Why Eudaimonia?

This is a great word!  I came across it for the first time on Monday in Emily Esfahani Smith’s fab book: The Power of Meaning.  I knew this word was meant for me when the very next day it came up again in The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman.

Eudaimonia, from ancient Greek, is often and inaccurately translated as “happiness”.  Wikipedia describes it as “human flourishing”. Etymologically, it is made up of “eu” meaning “good” and “daimon” meaning “spirit.  Smith says, it is a state of living up to your true potential by nourishing the best qualities in yourself both morally and intellectually.  It is a life of good character. It is a meaningful life. Happiness is the side effect of such living.

What’s a meaningful Life?

Again, according to Smith, a meaningful life consists of three things:

  • a foundational belief that an individual’s life is “signigicant” and “worthwhile”

  • a feeling of being part of something bigger

  • a drive that comes out of a feeling of purpose

This is the life I am endeavoring to lead.  My quest can take me in a million directions.  To ideas. Books. Art. To my own spirit. To my own musings.

Here we go!

Bryan Voliton