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Montaigne on the inner life: Don't take life so seriously

https://bigthink.com/personal-growth/montaigne

bigthink.com

Montaigne on the inner life: Don't take life so seriously
What is there left for us to learn from Montaigne on the subject of happiness? For one, that 'back shop' doesn't mean the room behind your place of work. Increasingly confined to his bed, in the crummy 17th-floor apartment that doubled as his home office, my dad read these lines with an eyebrow rais...

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Montaigne on happiness

Montaigne on happiness

From the essay 'Of Solitude', Montaigne says: these are the things we normally think will bring happiness; they're wrong.
'We should have wife, children, goods, and above all health, if we can, but we must not bind ourselves to them so strongly that our happiness depends on them. We must reserve a back shop all our own.'

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The 'back shop'

The 'back shop' doesn't mean a room behind your workplace to take refuge. It is not a type of selfish, introverted withdrawal from family life, but the need to protect yourself from the pain that would come if you lost that family. It is a place to mend a broken heart, not by avoiding future pain, but by coming into a different relationship with it.

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To be with yourself

The promise of getting away from it all is a fool's errand since, wherever you go, you take yourself with you.

To be with yourself is a chance for a great companionship. Your soul has the means to attack and to defend, the means to receive and to give. The quality of your inner conversation will determine the quality of life.

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Is the process of thinking back on previous events and interpreting them through your experience. 

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The Importance of Self-Reflection

  • It improve self-awareness.
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Redefine Success

Reconsider how you define success. Workaholics are always aiming to get ahead. But you also need to draw a boundary line that shows respect for your family life, and your physical and spiritual well-being.

Refocus Your Attention

After you have redefined success, consider how you want to invest your time and energy. 

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