Sunday, June 14, 2009

What is 'Life Enhancing'?


I think we'd better start by defining and exploring what we mean by 'Life Enhancing'.

The word 'enhance' comes from latin and means to raise up or make high. It's modern meaning is: to make greater, increase in value, to improve, to raise up and to augment.

Adding value to your life

So something is 'Life Enhancing' if it increases, augments or adds value to your life. Pretty simple in concept. And as I've indicated in my first blog entry and subsequent comments, it's a very useful tool for directionalising and filtering your mind, attention and unconscious responses so that you get and achieve more success, happiness and joy in your life.

I think one of the key ideas inherent in the definition of 'enhancement' is the notion of 'increase in value'. Research and experience from both the fields of NLP and Positive Psychology has shown that Values are vitally important tools for success and happiness. So not surprisingly, we'll be exploring human values in great depth and detail across the course of coming blog entries. I've been studying values for many, many years now and have some very cool, powerful and interesting distinctions to share about them. They really are one of the keys to leveraging generative change in your life.

Getting back to defining life enhancing... In summary, something is life enhancing if it adds value to your life and supports and augments things or processes that are important to you in your life. As an example, if you value health, peace and balance, then the practice and skill of Calm-Abiding Meditation will be life enhancing for you.

Subjective vs Objective Life Enhancing

I think this example touches nicely on something I want to note about 'Life Enhancing'.

I believe that Life Enhancing can be divided into domains of 'Subjective Life Enhancing' and 'Objective Life Enhancing'. Something is subjectively life enhancing if it augments and hightens one of your values. That is, it's all about what's important to you. Motorbikes might be life enhancing for me, but if you don't like them, then they are hardly likely to be life enhancing for you.

There are some things however, that are objectively life enhancing. These objective life enhancers apply to all intelligent and sentient beings. For example, I believe it can be argued that Freedom is a life enhancing value that applies to all creatures. The more freedom and choice a being has, the more their life is enhanced. The less freedom a creature has, the more their life is curtailed or limited.

So as we explore ideas for life enhancing, we'll make sure we track whether the things we are examining and playing with are more or less objective or subjective in their nature.

Life ENHANCING vs LIFE Enhancing

I also want to highlight another aspect of life enhancing that is useful and important. Life Enhancing can be defined and divided into 'Life ENHANCING' versus 'LIFE Enhancing'. What do I mean by that?

Well, Life ENHANCING is what we've described above, it's where some existing aspect of your life or values is enhanced via a life enhancing device, experience, behaviour, skill etc. On the other hand, LIFE Enhancing is about expanding, augmenting or amplifying your ability to experience life. It's where you get or experience MORE life; your LIFE is enhanced, rather than just your existing life and values being ENHANCED.

Do you understand the distinction I'm making here? Perhaps an example might be useful.

Wealth is both LIFE enhancing and life ENHANCING. If you love adventure, say, then you can use wealth to experience more and greater adventures. In that way, your existing values around adventure can be ENHANCED through the use of wealth. So you can see that wealth is life ENHANCING.

On the other hand, the LIFE enhancing aspect of wealth is that it allows you to purchase more of every aspect of life. Wealth is bandwidth. It allows you to buy experience. You can use it to expand your life, your knowledge, your skills. In that way you can develop new values and interests. You can get more of life, if you use wealth wisely.

So these two aspects of 'LIFE ENHANCING' are very powerful and useful for generating ideas on how to, well... enhance your life :-) and we'll explore them and the structure of 'Life Enhancing' in coming blog entries.

What do you think?

Okay, over to you now. What do you believe defines 'Life Enhancing'? What are your thoughts on this? Leave a comment and let's converse together on what we mean by 'Life Enhancing'.

BTW, in my next blog entry, I'll share with you what for me is the most Life Enhancing Device (LED) I've ever come across...

so until then,
smiles and wondrous wishes,


  1. I'm thinking that running a marathon might come close to the top of my list of life enhancing experiences, partly because it's a sole accomplishment, and partly because of the huge sense of confidence in one's own ability to achieve, what seems, the impossible that comes from completion.

    I ran three from 1982 to 1984. I completed them all but the 1983 one was incredible because I performed well above what I (believed) I was capable of.

    The downside was that it caused me to set my sights on (what turned out to be) an unachievable (at least on the day) result for 1984.

    Unfortunately, I was so shattered that I never contemplated running another. But I still have fantastic memories of the ones I completed.

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