This is a rendition of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics for contemporary readers. Brief, understandable pieces with a short practice to integrate the wisdom into your life. No philosophical background necessary.
In this piece, Aristotle will begin by directing our attention to where the good life should be searched for. Then he will discuss the importance of actualization.
The good things in life can be outside you, like your property. Your property isn’t you.
But you can also be good, not just have good.
What does it mean for a human to be good?
A human-being can be divided into two; the body and the soul. Between those two, the goods pertaining to the soul are the better goods than those of the body, even if your soul is dependent on the health of your body in some ways.
That’s because the goods of the human soul are unique to humans. They are our greatest excellence. But with regards to the body man is not the best; no man can kick harder than a donkey.
What are these good things, then? What are the goods of the soul? Let’s get really concrete and empirical.
The goods of our souls are our actions and activities. It’s what we do with our bodies, the patterns we live.
Hence we can conclude that certain actions and activities are our telos, that is to say, we strive to do certain actions and engage in certain activities. Happiness is a certain kind of living well, a way of being.
Or in other words- the good life we strive for is not in having something like property or a strong body, but rather in being and doing the most excellent things.
Being and doing is not some abstraction. It is clear that it is not enough to have the capacity to live well, it must be realized. Potential is… cute.
Being a good person deep down is a euphemism for being a bad person. It means you could be good in different circumstances; however those circumstances are not real. You need to real-ize yourself!
Just as it is not the noblest and the strongest who are crowned with the victory wreath in the Olympic Games but rather only the competitors, so also it is those who act correctly who attain the noble and good things in life, and not those that are great fighters ‘deep down’.
Theory ain’t enough. Activate this wisdom and realize your potential. It will serve you well.
Write down a list of some of your virtues (positive character traits)
Order them from ‘most activated’ to ‘rarely activated’
Read this great post by Sasha Chapin on how to invite others to live their best life
Annoyingly, i accidently put a subscribe button in the middle,
Wont do that again