“Perfectionism and optimalism are not distinct ways of being, an either-or choice, but rather they coexist in each person. And while we can move from perfectionism toward optimalism, we never fully leave perfectionism behind and never fully reach optimalism ahead. The optimalism ideal is not a distant shore to be reached but a distant star that guides us and can never be reached. As Carl Rogers pointed out, ‘The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.”
~ Tal Ben-Shahar from The Pursuit of Perfect
Tal Ben-Shahar is quickly becoming my favorite author/teacher.
In fact, he might already be there. :)
As a former Harvard professor who taught THE most popular class in Harvard’s history (on Positive Psychology), he’s an incredible blend of brilliant thinker, passionate teacher, scientific-realist and get-out-and-rock-it-dreamer. LOVE. It.
His first book, Happier (see Notes), provides us with an inspiring snap shot on the science of happiness packed with wisdom and exercises we can immediately apply to our lives.
This book is all about understanding the perils of pursuing a life of perfection and offers an empowering alternative: the way of the “Optimalist.”
It’s one of those books that’s an absolute joy to read and a challenge to write a Note on because the book is basically one unending string of *really* Great Ideas. I’m excited to share a handful of my favorites with you and if you’re resonating with it, I think you’ll LOVE the book. Let’s rock!
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