Friday, April 6, 2012

31


L’ART DE VIVRE





LISE BOUVIER: Maybe Paris has a way of making people forget.
JERRY MULLIGAN: Paris? No. Not this city. It’s too real and too beautiful to ever let you forget anything.

—An American in Paris, 1951, Vicente Minnelli.


IF WE HAD TO GRADE THE DIFFERENT SPHERES OF LIFE—mental, health, financial, spiritual, social, and psychological—most of us would excel in some getting an A or B, but in others would calamitously fail getting an E or perhaps a F. It’s not that some of them are less important than others. They all truly are valuable. But it’s not easy to reach a good level in all of them.

One of the seven habits of highly effective people is to be proactive. It is based on the premise that we are the creators. So we are responsible for our lives. Our behavior strictly relies on our decisions (not our conditions).

Said that, are you proactive in all spheres of life?

If not, why?

Well, the answer has many edges. Some people feel comfortable in some spheres, so they avoid certain areas with manifold of justifications. Others show signs of low rate in some areas, so they decide to focus on these ones first. At the end, my Dedicated Readers, the day has 24 hours. Not a second more.

For those of us who are constantly reinventing ourselves, the challenge is even bigger. They say one must spend 10,000 hours working on something if one wants to be talented. In addition to that, if one usually gets immersed in what the Hungarian psychology professor Mihály Csíkszentmihályi named as flow,1 one can totally forget some areas of life. So when one happens to see the fleeting red lights on the dashboard, one often looks the other way. Despite the noise, the car is still running.

Yet sitting at an enchanting terrace at Montmartre in The City of Light, sipping a Bordeaux, smiling (and gawking sometimes) at some handsome Parisians who walk by, and saying bonjour now and then, I realized that Paris was a city to remind me that I had a fleeting red light on my dashboard which also forms part of L’art de vivre.




[1] Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of activity. Nevertheless, it only happens when you love what you do.


Copyright © 2012 by THE PYTHAGOREAN STORYTELLER. All rights reserved.

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