What “Might” Have Been: When Frustration Actually Moves Us Forward

I have lived constantly with exactly the type of frustration Lisa Walker England references in this post. This is a much needed and timely take on that old foe of mine, Unrealized Potential.

The Scrappy Storyteller


“Our lived lives might become a protracted mourning for, or an endless tantrum about, the lives we were unable to live. But the exemptions we suffer, whether forced or chosen, make us who we are.” – Adam Phillips

Today’s post is about to float in the stratosphere. Grab the string, if you can, and hang on tight for the ride!

Like many of you, I enjoy the contributions of Brain Pickings, introducing me to heady authors and books I might otherwise miss. One of the most thought-provoking recent editions featured psychoanalyst Adam Phillips and his book Missing Out: In praise of the unlived life.

Personally, I’d wonder about any artist who has not, at one time or another, worried that s/he has “missed out” on the artistic life s/he could have had, or has not lived up to his/her potential. It’s this idea that Phillips tackles, according to Brain…

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