“There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live. “
John Truslow Adams, author of The Epic of America (1933), which introduced "the American Dream"
One of the interesting things about the MAPP program has been the recurring Aristitolean theme of "the good life." Aristotle saw it as the life of virtue (which he saw as the balance between two extremes) lived to the point where it became natural and automatic. Not a bad vision. Laurence Peter (author of The Peter Principle) said,
“Real, constructive mental power lies in the creative thought that shapes your destiny, and your hour-by-hour mental conduct produces power for change in your life. Develop a train of thought on which to ride. The nobility of your life as well as your happiness depends upon the direction in which that train of thought is going.”
Like Aristotle, this gets to the question of personal responsibility. If I'm not happy, if my relationships are not satisfying, if my work doesn't afford me the opportunity to do those things I do with relish, competence, and flair, who has the best opportunity to do something about it? Answer: I do. I think, prior to the MAPP program, I would have questioned how much of an opportunity I (or anyone) might have to improve those areas. Today, I do not. Today, I am convinced that I have, and always have had, far more opportunity to live a full, meaningful, and joyous life than I have permitted myself to believe.
- Nothing is magic.
- No one's perfect.
- Keep getting better.
And the range of "better" that is possible is far more than I might have once believed!