Living Well

Our actions may be impeded…but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting.

 Marcus Aurelius

These modules explore practical strategies for living well, based on understandings drawn from contemporary psychology and neuroscience. The essence of it is that we live in a mediated world.  Our experience is mediated by two things:

  1. What we pay attention to
  2. How we pay attention

By addressing the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ we can increase the ‘degrees of freedom’ in our life.  Be very clear: this is not a wild-eyed, Pollyanna-type optimism, but one grounded in the pervasive reality that constrains us.  There is humility at its heart, because a fundamental assumption is that there are always more practical and useful ways to construe the world.  If we wish to change the balance of contentment and happiness in our lives, we have to change our habits of knowing.  Simple enough, but by no means easy, and a job that is never finished.

It all comes down to our perspective-taking. The kind of practical optimism and emotional intelligence we are exploring prepares you to limit unrealistic expectations in favour of a pragmatic and compassion-based mindset.