Continuing with my previous post, one fundamental question that I have asked in the past is: Why do many risk so much on something that others consider to be saturated with uncertain odds of success?
We now have the answer to this elusive question: By doing so the individual has the opportunity to travel well beyond the successes of ordinary life. Capitalizing on opportunities today, considered risky by others, provides a chance for a future lived well above that of an everyday existence.
If successful in capitalizing on these opportunities, the adventurer has the potential for a life of happiness and fulfillment with freedom, integration, and the peak experiences. Or, the answer is simply: accepting the adventure, with its uncertain odds of success, allows the hero to collect the IOUs during the adventure undertaken, IOUs which are cashed in for the ultimate reward – happiness. It is this definition, as found in the title of this book, which best expresses the state of happiness as interpreted by the “prose” and the “art.”
The ancient philosophers knew the answer. It just took the intellectual “prose” of three modern thinkers to give us the keys to the galleries – galleries filled with inspiration from great masters who have translated the “prose” into human feelings and experiences. It is this “art” that Tolstoy instructs is “indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity.”