The pandemic has not only caused shifts in how we will live and work in the near future, it will have a lasting impact for decades, if not centuries. One such shift that is occurring for many, and that I believe will have lasting impact, is a move from hedonia to eudaimonia. I described these words in a prior essay:
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.
I believe two things are driving the shift from hedonia to eudaimonia: having “more” time and/or more control over it, and the unavailability of so many pleasure pursuits.
If this shift resonates with you, what else can you do to pursue your personal flourishing? How much of your time is being spent on growth, learning, and well-being? How else can you find fulfillment and meaning on a daily basis?
How can you become a eudaimonist?