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The Virtuous Psychiatrist: Meditations on Success and Flourishing

The July issue of Psychiatric Times contains a brief reflection piece by me titled 10 Meditations on Succeeding—and Flourishing. Since the published version is a revised product with editorial modifications, I would like to make my preferred text of the article available here.



The Virtuous Psychiatrist: Meditations on Success and Flourishing
Awais Aftab, MD
When it comes to happiness, success and moral well-being, I have been deeply influenced by the Greek philosophers, particularly Aristotle. Aristotle speaks of eudaimonia ("flourishing") – a sort of moralized happiness, distinct from mere pleasure – and virtue is excellence in his eyes (arete: virtue/excellence), signifying qualities necessary for living well. To borrow words from Emrys Westacott, in so far as we fail to cultivate and exercise virtues – wisdom, curiosity, intellect, aesthetic sensitivity, compassion, empathy, generosity – we fail to exemplify human flourishing [1].
One is not likely to flourish as a psychi…