Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Five Great Ideas From Aristotle


It was Socrates who said that the purpose of philosophy is to help each of us become "an excellent human". That seems like a respectable and reasonable big-picture goal for every person on the planet.

But what about the specifics? How do we become excellent humans? How can we use philosophy in our everyday lives to help us succeed in this most important goal as homo sapiens?

The surprising thing about philosophy is that it is incredibly user-friendly if you take it in small doses. For thousands of years, thoughtful individuals have contemplated the meaning of life. Many of the greatest philosophers spoke eloquently about the challenges we all face today in words that are easily understood and truly inspiring.

Don't believe it? Let's start with a few thoughts from Aristotle. The student of Plato, who was the student of Socrates, Aristotle lived in the third century B.C. But don't hold that against him! Aristotle was full of interesting ideas, and he had quite a sense of humor as well. He's a guy you could imagine sitting in your kitchen, engaging in a memorable conversation over a shared bottle of wine. Think of him as a really wise friend, and use his ideas to help you TODAY to become a more excellent human.

Aristotle believed that everything had a purpose. He stated that our purpose as humans is to think in order to live a good life. That's it. As long as we continue to contemplate the universe and our role in it, we are fulfilling our purpose.

So, to help you contemplate the universe today, here are five inspiring thoughts from our friend, Aristotle:

Thought #1:

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

What is it that you repeatedly do? Greet people on the street, let another car into a busy street in front of you, leave nice tips for frazzled waitpersons, read to your children, phone your elderly aunt? What do your habits say about you? Is that the message you want to send?

How can you change your habits or adopt new ones to reflect your desire to become more excellent? What excellent acts can you do repeatedly so that they become a habit? What can you do TODAY to intentionally start a habit that will lead to excellence? Pick something simple and just get started.

Thought #2:

"Education is the best provision for old age."What are you learning these days?

How are you spending your free time? Take a look at how you are including learning in your daily life. Do you read? If so, are you learning from it? Do you watch television? Yes, it can be educational, but seriously analyze your viewing habits and see if you can't incorporate more learning and less vegetating.

Don't pick something boring. Choose ways to learn that excite and inspire you. A cooking class through your local community college? A new sport? A stack of library books on a country you're hoping to visit someday? Pursue your interests with a passion, and you will always continue learning. Promise yourself you'll always have interesting things to talk about when you are old-and this doesn't mean ailments and treatments! Learn now how to ignite your own curiosity and pursue learning as a lifelong adventure.

Thought #3:

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

We all do it--we hear an idea, and we immediately attach ourselves to an opinion about it without really giving it the time it takes to form a reasoned conclusion. The problem with smart people is that we tend to use our intelligence to argue in defense of our chosen opinions. We'd be a whole lot wiser if we did less arguing and more thinking!

The next time someone makes a suggestion you don't like or states an opinion you disagree with, try this: Wait three minutes before denouncing it. Now, this doesn't that you should just sit there, fuming or smug or disinterested. Instead, "entertain" the thought. Ask questions. Show interest. Be open, engaged and nonconfrontational. When your three minutes are up, you can feel free to express your original opinion. More often than not, your original opinion will have changed a bit because you have spent some time holding a thought without attacking it.

The trick here is to separate the thought from the thinker. Are you sure you don't dislike the thought because you dislike the thinker? We all have people in our lives who push our buttons. Take the high road. Entertain the thought. Your eventual rebuttal will be more easily accepted after you've shown that you have carefully considered the concept. Try this at work, try it with your friends, try it with your family. This is a surefire path to excellence.

Thought #4:

"What lies in our power to do, also lies in our power not to do."

Ah, yes. Those bad habits? You can change them. If you had the initiative at some point to do something, you can choose to stop doing it. This goes for overeating, smoking, drinking too much, and all the usual bad habits.

It also hold true for things we don't even think of as habits anymore-watching too much television, driving instead of walking, reading nothing but celebrity magazines, gossiping, spending too much time shopping, etc. If you haven't always done it, you don't have to continue doing it. You do have the power to make changes.

