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Aristotle’s Lessons for Mankind’s Happiness

    27 Dec 2019

Among the numerous ways suggested for achieving happy, the most effective method seems to come from the Greek philosopher Aristotle.

According to Edith Hall in his book, The Aristotle Way, “For the thinker, happiness is not a succession of pleasant experiences or even a condition of wealth or status.” The scholar, then, adds, “Instead, it is a state of mind that is achieved by behaving well, doing,” the right thing “at all times.” If, therefore, being satisfied depends on us, then we can all be satisfied.

Let's see, how.

By trying to become the best possible version of ourselves: We define our potential (that is what we like to do and where we are good, based on our characteristics) and we build a project that helps us to realise this objective.

By being independent, but not isolating ourselves: The construction of happiness cannot be accomplished alone. We cultivate affections, friendships, social relations and engage with others in mutually-beneficial activities.

By using reasoning to cultivate justice, courage, restraint: That is, by being honest and correct, we fulfil our responsibilities, we face the things that frighten us, we practice self-control. At first it can be tiring but then it becomes a habit.

By pursuing the right middle ground in both virtues and emotional impulses. Everything is legitimate if it is to the appropriate extent, while it can damage us if it is in excess or in deficit.

By loving ourselves and valuing physical pleasure as a guide to happiness (without confusing it with happiness itself): For the Greek philosopher, nature made things we need to prosper, enjoyable, so choosing them is easier.

By not wasting free time, which supports aspects that make us human: That is, the soul, the mind, and personal relationships. In short, what we face outside of work is the way we continually create ourselves.

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