Happiness is an elusive thing, but this video from the folks at The School of Life lays out ten virtues that, while definitely simple, are the closest we’ll probably get to a set of “rules” to live by for a happier, more fulfilled life.
The video above is worth the watch, but you can get a simple, printable PDF copy of all of the “virtues for modern life” on their web site. The virtues are familiar: Resilience, empathy, patience, sacrifice, politeness, humour, self-awareness, forgiveness, hope and confidence. On their own, they seem like overly simplified platitudes, but it’s how each one is described and how the video suggests you implement them in your daily life that makes them stand out. For example, humour:
Seeing the funny sides of situations and of oneself doesn’t sound very serious, but it is integral to wisdom, because it’s a sign that one is able to put a benevolent finger on the gap between what we want to happen and what life can actually provide; what we dream of being and what we actually are, what we hope other people will be like and what they are actually like. Like anger, humour springs from disappointment, but it’s disappointment optimally channelled. It’s one of the best things we can do with our sadness.
The others are equally interesting, but still grounded in practical application, without calling for a kind of “let’s all hold hands” approach to life. Hit play on the video above to hear them all, or grab that PDF to read them all.