The Two Dimensions of Passion & Progress

The word “aesthetic” refers to those qualities that are related to beauty or artistic virtue. A thing is generally regarded as aesthetic if it’s pleasing to the senses, or creative, or inspiring. The Mona Lisa or the sunset would be good examples of things that are aesthetic.

The word “aesetic” refers to those qualities that are related to the use of discipline or pain as a means of character development. A thing is generally regarded as aesetic if it’s uncomfortable or challenging in a way that produces virtue or mastery. Practices like fasting or rigorous exercise would be good examples of things that are aesetic.

Your relationship to everything and everyone that you love has an aesthetic and an aesetic dimension. There will be moments of pleasure and fun that make you say “this is why I do this,” and there will be moments of difficulty and hardship that make you ask “why did I do this again?” The aesthetic moments are there to inspire you. The aesetic moments are there to build you. They may seem like they contradict each other, but they’re actually complementary. You need both in order to realize your full potential in any situation.

The trick is to remember that both are valuable. Don’t get so caught up in the fun that you lose your ability to be flexible when a little inconvenience comes your way. And don’t get so caught up in character development that you forget to enjoy the things that are worth celebrating right now.

When it comes to the aesthetic, don’t forget it. When it comes to the aesetic, don’t regret it.

That’s today’s two cents.

Cheers,

T.K.