Author: petermjdaly

Flow, Happiness and Games

This blog is not just about Stoicism, even thought I kicked off with that.  I will also be blogging about modern psychological and neuroscience studies into happiness. Happiness is a serious topic for scientific research today and we can learn a lot from such studies. So here goes … One of the things that makes us happy is ” Flow”. Flow is defined as a state of non self-conscious absorption in an activity which matches our skills and which produces a feeling of joy.  The concept was developed by the positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  The matching of the skill set to the task is important; an experienced rock climber will experience flow as he/she navigates a challenge they are prepared for; a novice attempting to scale the North face of the Eiger will experience a different emotion! So tasks which are too challenging evoke anxiety while those which are too easy will induce boredom. If we have a creative job and are free most of the time from interruption we may experience flow on a …

How Stoicism Can Help At Work

Stoicism is undergoing a bit of a revival today.  There are active groups on Facebook, an excellent project called Modern Stoicism which offers training, http://modernstoicism.com  and a number of articles on it recently in Forbes. So what is it all about and how can it help us? Stoicism is a philosophy which was founded in Ancient Greece and was very influential in the ancient world.  While a lot of its early writings have been lost, those of the major Stoics from Roman times remain including those of the ex-slave turned philosopher Epictetus, the emperor Marcus Aurelius and the writer Seneca who came to a nasty end under Nero. Today we retain the word “stoic” in our vocabulary and it implies a grim, suffering, stiff upper lip type of attitude.  This is a caricature of what Stoicism is about.  Stoicism is essentially a form of “philosophy as a way of life”, as distinct from the sterile academic discipline it has become. Stoics sought to achieve eudaimonia or human flourishing i.e. happiness, through restraint of negative impulses and …