Besides studying how individuals and organizations not only survive despite of adversities but flourish because of them, I am an avid systems thinker. I’m especially passionate about the cultivation of virtues and to understand how it may be leveraged on a systemic level to promote global change. Alongside with the writings on sisu and positive psychology (in Finnish, here) you will find posts tagged as ´Plutarch Project´and ‘systems intelligence‘, which reflect this interest of mine.
I created the Plutarch Project in October 2012 (website is no longer online but a FB group exists) in order to share what I have learned during my formal education, as well as through my own life experience. It is deeply inspired and influenced by a fascinating system thinking based field called systems intelligence created by Dr. Raimo P. Hämäläinen and Dr. Esa Saarinen at the Systems Analysis Laboratory at Aalto University School of Science and Technology (formerly known as Helsinki University of Technology). The Plutarch Project is a call for each one of us to acknowledge the power and responsibility we have to influence the world around us, by first changing our inner selves. The ultimate goal of the Plutarch Project is to be part of a larger social movement toward a more flourishing world. This blog will share insights, ideas and positive interventions seeking to inspire the pursuit of excellence, both in ourselves and in our relationships. We are all part of a larger collective entity through the social networks we belong to. Each of us plays a crucial role in the context of the system we are locally embedded in, and our actions affect others around us –whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.
You can follow Plutarch Project (and perhaps we can get the conversation going again) at Facebook/PlutarchProject
THE BIG IDEA:
Alongside with Augustine and Aristotle, Plutarch was one of the most influential ancient philosophers. He considered happiness to be the result of our conscious effort in striving for a life of virtue. He also uttered the phrase: “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality”, which epitomizes the idea that our thoughts manifest themselves through our actions and thus, impact the world around us.The notion of virtue as the source of happiness may seem a relic of a distant past, but a closer look reveals its transformative power and crucial role in our pursuit of personal well-being. Honesty, courage, compassion, generosity, fidelity, integrity, fairness, self-control, and prudence are all examples of virtues. Practically speaking, they are attitudes, dispositions and character traits which capacitate us to act according to the ideals we have adopted.
Being virtuous is a state in which our emotions are guided by reason. Virtuous acts are habits, and therefore can be learned and acquired through practice.
Not only does pursuing a life of virtue increase our own well-being, but it also causes a ripple-effect of empowerment around us. We are all part of a larger collective entity through the social networks we belong to. Each of us plays a crucial role in the context of the system we are locally embedded in, and our actions affect others around us –whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.Our inner emotions manifest themselves in the physical world through the actions and gestures we perform. The systemic danger of individual dissatisfaction, distress and anger is that we do not keep these emotions to ourselves, but instead permeate them throughout the larger collective.
It may not be pleasant to discuss notions of responsibility or duty within the context of well-being and happiness. However, it is imperative to create social awareness of the significance each person has on the possible future of society, and of how sensitive the broader dynamic system is to each of our individual actions – both positive and negative. This is where the responsibility and leverage of each individual lies. My own experience has taught me that long-term happiness is indeed hard work, and unfolds itself only through conscious effort. This platform, The Plutarch Project, is my labor of love intended to create a more positive future. It is a call for each one of us to pursue a life of excellence – so you and others around you may flourish and experience a more meaningful life.
We all share a common purpose in striving for excellence in being human.