Literary Impulse & Paper Poetry ‘Eudaimonia’ Prompt Submission
Indwelling Spirits Guiding Our Paths For The Pursuit of Embedded Serene Exuberance
“… wellbeing is not so much an outcome, or end state as it is a process of fulfilling or realizing one’s daimon or true nature — that is, of fulfilling one’s virtuous potentials and living as one was inherently intended to live.” — Deci and Ryan.
Eudaimonia is a complicated thing to explain if you are analyzing it for providing some guidelines. Or, perhaps it is a simple thing we are making more complex to understand in our current reality.
Eudaimonia might contain virtue; it might encompass moral happiness. Subjective wellbeing and psychological wellbeing are also important to all, or some, depending on the individuals.
Or, perhaps, it indicates the self-regulation to avoid vices, the courage to stand for the right (what we believe), justice to maintain societal rules, and pursue happiness through inner wisdom. However, making these virtues of being the central point of attaining the eudaimonic notion might not work for many.
Justly living well might work for you if you believe in living in the moment, in embracing life as it goes.
Eudaimonic belief might be subjective and objective.
Knowing yourself well and carrying out the sense of attaining your eudaimonic state might be a starting point. You might be content on achieving a quiet presence altogether and achieve your eudaimonia. You might be loud, outgoing, and participate thoroughly in your life-long mission, and the purpose of reaching your goal might get you the happiness state. It can be achieving greatness in an aspired field that you crave for, or you might want to remain yourself as you feel to be.
Seeking to do the best of yourself perhaps gives you an advantage. Maybe you are happy to help others without expecting any benefit.
The meaning is diverse and different for each one of us. My eudaimonia will not be your eudaimonia. So, please do not compare your state with others in this case. The spirits of life and our perceived viewpoints are so diverse that comparison will not help you reach them. Instead, it will bend you to make unnecessary adjustments that can hamper your journey.
You are you, so is your perspective.
In one of the Durga Puja festivals, I was visiting my village with my parents. There was a village fair, arranged every year besides our village temple, where people gathered to celebrate the occasion. Balloon shops, bangle shops, clothing shops, toy shops, street foods, games, and sports; everything was so cool.
All the kids who attended the fair always went to one particular sweet shop to get one special sweet, ‘Danadar Sweets’ (sweets made with sugarcane extracts). And, the owner of the shop used to give all the kids free sweets. He was an older person (I guess he might have been around 80–90 years old, as my grandfather also got the same treats from him when he was a kid).
He used to tell imaginary stories while we had the treats and invited kids to visit his shop for the remaining days of the festival. I can’t recall his face exactly. Everyone from my father’s age called him ‘Dadu’ (Grandfather in Bengali). But, he smiled and always waived to the kids, who were visiting the sweet-shop.
That was probably his eudaimonia, to give free sweets to the kids and to see their excitement and smile.
Is there any specific instruction to attain your eudaimonia?
It is always up to us. As our life changes, our views changes too. So, driving yourself to achieve something meaningful in your life is excellent for accomplishment; it might or might not help you be in the eudaimonia phase. I’m not saying you should not drive for greatness. All I’m saying is that excellence and accomplishments might not be the way to attain eudaimonic happiness; it might provide you success probably.
Life is short but full of beautiful exhibits.
Containing ourselves only to subjective matters might give you pleasure, but will it provide you the happiness you seek?
If ‘yes’, that’s great.
If it is a ‘partial yes’ or a complete ‘no,’ then there might be other things to take you there. The answer might be in your mind, inside your heart.
The fulfillment through mindfulness, to attain best at the moment (not talking about success), and embedding the great spirit, we have to ask ourselves. Do not relate it with traditional success components. It is not about the destination.
It is about the flow, the journey we are experiencing.
The moment matters
If you love reading, it is because you love the lines, the story, the ups and downs, and the tale’s melody, rather than finishing the book.
If you love traveling, the happiness truly lies when you are experiencing the moment, the place rather than completing the trip or tick-marking a site from your bucket list.
If you love cooking, it is the preparation, the tasting and the satisfaction of the taster, and the urge to uplift your curry taste better for the next time.
On your pursuit, let’s omit the end-point objective of attaining eudaimonia. Let’s be in the moment to taste it, experience it, be on the flow of embedding the spirit that’s joyous (without hurting others off course). Every moment bears the cheers of it; there is no end-game victory lap to take.
Perhaps, that’s the eudaimonia we all aspire, in various means and courses through alternative approaches in our lives.
May it shine the light of happiness in the days to come!
*Durga Puja: A festival of Goddess Durga, according to Hindu religious tradition.
Suntonu Bhadra. March 2021.
Thanks to Somsubhra Banerjee, Priyanka Srivastava, Rahul Sharma, and the entire Literary Impulse team for running this excellent prompt with Paper Poetry (gladly, I’m an editor of the publication). Thanks to Carolyn Hastings and Indubala Kachhawa from Paper Poetry for their outstanding support, suggestions, and coordination on the prompt.