Alain de Botton summarizes the six essays of his worthwhile Consolations in two sentences, “Not everything which makes us feel better is good for us. Not everything which hurts may be bad.” Almost all of us understand this essential idea, but still struggle to overcome our native instincts and intuitions to live fuller and more adaptive lives than simple hedonism allows. A way out of this dilemma involves progressive or natural living – where we develop a life plan for ourselves and then periodically improve it as we work toward its goals, learning from our actions and the world around us as we proceed. The approach is based on natural evolution and relatively simple, and yet often proves quite powerful, surfacing and testing our ideas and assumptions and often remaking our lives in unexpected ways over time. Get information on HumanaNatura’s recommended practice of natural life planning at Developing Your Plan and learn about de Botton’s work at Alain de Botton.
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