Impasses along the path toward the goals of life can occur in three dimensions:

  1. From beginning to end: immaturity, getting stuck on earlier phases of life, inability to let go of upbringing issues, unrealistic / fantastical goals for the future, living too much in the past or the future, inability to translate goals into specific plans and practices.
  2. From below to above: materialism, consumerism, hedonism, over focus on preconditions for eudaimonia like health and wealth, guilt over natural needs and drives, (less commonly) otherworldliness.
  3. From without to within: envy and anger and resentment, over concern with how others perceive you (reputation, desire for fame), over acceptance of external standards, submerging your identity in a movement or ideology, self-absorption, lack of friendships, inability to form healthy relationships, lack of self-knowledge.

Along all three dimensions a healthy balance is needed and enables a truly human kind of flourishing.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal