Hedonia, Eudaimonia, and Business

One of the most important words I've learned in recent years is eudaimonia, a Greek word that is about human flourishing or prosperity. Eudaimonia refers to the highest human good, drives fulfillment and meaning, and involves the pursuit of personal flourishing.

Its counterpart (not antonym) is a word we're much more familiar with, hedonia, which is about pursuing and maximizing pleasure while avoiding and minimizing pain. We use it in the form of hedonist to describe people who pursue pleasure, or hedonism which is the belief of pursuing pleasure.

The reason I found the word eudaimonia so important, especially in contrast with hedonia, is because it resonated with me personally and our work at The Junto Institute. It shed light on how I spend my time, which relationships are most important to me, and so much more. It also stimulated a lot of thinking and reflection on how the two concepts relate to the world of startups, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

As I thought about writing this article, I referred to many notes I have on the concepts and their application to business, and realized there was way too much to cover in one post. Therefore, I'm going to simply start using them as a theme for future posts, much like we've done with emotional intelligence, leadership, mentorship, etc.

In the meantime, if eudaimonia resonates with you, I hope you'll do some digging to further understand the concept. It's a cool word. It's a cool idea.