Rather than aiming specifically to maximise pleasure, the Epicureans concentrated on minimising pains, the pains that arise from failures of "choice and avoidance". (...) One must sometimes sacrifice appealing food and drink in the short term to avoid the long-term pains of addiction and poor health;

(...) there is nothing virtuous about poverty and deprivation, and no one's misery is ever deserved

(...) it is possible to have an entirely pleasant life without causing injury to others through dishonesty, immoderation or other vices

motivation and dedication can arise only from the actual pleasure of an activity, whether it takes place at a desk or on a playing field or in a shop or studio or on a building site

Decades of research have established that wealth above a certain level does not add to an individual's satisfaction with life, and older people who have achieved considerable worldly success often report that raising their children and enjoying their adult company has given them more satisfaction than any career recognition they obtained

  • distilled:
    • avoid causing pain (to self and others)
    • doing things should come from internal motivation (pleasure in doing something)
  • related to: Stoicism, philosophy of life
Szymon Kaliski © 2021