The Power of Eudaimonia: Flow States & Knowing Thyself

image1by Gary Z McGee

do-not-go-gentle-376x526“The ultimate end of human acts is Eudaimonia, happiness in the sense of living well, which all men desire; all acts are but different means chosen to arrive at it.” ~ Hannah Arendt

Eudaimonia is a Greek word referring to healthy, happy and prosperous human flourishing, especially as a striving toward arête (virtue or excellence) and ethical wisdom. Morally, Eudaimonia refers to moral or amoral actions that result in the essential value of independent and interdependent well-being.

When used creatively, Eudaimonia can be breathtakingly effective at stretching comfort zones, shattering mental paradigms, flattening status-quo boxes, and propelling us into heightened states of awareness and compassion. But how to reach it, is the question. How do we tap into this most sacred state of being?

This article hypothesizes two possible concepts that, when combined, may give us an “answer:” Know thyself & Flow states. Let’s break it down.

Know Thyself

“Nobody is an ‘I’ in any substantial sense without a ‘you’ and a ‘they,’ and our self-understanding is formed as much by others as by ourselves.” ~ Patrick Stokes, New Philosopher

To know thyself is no walk in the park. It takes ruthless introspection, questioning to the nth degree, and the willingness to admit when we’re wrong. Above all, it takes a particular type of courage to break down the very idea of the “Self” to begin with.

According to Jean-Paul Sartre, each of us has three constitutive dimensions: being-in-itself (what you are physically), being-for-itself (what you are consciously), and being-for-others (what you are to others). A huge part of knowing thyself is becoming intimate with these three aspects.

Being-in-itself:  You are a mind-body-soul taking up perceptual space within a particular environment. Becoming more aware of this dimension is becoming more aware of how you fit into your particular environment in the healthiest way.

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