Thought #5:

"Well begun is half done."

We all understand that setting a goal, doing the research, and making a plan will increase the likelihood that our chosen task will be successfully completed. Whether it's a home improvement project, a vacation schedule, or a tricky new recipe, proper preparation will save us a lot of time and effort.

Start using Aristotle's ideas today to help you become an excellent human. Make your best acts your best habits. Learn something new each day. Entertain contrary thoughts. Begin to undo bad habits. Prepare yourself for excellence.

Aristotle would be so proud.

About The Author

Maya Talisman Frost is a mind masseuse. Her course, Massage Your Mind!: Defining Your Life Philosophy, has inspired thinkers in over 70 countries around the world. She is the publisher of the Friday Mind Massage, a free weekly ezine serving up a satisfying blend of clarity, comfort and comic relief. To learn more, visit http://www.massageyourmind.com or http://www.mindmasseuse.com.

maya@massageyourmind.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Final 2 games plenty of motivation for Alabama
Montgomery Advertiser
He doesn't change the channel or turn off the television. In fact, Jones watches every second of Chris Davis' punt return that ended the Crimson Tide's dreams of a three-peat. "I watch the whole thing every time, because it's motivation," Jones said ...
Never, again: Tide draws motivation from two losses to end '13Anniston Star

all 2 news articles »


Holly guard Jake Daniels uses father's death as motivation to land college ...
MLive.com
At that moment, he said he thought about sitting out of basketball for a bit but decided to carry out his father's wishes and use that situation as motivation to earn a college scholarship for hoops. “One thing about him that I look up to him the most ...



Editorial: Perry's border decision raises questions about political motivation
Midland Reporter-Telegram
However, our concern is Perry's true motivation. Forgive us for being skeptical. We remember when the governor vetoed Tom Craddick's texting while driving bill in 2011 before his first run for president. We saw Perry order Texas girls to get a vaccine ...

and more »


The Secret of Effective Motivation
New York Times
You might suppose that a scientist motivated by a desire to discover facts and by a desire to achieve renown will do better work than a scientist motivated by just one of those desires. Surely two motives are better than one. But as we and our ...



Fast Company

How To Re&Discover Your Motivation
Fast Company
Real motivation doesn't come from external rewards--it comes from making some shifts in how you think about your situation, says San Diego, California-based personal empowerment expert Susan Fowler, author of Why Motivating People Doesn't Work .



Sevens team using pressure as motivation
3News NZ
The All Black Sevens have had their first training session in Glasgow, as they aim for their fifth consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medal. "Any team wearing a black jersey and a silver fern is expected to do well, and we use that pressure as ...

and more »


The Mental Game: Motivate your pre-season
Push Hockey
Motivation is a cornerstone for success in sport: if you lack the desire to improve in hockey then the other areas of performance (physical, technical, tactical, mental) are of no use. Motivation is what causes us to act, whether that means getting a ...



Village Voice (blog)

Ask Andrew W.K.: Feeling Motivation in the Face of Discouragement
Village Voice (blog)
Ask Andrew W.K.: Feeling Motivation in the Face of Discouragement. By Andrew W.K. Wed., Jul. 23 2014 at 1:14 PM. Categories: Ask Andrew W.K.. andrewdis560.jpg. Photo Sandra Sorenson. [Editor's note: Every Wednesday New York City's own Andrew ...



If Cougs need motivation, here's plenty
BruinReportonline.com (subscription)
MOTIVATION COMES IN many different forms. And even the very best of athletes have been known to seek out any slight they can find, be it real, manufactured or imagined. If the 2014 Cougars are looking for any additional motivation on the cusp of fall ...

and more »


Monday Motivation: 48-Year-Old Man Runs Sub-4:20 Mile
velonews.competitor.com
On July 9 at Olympian High School in Chula Vista, Calif., 48-year-old Brad Barton became the oldest man to run a sub-4:20 mile. The father of five and keynote speaker from Utah ran a 4:17.54 mile, just 1.45 seconds short of 46-year-old Tony Young's ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.