Virtues, Happiness, Flow and Joy – The Moral Bucket List

The New York Times Sunday Review published David Brooks’ writing “The Moral Bucket List”.

He is setting the context by:

ABOUT once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all.

So they are happy? In joy? or even more trendy than all that, in Flow? – you might wonder.

When I meet such a person it brightens my whole day. But I confess I often have a sadder thought: It occurs to me that I’ve achieved a decent level of career success, but I have not achieved that. I have not achieved that generosity of spirit, or that depth of character.

You might also ask yourself, ‘Why not me – I did everything to be such a great person too!?!’ … The author writes:

We all know that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé ones. But our culture and our educational systems spend more time teaching the skills and strategies you need for career success than the qualities you need to radiate that sort of inner light. Many of us are clearer on how to build an external career than on how to build inner character.

So this whole problem and solution is linked to virtues. Wow, that sounds complicated – at first glance. But the articles elaborates on this in detail and clearly understandable language. So do read it for yourself.

And why did I post this here? How is this linked to Flow and Leadership?

Well, just as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi set out to find out what is it that makes people happy and just as he discovered that activities and attempts to achieve an ever higher challenge can lead to moments of Flow, creativity and happiness, so does the author write:

External ambitions are never satisfied because there’s always something more to achieve. But the stumblers occasionally experience moments of joy. There’s joy in freely chosen obedience to organizations, ideas and people. There’s joy in mutual stumbling. There’s an aesthetic joy we feel when we see morally good action, when we run across someone who is quiet and humble and good, when we see that however old we are, there’s lots to do ahead.

Life, happiness, creativity and Flow is complex. It entails techniques, skills, ideas, tools, strategies, reflections, virtues and morals, success and failure and many more such complex realities of life.