- The Search for a Better Life: How to “Live Well”
- What Does It Mean To Live The Good Life?
- 116 Quotes to Live By For a Better Life
First, a battle without, against any external force that might delimit thought and action. Second, a battle within, a struggle to subdue psychological and spiritual forces that preclude a healthy self-reliance. The ancient wisdom clearly recognized that humankind has an infinite capacity for self-deception, to believe what is personally useful and convenient at the expense of truth and reality, all with catastrophic consequences.
The Search for a Better Life: How to “Live Well”
Individual investors often deceive themselves by holding on to shady stocks, believing what they want to believe. They often end up blaming stock analysts and stockbrokers when the truth of the matter is they are the ones who eventually made the decision to buy them in the first place. Students also deceive themselves believing that they can pass a course without studying, and end up blaming their professors for their eventual failure.
Avoid Excess. Live life in harmony and balance. Avoid excesses.
What Does It Mean To Live The Good Life?
Even good things, pursued or attained without moderation, can become a source of misery and suffering. They correctly understood that when people violate the limits of a reasonable mean, they pay penalties ranging from countervailing frustrations to utter catastrophe. It is for this reason that they prized ideals such as measure, balance, harmony, and proportion as much as they did, the parameters within which productive living can proceed. If, however, excess is allowed to destroy harmony and balance, then the life worth living becomes impossible to obtain.
Be a Responsible Human Being. Approach yourself with honesty and thoroughness; maintain a kind of spiritual hygiene; stop the blame-shifting for your errors and shortcomings. Be honest with yourself and be prepared to assume responsibility and accept consequences. This rule comes from Pythagoras, the famous mathematician and mystic, and has special relevance for all of us because of the common human tendency to reject responsibility for wrongdoing. Very few individuals are willing to hold themselves accountable for the errors and mishaps that inevitably occur in life.
But the far more typical tendency is to find ourselves in dilemmas of our own creation — dilemmas for which we refuse to be held accountable. If only John or Mary had acted differently then I would not have responded as I did. They reflect an infinite human capacity for rationalization, finger-pointing, and denial of responsibility. Unfortunately, this penchant for excuses and self-exemption has negative consequences. People who feed themselves a steady diet of exonerating fiction are in danger of living life in bad faith — more, they risk corrupting their very essence as a human being.
Prosperity by itself, is not a cure-all against an ill-led life, and may be a source of dangerous foolishness. Money is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the good life, for happiness and wisdom. Prosperity has different meanings to different people. For some, prosperity is about the accumulation of wealth in the form of money, real estate and equities. For others, prosperity is about the accumulation of power and the achievement of status that comes with appointment to business or government positions.
Evildoing is a dangerous habit, a kind of reflex too quickly resorted to and too easily justified that has a lasting and damaging effect upon the quest for the good life. Harming others claims two victims—the receiver of the harm, and the victimizer, the one who does harm. Contemporary society is filled with mixed messages when it comes to the treatment of our fellow human beings. The message of the Judaeo-Christian religious heritage, for instance, is that doing evil to others is a sin, extolling the virtues of mercy, forgiveness, charity, love, and pacifism.
Yet, as we all know, in practice these inspiring ideals tend to be in very short supply. What is not considered here are the effects these attempts to render evil have upon the person engaging in such attempts.
What we fail to understand is the psychological, emotional, and spiritual impact victimizing others has upon the victimizer. Kindness towards others tends to be rewarded.
116 Quotes to Live By For a Better Life
Kindness to others is a good habit that supports and reinforces the quest for the good life. Helping others bestows a sense of satisfaction that has two beneficiaries—the beneficiary, the receiver of the help, and the benefactor, the one who provides the help. But these deeds are often advocated as an investment toward future salvation — as the admission ticket to paradise. Simply put, kindness tends to return to those who do kind deeds, as Aesop demonstrated in his colourful fable of a little mouse cutting the net to free the big lion.
Aesop lived in the 6 th century B. Also read, The Six Rules of Success. Reason lets human beings participate in life, to be human is to think, appraise, and explore the world, discovering new sources of material and spiritual pleasure. Perhaps a combination was at play….
My hope was that by discovering a consistent thread of human thought, I would be able to distill a common sentiment into a razor sharp definition e. In one of my previous attempts at answering the question of what it meant to live well, I concluded that a life well lived was a life well understood.
By achieving a comprehensive understanding of the patterns of life, I saw the potential to discover an order to the universe where actions and behaviors could be parsed into two distinct categories: those that led to good consequences and those that led to bad ones. The good ones, I thought, could be understood as those that tended to promote well-being and the bad ones tended to promote the inverse.
Knowledge appeared as the path to the good life. In fact, short-term pain is often a precursor to sustained happiness. Pain provides context for our triumphs and informs us about how to live better in the future. Living well can and perhaps ought to be tinkered with. Pain is merely an informant; use it to your advantage. Your email address will not be published. Happiness , Students By Colin Mattingly. About the Author. At the tail end of his undergraduate career, Colin found his intellectual curiosity aligning more closely with the field of psychology.
Colin sees studying psychology as a natural continuation of the intellectual pursuits he embarked upon while studying philosophy.