Trans4mind Home Page

Fascinating Philosophy for Self-Growth

By Evelyn Cole

Self-growth, self-improvement, self-esteem, and motivation articles, books, videos, coaches, ebooks (including mine) inundate the Internet. They offer advice on how to live better than you are living now.

Good advice, but oh, so contemporary.

Sometimes it's more interesting to read philosophy.

One time a Korean medical doctor hired me to write an article explaining acupuncture for American magazine readers. He fed me the information but it took me three weeks to figure out how to start the article. Finally I realized I had to go all the way back to Plato and Confucius. Through them I could demonstrate how Western and Eastern philosophical contemplations led to two completely different branches of medicine.

So, let's consider the elements of the good life according to Aristotle. I bet you can relate-even if you don't know who he is.

1. The Contemplative Life. You know Plato's old line, "An unexamined life is not worth living." If you have read this far you carry his contemplative streak. You ask the big questions. You ask why. Good on ya, as they say down under.

2. The Active Life. A given. We can't think if we don't move and put some oxygen in our brains. Besides, life is meant to be lived.

3. The Fatalistic Life. We tend to think of fatalists as pessimists who assume they have no free will, no control over their lives. Everything is written in the stars--or someplace. But Aristotle has a different take. To him, a fatalist is resigned to the facts of life. He accepts the fact has he no control over the weather, his president, or his hard drive. This acceptance makes for a good life.

When the fatalist loses his job, his car, his key to the club, he doesn't mourn. He says, "I gave it back." He recognizes the transitory nature of everything. Some of us have to get really old to get to that point. I met a woman at a writers' conference who had just moved out of a fourteen room mansion into a two bedroom condo. "I gave it all back," she said.

It is a good life when we accept what is inevitable. You know your car is going to die someday, among other beloved flora and fauna.

4. The Hedonistic Life. Delicious sounding, isn't it? Slightly naughty. You thought a hedonist was an irresponsible, party-till-I-die kind of person, I bet. Not according to Aristotle.

Hedonism implies desire. Desire implies want--unsatisfied want. That's no fun. According to Aristotle, a true hedonist trods a narrow path between the pain of unsatisfied pleasure and pleasure. He's not going to pine over the Queen of Sheba when he can have the Queen of Next Door. He leads a peaceful life, getting his pleasure in protected context.

5. The heroic and saintly life. If you find joy in helping others you know you are no better than the sloths you grew up with. You know what sustains you and it is beautiful and you don't deserve the accolades people throw at you. It's your good life. You don't expect anyone else to get the same pleasure out of it that you do.

Sister Theresa never thought of herself as a saint. She just thought she was living a good life. The firefighters in every city do not think of themselves as heroes. When one dies trying to save a life, he probably thinks, "Damn, I goofed," not "They'll bury me a hero."

What we choose to do in life is programmed early. Our judgments of ourselves and others are hardwired, too. Personally, I measure my own self-growth by the wonderful decrease in my daily judgments of others..

I think Aristotle would say, if he knew the lingo, think about your life, live your life, expect bad weather and enjoy it, give up what you hang on to, seek pleasure safely, not excessively, and do what you do for its own sake, not for some ridiculous pat on the back.

Then again, I may be right.

I will now drink a toast to your good life with a safe amount of Hedonistic Port.

Copyright 2006 Cole's Poetic License

About The Author
© Evelyn Cole, MA, MFA, The Whole-mind Writer,

Cole's chief aim in life is to convince everyone to understand the power of the subconscious mind and synchronize it with goals of the conscious mind. Along with "Mind Nudges" and "Brainsweep", she has published three novels and several poems that dramatize subconscious power.

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

View all the Hypnosis Downloads here

The New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2018 Trans4mind Ltd