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Living brightly: self-determining efficacy
february 19, 2010


the primary fidelity: developing important capability

Firstly, living brightly is about fidelity to one’s own potential. Whatever given capacity (talent) one has for developing a capability that is appropriately viewed as important for one’s life, desiring to develop that capability which one can develop is part of fairness to oneself—showing self-actualizing fidelity to one’s talent. Having life-important talent without desiring to develop correlate capability is unfair to oneself, but also a deformation of natural desire for self-efficacy. We’re born with innate desire to act, learn, and want constructive satisfaction. It’s not a matter of giftedness. A person with severe learning difficulties (or general “learning disability”), who regularly strives to do the best s/he can, deserves others’ admiration.

having the good sense to prefer better sense

Of course, “brightness” normally pertains to relatively high talent more than dedication to learning and performing as best one can. I’m pursuing a notion of living brightly which expresses interest in relatively high talent. A notion of brightness is intuitive—related to having better sense, striving for one’s personal best, etc.—unlike “intelligence,” which is properly a technical concept of psychology (which I’ll focus on later, in much detail).

I’m interested in how very bright persons are (as this relates to living a good life). Also, I want to appreciate as best I can brightness beyond my own—which is also characteristic of very bright persons: recognizing where the better sense is, learning from that, and relevantly orienting oneself relative to better sense. Bright persons are regularly vigiliant toward anewly estimating or locating the better sense and relevantly orienting oneself to that. “Critical” learning is basically open-mindedness, and secondarily corrective (i.e., corrective in light of openness).

First, rendering the brightness that will be later examined developmentally

Lives develop; capabilities aren’t given. What best contributes to actualization of talent? I’ve not yet addressed, online, a continuum of child development that I intend to do, beyond a good beginning. Actually, what I intend to say developmentally is basically done, but offline in a condensed mode; I’ve postponed putting it into good (accessible) narrative form. Here, one might presume adequate interpolation that is upcoming this year. The important point presently is that living brightly (whatever one makes of that) exists. How one may grow to be living brightly presumes a sense of what that may be, developmental aspects of which could then be relatively rendered (and would then make better sense to examine).

Besides, the “conceptuality...” project isn’t intended to be a discursive demonstration; rather, a rendering of some proximal themes, to be later detailed relative to others’ work.

exuberance of curiosity in the interest of wholly appreciating

I’m insatiably curious and easily elated by inquiring minds—which includes commonly accepting dimness in others’ days. To say the least, my happenstantial enchantments don’t gravitate toward shopping. When I later dwell with notions of “happiness,” I’ll discuss Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychiatrist who has lived with decades of chronic unhappiness, who writes Exuberance: the passion for life (2005).

Attention! There’s ultimately no downside to awareness of what there is there: what’s there—though reality is complex, often confusing (confused), contradictory, etc., calling for effective thinking about what to do. Heightened awareness always leads to the better angels of appreciation. Awareness is the basis of appreciability. We’re lost without appreciability. It’s intimately related to there being value in the first place for gardening our lives. Maybe, even, appreciability is the ground for whatever may continue to matter, i.e., the basis of valuation as such.

Living well, growing well, can be only as appreciable as the quality of one’s sensibility—including the quality of company we provide each other. One should want not only good awareness of what belongs to the times of our lives (at least sensitive feeling for what happens), but also valuing holism toward one’s commitment to growing well throughout the lifespan (which is a keynote of the sense of “good sense” that I’ll briefly discuss in the next topic). Wholehearted appreciability—wholeheartedness (a keynote of Harry Frankfurt’s ethics, by the way)—expresses valuation of feeling for the larger situation of things—depth and bredth of relevance, from quotidian presence to cultural and historical background of situationality as such.

Making a good life is intrinsically valuable, due (I would argue) to the interdependence of primary appeals in experience (intrinsic interests), aspirational importances (values), desiring fulfillment (pleasure of self-efficacy), and the meanings of ‘good.’ Knowledge and capability have importance, obviously, but for a good life, importance especially relative to prospects for lasting fruitfulness and Meaning. And a rich sense of mind is accordingly valuable for all that at least.

thinking well

Thinking well minimally involves learning to determine the better sense of something or learning to recognize who really makes better sense; and making better sense orient relevant action. As most situations provide for competing senses of what’s what, it’s very good sense to want the better argument for what makes best sense (or allows for “inference to the best explanation,” as Paul Thagard explains in his new introduction to philosophy, The Brain and the Meaning of Life, 2010). So, learning to recognize the better argument makes very good sense, and acting accordingly (or “inferring to the best plan” of action) shows good appreciation of better sense.

Thinking well is such a large topic that I’m saying little about it here—so far. (This section may be expanded later—or link to detailed discussion elsewhere.) I could consider the entire “conceptuality...” project as so many aspects of “thinking” well as the way one lives. Also, a good sense of thinking effectively might be considered the prevailing aim of good education, weaving together all of its curricular areas (integrating capabilities gained with knowledge gained).

Next: good sense of holistic well-being in the conceptuality of a good life

living well




  Be fair. © 2017, gary e. davis