The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness.
Nathaniel Branden, one of the pioneering figures in the field of self-esteem, defines self-esteem in The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem as,
[bluebox]The experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness.[/bluebox]
Montaigne wanted in his book The Complete Essays to draw the whole portrait of what humans are. In the video below, Alain de Botton, a Swiss writer and philosopher, presents Michel de Montaigne, a man with the courage to speak the great truths with simplicity and honesty.
Michel de Montaigne seems to understand what makes us feel bad about ourselves and in his book The Complete Essays tries to make us feel better. He covers about three main areas of inadequacy:
Firstly, a kind of borderly inadequacy, the sense of we are uncomfortable with our bodies. We feel ackward about them.
Secondly, the inadequacy that we might feel when we feel that are judging us, that our customs and habits are being disaproved of.
Thirdly, intellectually inadequacy. The feeling that we are just not as clever as we should be.
For all those three areas, Montaigne came up with highly practical, simple and very helpful solutions.
3 Life-Learnings from Montaigne:
1.- We should accept our bodies with good grace and a touch of humor as naturally as animals do.
2.-If you encounter the prejudices of others, go traveling either in reality or in our minds.
3.-One could be wise without having ever gone to the University. All you need in order to be wise is a certain humility, modesty and acceptance of your intellectual limitations.