Propelled: How Boredom, Frustration, and Anticipation Lead Us to the Good Life

ISBN : 9780190912963

Andreas Elpidorou
208 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Nov 2020
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Many of our endeavors - be it personal or communal, technological or artistic - aim at eradicating all traces of dissatisfaction from our daily lives. They seek to cure us of our discontent in order to deliver us a fuller and flourishing existence. But what if ubiquitous pleasure and instant fulfilment make our lives worse, not better? What if discontent isn't an obstacle to the good life but one of its essential ingredients? In Propelled, Andreas Elpidorou makes a lively case for the value of discontent and illustrates how boredom, frustration, and anticipation are good for us. Weaving together stories from sources as wide-ranging as classical literature, social and cognitive psychology, philosophy, art, and video games, Elpidorou shows that these psychological states aren't unpleasant accidents of our lives. Rather, they illuminate our desires and expectations, inform us when we find ourselves stuck in unpleasant and unfulfilling situations, and motivate us to furnish our lives with meaning, interest, and value. Boredom, frustration, and anticipation aren't obstacles to our goals-they are our guides, propelling us into lives that are truly our own.


1. The secret to happiness may be unhappiness
2. I hear you clearly, yet your voice sounds far away-distant and unreal
3. What do you think it's like being dead?
4. Confined in an invisible bubble that prevents contact with the world
5. Like water after days in the desert
6. An energizer, but not a guide
an engine, but not a steering gear
7. Impossible to stop just now. Why, if I could only prove one simple little lemma
8. Our possible existence is always greater than our destiny
9. And you, what do you think of optimism?
10. Immobile paradises promise us nothing

About the author: 

Andreas Elpidorou is a writer and philosopher at the University of Louisville. He specializes in the philosophical study of the mind and has published extensively on the character of consciousness, cognition, and emotions. In his written work, he strives to offer clear, precise, and critical explications of aspects of our mental lives that often remain hidden from us.

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