Conatus, n.

1. An effort or striving 2. The force in every animate creature towards the preservation of its existence.

Conatus is that struggle to exist; the survival of the fittest, in order to perpetuate the cycle and live for another day. In a very primitive sense, it is making sure you have food, water, shelter, and that you avoid predators. Of course, we can adapt this and expand on it. I’m fortunate that I have shelter, food, water, etc. But preserving your existence is far more than these basic necessities. I’ve quickly come to learn that to build a healthy, authentic conatus full of meaning is to develop empathy, express gratitude, and see the beauty in the world in every moment. The second definition of this word seems so basic, but the first definition is the one that strikes a chord with me the most. I don’t merely want to preserve my existence, but I want the effort to strive and excel at making this life as excellent as it can be.

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This entry was published on April 13, 2012 at 11:29 am. It’s filed under 30 New Words and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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