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

Professor Andreas Elpidorou

Propelled: How Boredom, Frustration, and Anticipation Lead Us to the Good Life, book cover and description.


A smart and thought-provoking reassessment of the value of boredom and frustration. In every section of every chapter, Elpidorou is rigorously thoughtful and quotably readable as he discusses unpalatable emotions that most people want to avoid...The cumulative effect is a strong and ultimately persuasive case that when life gives you lemons, you should simply value the lemons — a counterintuitive argument, to be sure, but one that the author convincingly backs up over the course of his book. (Kirkus starred review)

Discover the value of discontent and how boredom, frustration, and anticipation make our lives better.

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 fulfillment 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.

Engaging, erudite, instructive, and abounding with insight, Propelled takes a fresh look at unloved emotions and demonstrates their key roles in a life worth living. Essential reading for anyone interested in emotions, and for all of us who suspect that there is more to the good life than good cheer. (Jesse Prinz, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, The City University of New York, Graduate Center and author of Gut Reactions)

Propelled is available to buy from your favorite bookseller and online in print, kindle and audio versions from Amazon.

Andreas Elpidorou is an academic philosopher and writer. He is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Louisville. He specializes in the philosophical study of the mind and has published extensively on the nature of emotions (especially, boredom), consciousness, and cognition. He is best known for his work on the function and value of boredom. His articles "The Bright Side of Boredom" and "The Quiet Alarm" sparked worldwide attention: he has been featured in BBC News, Forbes, Nautilus, Nature, Fast Company, Vogue, Business Insider, and more, and made appearances both on the radio and television. According to an entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, he is described as "probably the most prolific and certainly one of the most interesting of the writers on the subject [boredom] at present."

You can learn more Professor Elpidorou's groundbreaking work on the character of consciousness, cognition, and emotions via his website

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