In his 16th century essay on books, the French philosopher Michel de Montaigne set down his opinions on various writers, philosophers and poets, and was surprisingly candid about not ‘getting’ some works regarded as great by the experts.

I had everything a man could want…. I was a millionaire. I had beautiful women in my life. I had cars, a house, an incredible solid gold career and a future. And yet on a daily basis I wanted to commit suicide. Eric Clapton was one of the most successful rock stars on the planet. […]

It could be the result of keeping an unreasonably tidy house while it was on the market, or moving into a terrace with no wardrobe; or it could be the mountains of things that attach themselves to my children. Whatever the cause, lately I have been in the grip of a decluttering frenzy. I can’t do […]

Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.

– W.H. Auden

 

Living for the future is what our social system encourages: it promises ‘the good life’ and we work for its goals. This article considers how we can apply the concept of flow to improve our lives today.

A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe

– Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Does the quality of our day to day experiences matter in the long run? Psychologist Daniel Kahneman considers this question in ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ where he distinguishes between the experiencing self and the remembering self.