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:

Goal.com

Wenger: Reading motivation 'on a different planet'
Goal.com
The Arsenal manager was full of praise for Reading after his Arsenal side avoided an FA Cup semifinal upset against the Championship outfit. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Reading's motivation was "on a different planet" as the lower-tier side fell ...
Reading Motivation Unreal Says Arsene Wenger as Arsenal Book FA Cup Final ...Inside Futbol
Reading motivation ´on a different planet´ - WengerSoccerway
Danny Welbeck using FA Cup semi-final loss as motivationSports Mole
ESPN FC -BBC News
all 1,397 news articles »


On Education, Motivation and Getting Ahead in Life
Wall Street Journal
Dan Greenstein and Jamie Merisotis's “Education Does Reduce Inequality” (op-ed, April 10) focuses on the supposed effects of education rather than on the people being educated. As a microbusiness owner, I focus far more on the person being hired than ...



Provodnikov: I Have Added Motivation From Algieri Fight
BoxingScene.com
Take his close 12 round unanimous decision loss at the hands of Timothy Bradley in March of 2013. Or grinding his way to stopping Mike Alvarado after the 10th round seven months later. Bruises, cuts over his eyes, and aching bodies are some of the ...

and more »


Lakers.com

From No. 46 to Now: Clarkson's Draft Motivation
Lakers.com
When Jordan Clarkson has a bad game, he sometimes uses a unique solution. This year's 46th overall pick occasionally goes home after a rough outing and rewatches the entire draft. “It's motivating for me when I come in the gym,” Clarkson said at his ...

and more »


Human incentive: is money the motivation?
Daily Times
One of the most common and frequently used arguments of the apologists of capitalism is that incentive for money and competition is necessary for human incentive to work and create for socio-economic growth and development. If one gives deeper thought ...



Las Vegas Review-Journal

Lack of motivation in school may not be child's fault
Las Vegas Review-Journal
“We found that there are personality differences that people inherit that have a major impact on motivation,” said the study's co-author Stephen Petrill, a professor at OSU. “That doesn't mean we don't try to encourage and inspire students, but we have ...
New Study Suggests Educational Motivation is GeneticEducation World

all 3 news articles »


Medical Daily

Kids' School Performance May Be Determined By Genes, Which Affect ...
Medical Daily
Researchers at the University of Ohio studied how genetics may play a dominating role in a child's performance in school. The study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, found children may inherit motivation from their ...
Don't blame your child for not being motivated at schoolDeseret News
Gene-Effect: How to Overcome a child's lack of Learning Motivation in SchoolEmpire State Tribune
Don't blame kids if they do not enjoy school, studyStuff.co.nz
Philly.com
all 14 news articles »


Project Spurs

Tony Parker: Never repeating is all the motivation the Spurs need
Project Spurs
Last season, the San Antonio Spurs had all the motivation in the world to get them through an 82-game regular season and a march to the 2014 NBA crown – Game 6 of the 2014 NBA Finals which saw the title slip through their fingers and Miami winning the ...
Blake Griffin, Clips embrace 'underdog' role against No. 6 seed Spurs6abc.com

all 549 news articles »


Lifehacker

Remind Yourself that Emotions Don't Matter to Muster Motivation
Lifehacker
“I'm not feeling up to it” is a known killer. This phrase has gotten away with the brutal murder of countless hours of productivity and accomplishment. Yet we keep allowing it to do so, because we fail to acknowledge a simple truth: you don't need to ...

and more »


Liverpool FC

Simon: We've so much motivation for Villa
Liverpool FC
As well as personal and collective motivations for overcoming Villa, Mignolet assessed the threats posed by Tim Sherwood's charges and in particular compatriot Christian Benteke. Read on for the highlights from the briefing... What has been the key to ...
Simon Mignolet discusses Liverpool's huge motivation for FA Cup clashThe Empire of The Kop - a blog about Liverpool F.C. (blog)

all 1,053 news articles »

Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.