Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Excellence

From The Art of Doing Science and Engineering:
I am preaching the message that, with apparently only one life to live on this earth, you ought to try to make significant contributions to humanity rather than just get along through life comfortably - that the life of trying to achieve excellence in some area is in itself a worthy goal for your life. It has often been observed that the true gain is in the struggle and not in the achievement - that a life without a struggle on your part to make yourself excellent is hardly a life worth living. This, it must be observed, is an opinion and not a fact, but it is based on observing many people's lives and speculating on their total happiness rather than the moment to moment pleasures they enjoyed. Again, this opinion of their happiness must be my own interpretation as no one can know another's life. Many reports by people who have written about the "good life" agree with the above opinion. Notice that I leave it to you to pick your goals of excellence, but claim only that a life without such a goal is not really living but it is merely existing - in my opinion. In ancient Greece Socrates (469-399) said, "The unexamined life is not worth living"
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