Updated: Apr 12, 2019
Now and again I have been asked why I call my coaching practice "FlourishingSelf". Well, it's all because of my admiration for Aristotle.
2500 years ago Aristotle produced what we may consider the first handbook on how to get the most out of life. This handbook has come down to us as Aristotle's Ethics, also know as the Nicomachean Ethics, after Nicomachus, editor of Aristotle's lectures on ethics, possibly Aristotle's son.
In this handbook, Aristotle posited that the goal of human life is happiness, a specific kind of happiness, one arising when we actively pursue that which makes us the best versions of ourselves. That which makes us the best versions of ourselves Aristotle called our "virtues". The kind of happiness that comes from developing these virtues Aristotle calls "eudaemonia", which can also be translated as flourishing.
Aristotle's concept of flourishing spawned centuries of thought and discussion (and argument) about what makes for flourishing and how to flourish. The authors of the Declaration of Independence, for instance, had this idea of flourishing in mind when they included among our unalienable rights "the pursuit of happiness." In the twentieth century, "flourishing" lives in such psychological concepts as Carl Jung's concept of "individuation" and Abraham Maslow's "self-actualization." Over the recent thirty years, such American leading lights as Martiin Seligman and Barbara Fredrickson have sharply turned the attention of psychological research from a preoccupation with illness and it remedies to the study and promotion of psychological strengths, a movement that has come to be called "Positive Psychology".
I have adopted the concept of "flourishing" as the foundation to my practice. I seek to coach clients who themselves seek to clarify and to develop that which makes each of them the best of who they can be in their lives, in their relationships, in their professional and creative callings. Each journey to this discovery and development is unique to each client, yet it shares with all the basic human motive to make the most of life. By the opportunities clients grant me to partner with them as they change, transform, and realize themselves, I am honored, humbled, and inspired. Such is my path to flourishing.