Everyone needs some euthymia in their lives. What is it? More importantly, do you have it?
The Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger, one of the early proponents of Stoicism (which has the tenet that happiness can be found in the moment as opposed to in the pursuit of pleasure), described the euthymia philosophy as a belief in oneself and a trust that your path is true.
Greek philosopher Democritus pegged euthymia as a type of serenity that comes while striving to achieve life goals.
In a very much more modern interpretation, Forbes pins down the definition as:
…[T]he difference between calm and frantic, patience and rushing, present and expectant. It’s what allows me to be solid rather than malleable and content rather than envious.
Project Bold Life was written with the concept of euthymia in the background. After all, the Bold Goal isn’t the only thing that matters. It matters, of course, but the journey–and, more specifically, enjoying the journey–matters, as well.
In other words, the goal shouldn’t just be to find happiness only at the top of the mountain. You should also be happy making the climb and taking on all the challenges that stand in your way.
Once you do your work and know your purpose, you don’t question your path. Boldly–a direct descendant of Seneca and Democritus–isn’t questioning his path, as he knows what he’s doing is important!
Therein lies the magic of euthymia. It’s belief in oneself, trust that your path is true, and serenity, all rolled into one.
Last April, I wrote about Arnold Schwarzenegger and his positive outlook during his hard workouts. Specifically, it was his mindset that his struggles brought him closer to reaching his goals, which had him smiling in the gym. Arnold was clearly euthymic!
Are you euthymic?
The medical journal World Psychiatry broke down the concept of euthymia into a spectrum of psychological well-being. Here’s the section on “Purpose in Life”:
|Impaired Level||Balanced Level||Excessive Level|
|The person lacks a sense of meaning in life; he/she has few goals or aims and lacks sense of direction.||The person has goals in life and feels there is meaning to present and past life.||The person has unrealistic expectations and hopes; he/she is constantly dissatisfied with performance and is unable to recognize failures.|
You can see how the Project Bold Life framework, which values goal-setting–as well as the inspiration and motivation that comes with knowing your “why”–puts you squarely into the realm of the euthymic.
So, again, the important question: Are you euthymic? Where are you on the euthymia scale? Are you enjoying your journey?