This blogging thing isn’t easy while trying to have a life and watch TV. My soccer Jones has not retreated, and I find myself watching replays of five year old English Premier League games on the Fox Soccer Channel at 2am. Anyway, I don’t spend all my time watching the human version of foosball. In fact, over the past week, I’ve delved into philosophy, self-awareness and string theory. Yeah, I’ve been busy.
“Philosophy as a Guide to Happiness” is a six part series hosted by and based on a book by Alain de Botton. He’s like an Aussie or something. It’s been playing on PBS-HD and explores subjects associated with the philosophers Seneca, Epicurus, Schopenhauer, Socrates, Nietzsche and Montaigne.
The segment featuring Epicurus (341-271 B.C.) was on happiness, so I really tried to pay attention. For those of you playing at home, Epicurus cites the following three keys to happiness:
- An Examined Life
No wonder I’m miserable. I suck at number one, won’t truly realize #2 for a few more years, and am obsessed with number 3. According to Socrates though, I’m on to something with #3. One day while out with the boys having a few cold ones after a soccer game, ol’ “Soccer-tees” (Yeah, that’s how the game got it’s name…) quipped, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” It’s no wonder he was known as “the funny one” among philosophers. Well, for his “B.C.” generation anyway. Years later he would be left in the humor dustbin of history by that knee-slapper, Friedrich Nietzsche.
So, the examined life… A guy I work with is on a crusade to use the philosophy of Marcus Buckingham as the genesis of employee development. He gave me the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths and the DVD series, Trombone Player Wanted.
Last week I read the book and took the Clifton Strengthsfinder, the Gallup Organization’s talent assessment tool. I’ll get into this more on my pay per view site, but for you freeloaders, all I’ll reveal is that my five most dominant themes of talent are Strategic, Intellection, Developer, Relator, and Adaptability. Hey, what about sensitive?
Finally, The Elegant Universe is a series on PBS’s Nova. In the episode, A Theory of Everything? string theory is um, explained. As the theory goes, everything in existence is comprised of sub-microscopic vibrating strings, and the math required to prove it requires 11 dimensions. That would be eight more that the three we live in… Up/Down, Forward/Back, Side/Side.
I wish I had a clever little line to tie this mess all together, but I don’t. Oh, the title of this post… It was a spoof ad in the Epicurus show. It was amazing when they showed advertisements pushing various products by using the 3 Epicurean themes of happiness above. Beer ads featuring happy, engaging friends. Car ads shot in beautiful open and free spaces. A whiskey ad centered on a contemplative, middle aged man in a study holding a glass in an easy chair. The tagline could well have read, “Drink Before You Think.”