The New York Times:
Legend has it that Icarus, on his famous ersatz feathered wings, refused to heed his father’s injunction to “fly the middle course” and not too near to the sun, and consequently saw his wings melt before he fell into the sea.
Avoiding extremes — both surfeit and deficiency — is a wisdom preached by Aristotle, Confucius, Aquinas and many other thinkers and writers. The prescription applies to working too hard versus too little, parenting by decree versus neglect and pursuing happiness too earnestly versus not at all.
Western culture’s ubiquitous messages about the desirability of happiness undoubtedly drive some individuals to relentlessly pursue personal well-being. Such an obsession can lead people to shirk critical responsibilities, or monitor happiness too much (“Am I happy yet? Am I happy yet?”), or become disheartened when their sense of flourishing and joy doesn’t steadily build. Just like dieters shouldn’t weigh themselves several times a day, happiness seekers shouldn’t evaluate their happiness too frequently.
Read the whole story: The New York Times