It is tempting to think that only those living in our modern times can understand our struggles and challenges in life. You may be surprised to learn that someone who lived nearly 2500 years ago understood more about human nature than many who live today. Consider the words of Aristotle and how you can apply them to your life.
"Each man judges well the things he knows."
Sometimes it seems that everyone is ready to judge the works of others and freely express their version of the truth. But, as Aristotle points out, man is only able to judge the things that he knows. How often we are tempted to make judgments about the lives or others, or accept their judgment of ours, without understanding the situation. Practice withholding judgement of others and accept that sometimes you simply don’t know enough about the situation to form a judgment.
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
Many refuse to consider the thoughts of others that differ from theirs as though the mere consideration might taint their mind. Consider for a moment the impact if each of us took the time to consider thoughts and ideas outside of our comfort zone. Practice considering the views and thoughts of others before deciding whether they have merit.
"We may feel good will towards those who are not our friends."
Nearly everyone wishes well for their friends and loved ones and shows them love and kindness, but few extend the courtesy beyond their circle of friends. How different the world might become if we practiced good will toward those who are not already friends. Practice widening your circle and watch as the world around you changes.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit."
Just as we claim excellence by cultivating the habit of giving life our best effort, learning to only judge that which we know, entertaining thoughts that do not match our own and practicing good will to all will expand our lives and increase our joy.
"Happiness depends on ourselves."
So often, people look to others to bring them happiness in life and fail to realize that true happiness does not come from the hands of others. To find happiness in life you must look within and practice being the type of person your dream of being. When your actions match your values and your ideals, you will find happiness in your life.