Tag Archives: Aristotle

Expect nothing; Gain everything

“To avoid disappointment in life, don’t attach an expectation to an outcome.”

Buddha

When there is an expected result desired no matter the situation, there is always a good chance that you’ll experience disappointment. This disappointment can lead to anger, especially if it involves something between friends, family or lovers. If you’re not able to rise above this type of situation peacefully, the first thing that most people experience is anger, animosity or even hatred. At this point, this is when your mind has taken over your other bodily senses and closed off your inner power and intellect. Then, it’s easy to become angry, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – this is not easy to achieve. 

So, the next time you become angry at someone, remember to try not to attach an expectation to whatever made you angry in the first place. And also remember the exact dose of anger you exert, and at what time, and for what purpose could be the difference between a broken friendship or relationship and one that has grown closer than ever before. If you can accomplish this, then you’re on your way to achieving spiritual and physical maturity.

Happiness is a Choice

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Shining souls

“The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.”

~ Aristotle

The human spirit is mighty. Throughout our lives, we are faced with circumstances that force us to look deep within ourselves to find what is good so that we can do amazing things for others in need. When something bad happens to another person, whether you know them personally or not, you feel compelled to reach out to them from the depth of your heart and help them get to a place of comfort, safety and peace. You can do this through prayer, a financial contribution, or with a helping hand. This temperament is displayed often when tragedy strikes and is one of characteristics that make the human species unique from most all other earthly creatures. This very type of behaviour must also be used when we find ourselves in a difficult place in life. All too often, we neglect our own needs when we are faced with a tragedy, depression, weakness, etc. It’s very important to remember that as individuals, we need to be heroic for ourselves too. In doing so, we keep our own soul shining so that we are available to assist others in keeping their souls shining too. 

The Soul of a Flower

Special thanks to Tim Coffey for his use of this illustration.

An excellent idea

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

~ Aristotle

Aristotle (1811) Galleria dell'Accademia, Venice

Aristotle

Such a poignant statement that sums up how we should truly measure ourselves. As I celebrate my 54th birthday today, I will take these words by Aristotle with me as a reminder to live my life each day as someone who lives rightly. Doing so will help me be an excellent human being who has chosen to develop habits that are conducive to a life of excellence. After all, isn’t that what we all want to achieve with our lives? Today, choose to be an excellent person who inspires others to live their life in excellence. This is a most excellent idea.