Truth, Beauty, Goodness

I am always looking for a thread. Always trying to curate an underlying principle, framework, or metaphor that can help me navigate life or business a little bit better.

I think one of the most important threads I have stumbled upon is the “Transcendentals.” I’m not sure where I first heard of this concept, but if I had to bet it was probably Matt Huett. Some of you may know Matt, others of you aren’t as lucky.

Although I heard the concept years ago, it has taken time to really solidify in my mind. Truth, Beauty, Goodness.

When it really clicked for me is when I was doing some heavy research, Wikipedia, and I saw an additional layer that strengthened this thread for me. The transcendentals were framed in this way:

Truth (Science) — Beauty (Art) — Goodness (Religion)

side note: I don’t think you have to be “religious” to pursue goodness. To me, this thread “goodness” is a placeholder for where we encounter morality, ethics, values, and possibly the soul.

At We Are Curio, we refer to design as the intentional collaboration of art and science. Great design doesn’t make art and science binary, great design puts them together on a spectrum. And while our work isn’t religious, we do seek to help create a better future which I think is Good.


In the Western world, we often like to focus on truth, rightness, certainty. This is not typically very appealing to me by itself. It used to be, but now I believe this overemphasis on “truth” can lead to a cold, critical life if it is not balanced by beauty and goodness.

So I have been trying to pursue all three in my work and life. It has given me a broader framework for building a life that has deep purpose and has given a more dynamic meaning to things that seemed like icing on the cake when maybe they are part of the main course.

I think collectively if our society tried to pursue together what is truthful, beautiful, and good we would be in a much better place. I think the best things in life have a thread of all three.

Truth, goodness, and beauty are the three things we all need, and need absolutely, and know we need”; truth relates to the mind, goodness to the will, and beauty to the heart, feelings, desires, or imagination. “These are the only three things that we never get bored with, and never will, for all eternity, because they are attributes of God, and therefore of all God’s creation: three transcendental or absolutely universal properties of all reality.
— C.S. Lewis

This has been a helpful framework for me, I hope that you connect with it too.