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:

West De Pere's Sean Gibbons teaches math with motivation
Green Bay Press Gazette
Just really trying to motivate the kids, motivation to get them to want to learn. You can't teach that, but you can try to find ways to make it interesting. The challenge is to get them to want to learn and, honestly, just to do some work outside of ...



Trail Blazers-Rockets: Thomas Robinson says his motivation is winning, not ...
The Oregonian (blog)
Regardless of motivation, for Robinson to get his want, he likely will have to play a significant role. After a few up-and-down months with the Blazers, when he struggled to find his place in the rotation and accept his role in coach Terry Stotts ...

and more »


Pac-12.com

Roundup: Extra motivation for ASU spring game
Pac-12.com
We got some more spring football for ya on Saturday, and the fun begins in Tempe. It's always good to have a little fun with these things, and there is a new twist in this year's Arizona State spring game: The winning team gets steak, the losing team ...

and more »


Gus Poyet used Jose Mourinho's record as motivation to beat Chelsea, reveals ...
Daily Mail
Sunderland defender John O'Shea revealed manager Gus Poyet had used Jose Mourinho's record as motivation for a win that significantly boosts their survival bid. 'Have a guess what the manager's team talk was?' he said. 'Be that team. Be that team to ...



crash.net

Chinese F1 Grand Prix: Raikkonen: 'F**k all to do with motivation'
crash.net
Having admitted the weekend was a tough one for him, Raikkonen was asked how his motivation was during such a difficult race, to which he replied: “I don't know why you always come up with motivation. “If I were not motivated I wouldn't be here ...
Raikkonen admits driving style behind China struggleESPN F1
Chinese GP: Fernando Alonso dedicates podium to Stefano DomencaliBBC Sport
Chinese GP: Race notes - Ferraripitpass.com

all 132 news articles »


LeBron James has plenty of motivation for Heat playoff run
Washington Times
“I sent out a few tweets but I haven't been reading anything,” James said after Miami ended practice Friday. “I'm kind of just gearing toward locking in tomorrow night and go from there. But I don't need any motivation. I don't need extra motivation. I ...
'I don't need extra motivation': Heat, LeBron eager to start taking steps ...Fox News
LeBron James: "I don't need extra motivation"Sports Mole

all 1,345 news articles »


How To Motivate People: 4 Steps Backed By Science
TIME
When tested in national surveys against such seemingly crucial factors as intelligence, ability, and salary, level of motivation proves to be a more significant component in predicting career success. While level of motivation is highly correlated with ...



Janae Van Burch lets determination be her motivation
The Jersey Journal (blog)
Janae Van Burch, 13 has figured out in the 8th grade that she possesses the ability to determine her fate by consistently motivating and applying herself to whatever challenge she is facing. She has an active life including school, track and field ...



Telegraph.co.uk

Debate: Smoking weed affects young people's motivation, so is society too ...
The Independent
Young people who smoke marijuana may be at risk of “major” changes to the area of the brain that regulates motivation, a new study claims. Our full report on the study, carried out by researchers from Harvard University and Northwestern Medicine, can ...
Cannabis use linked to brain changes in emotion and motivationAuthint Mail

all 25 news articles »


Melissa Joan Hart: Celebrity pressure is gym motivation
TVNZ
The 38-year-old actress - who gained 60lbs while pregnant with her third child in 2012 - recently lost a dramatic 40lbs and unveiled her impressive weightloss on Instagram earlier this month, but she insists it was her status in society that motivated ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.