idealistic and, as my good friend Peter Cooper says "be the kind of thing John Lennon would have written a song about", I  believe it contains a healthy nugget of wisdom.

It's a vote against resignation, against giving in, against just waiting for things to get better.  When I see depressed clients a key message is

 Dont wait to feel motivated - take a small step in the right direction now, and then motivation will follow.

That's the "don't wait for the storm to pass" part.

Dancing in the rain, though, seriously? Well.  the idea of Singing in the Rain is hardly new ..





 I'm also reminded of John Locke's characteristic response in the first series of Lost.


The good idea here  is to adapt to the circumstances we find ourselves in as best we can. Don't assume that you can't do anything positive because there is a storm in our life. You might even find something really positive ...


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Abraham Lincoln on the best way to relieve your own suffering


To ease another's heartache is to forget one's own 



Abraham Lincoln

 See Schwartz  and Sendor (1999) Helping others helps oneself: response shift eff€ects in peer support  for empircal support.
http://old.dsav.asn.au/research/Helping%20others%20helps%20oneself%20by%20Schwartz%20&%20Sendor.pdf

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The tale of the two wolves



One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his
grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said "my son, the battle is between two 'wolves' inside us all.
One is evil. 
It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance,
self-pity, guilt, resentment,inferiority, lies, false pride,superiority, and ego.

The other is good.
It is joy, peace love, hope serenity,humility, kindness, benevolence,
empathy, generosity,truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson though aboutit for a minute and then asked his grandfather:

"Which wolf wins?..."

The old cherokee simply replied,
"The one that you feed"


This tale can be found in various forms. This version comes from
http://www.nanticokeindians.org/tale_of_two_wolves.cfm

Monday, April 20, 2015

Jack Kornfield's updating of Rudyard Kipling's If

If you can sit quietly after difficult news;
if, in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm;
if you can see your neighbors travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy;
if you could happily eat whatever is put on your plate;
if you can fall asleep after a day of running around without a drink or a pill;

if you can always find contentment just where you are:
                                          you are probably a dog.

http://www.jackkornfield.com/live-present/

Saturday, March 21, 2015

T.S. Eliot on the life of a procrastinator




Do I dare Disturb the universe? In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. 
  For I have known them all already, known them all; Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,   I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock




Brilliantly read by Anthony Hopkins.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

J.S. Mill on freedom

  1. The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental and spiritual.
J.S. Mill On Liberty

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Robert Sternberg on what makes for a fulfilling intimate loving relationship



Love has three components:

(a) intimacy, which encompasses the feelings of closeness, connectedness, and bondedness one experiences in loving relationships;
(b) passion, which encompasses the drives that lead to romance, physical attraction, and sexual consummation; and
(c) decision/commitment, which encompasses, in the short term, the decision that one loves another, and in the long term, the commitment to maintain that love

Robert Sternberg, The Triangular Theory of Love


I discuss how the Triangular Theory of Love can help you understand - and improve - relationships in  in Achieve Your Potential with Positive Psychology


Sunday, March 15, 2015

It was in the papers so it must be true - or "the dangers of autopilot"

"A few years ago, a delivery driver from Doncaster almost drove his car off a cliff. His BMW was left teetering on the edge of a 100ft precipice in Yorkshire after he had followed his satnav’s instructions, despite increasing indications that he had ceded a shade too much control to the gadget. “It just kept insisting the path was a road, even as it was getting narrower and steeper,” the chap explained, “so I just trusted it. I rely on my satnav. I couldn’t do without it for my job"

Marina Hyde writing in The Guardian  March 11th 2015

She mentions this in the context of over-reliance on technology and the England cricket team. I wonder if there are other lessons too such as
- the dangers of auto-pilot (as opposed to mindfulness)
- the pitfalls of obedience to authority
- the pros and cons of advances in technology in general

What do you think?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Woody Allen gives a philosophy lesson to Dianne Keaton in Love and Death