Loving the extra hour!

I woke up early this morning for a Sunday and even earlier ‘cos it’s the end of Daylight Saving. I read quite a bit at 6.30 this morning from Zite – the on-line magazine you tailor to suit your interests (and prejudices too no doubt!) – including a piece about happiness and the need for us all to play without a goal. Like kids do. And on your hands and knees sometimes.

Martin Seligman, the author of “Authentic Happiness” is quoted as saying the three pillars of mental health are love, work and play.

I’ve seen an awful lot of work lately, come to think of it I always have. Why do we work so hard? Or you might think work so poorly that you have to spend way too much time at work. Which could be true. Work can be play of course and can bring satisfaction.

If, on the other hand we’re working hard for money because we believe at one level that that will bring happiness then it might be worth thinking about Martin Seligman’s other work on positive psychology. He talks about three life states: the pleasant life (things) the good life (discovering our unique strengths) and the meaningful life (finding a meaning for our life greater than just us).

Money gives us the pleasant life. Work gives us money. But neither can give us the good life or the meaningful life on its own.

An extra hour gave me some play, a hint of the good life (whether it’s any good or not I’ve blogged again!) and even some time to reflect on meaning.

I’m loving the extra hour!



4 thoughts on “Loving the extra hour!

  1. Hi Stephen

    Well spotted. The desire to be or to do. For it is important to do rather than not to do but what to do or more importantly what to be and in this notion we must consider Being and our connectedeness with all things.

    Seligman and play and meaningfulness and time to reflect. You may be interested in the following recent article in the Humanistic Psychologist.

    Medlock, G. (2012). The evolving ethic of authenticity: From humanistic to positive psychology. The Humanistic Psychologist 40. 38-57.

    It attempts very well bridging the two schools and was helpful for me in its link to existentialism, especially the work of Sartre. Both Sartre and Gadamer talk about play. On pages 601 to 603 of my copy of Being and Nothingness Sartre describes the notion of play as being a particular type of project, which has freedom for its foundation and its goal, and which deserves a special study, “Ethics”, which he then spent the rest of his life exploring. By freedom it means one is personally responsible for one’s actions amongst other things. To quote Sartre
    “Nevertheless the fact remains that the desire to play is fundamentally the desire to be.”
    Sartre’s work is immense and challenging however given the circumstances of our current reality Sartre’s phenomneological descriptions and notion of “bad faith” are particularly relevant today and may offer a way forward as their is “No Exit”.


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