The Project of Personal Flourishing

My very dear friend Ryan Neugebauer has published a wonderful Medium piece on the topic of personal flourishing. “Personal Flourishing for Everyone: A Commentary on Human Flourishing Accompanied by 25 People Exploring Personal Flourishing for Themselves” begins with a brief discussion of how the issue of human flourishing has been highlighted in both philosophy and psychology—from Aristotle’s focus on eudaimonia to the PERMA model developed within the tradition of Positive Psychology. Ryan recognizes the dialectical interconnections between freedom and flourishing, seeing an organic link between them: “You aren’t flourishing if you don’t have freedom, and you aren’t truly free if you aren’t flourishing.” But the central question here is: “What does ‘flourishing’ even entail?”

Ryan recognizes that there is no single way to flourish. In expanding on his vision for his own personal flourishing, he “explore[s] the many beautiful and unique ways that people flourish,” through the testimonies of 25 individuals. Though there is much differentiation in their outlooks, Ryan keenly observes “that since we all have a very similar biology and nature, you will see a lot of overlap throughout.”

I’m among the individuals interviewed for Ryan’s project. As I state in that interview, “personal flourishing is all about relationships—my relationship to myself and my relationship to others.” Folks can check out more of what I meant by that—and what two dozen other people say about their own unique visions in this insightful essay.

One of the nicest things to say about this compendium is that I have learned much about many people I have come to know and care for, while wanting to get to know many more people with whom I’ve never had the pleasure of interacting. Thanks so much, Ryan, for putting this project together!

Check out Ryan’s Medium article here.

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