Enviable Life

Because the idea of the enviable life has now replaced the idea of the good life, it may be difficult to hear, or listen to, the parts of our patients or students that are not interested in success. There are, as we know, people around for whom being successful has not been a success… . Our ambitions—our ideals and success stories that lure us into the future—can too easily become ways of not living in the present, or of not being present at the event, a blackmail of distraction; ways, that is, of disowning, or demeaning, the actual disorder of experience. Believing in the future can be a great deadener. Perhaps we have been too successful at success and failure, and should now start doing something else.

— Adam Phillips, On Flirtation