The world wants you to think that more is better. However, when we are talking about material things, more isn’t always best for a peaceful life. It’s too easy to get caught up in pursuing more of everything we enjoy, and for us to lose focus on what is really important in life. Moderation is a surer path to a more peaceful and meaningful life. If you are looking to learn more, you can learn a lot from Aristotle and find many practical ways to achieve balance in your life.
According to History.Com, The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) made significant and lasting contributions to nearly every aspect of human knowledge, from logic to biology to ethics and aesthetics. Though overshadowed in classical times by the work of his teacher Plato, from late antiquity through the Enlightenment, Aristotle’s surviving writings were incredibly influential. In Arabic philosophy, he was known simply as “The First Teacher”; in the West, he was “The Philosopher.”
Learn about Aristotle’s thoughts on moderation. You can read the entire Nicomachean Ethics or pick up the crib notes. You’ll see how virtue comes from steering a middle path between excess and deficiency. Seeking moderation in all things pays off.
Cultivate good habits. Be moderate about moderation. Start with simple daily choices that build a strong foundation. Skip the second helping of dessert or clear out one shelf at a time in your garage. Tiny steps, lead to tiny joy, which lead to a more peaceful and satisfying life.
Be flexible. Moral evaluation can get complicated. Keep an open mind to find new approaches to common dilemmas like conflicts with others or sticking to your budget. Seek feedback from others while you develop solutions that work for you.
Become more mindful. Tune into the pleasures that already surround you. Savor the aroma of your morning coffee while you listen to the harmonies of the birds as they welcome the dawn. Make it a point to look for things you haven’t noticed before.
Learn how habituation works. Our brains get used to the same old stimulation and stop responding. That’s why the excitement over a new car can dissipate so quickly. Good character and spiritual accomplishments last much longer.
Delay gratification. Putting off gratification is one of the most effective skills for success in life. Increase your patience and learn to enjoy the feeling of anticipation.
Indulge yourself now and then. Temperance is different from denial. You can still have a good time. Just buy the one pair of shoes you really love instead of buying out the whole store.
Be a good example. In addition to making your own experiences more rewarding, moderation will help you become a better role model. Your kids will see how to live well and find true happiness. Naturally, you may need to explain what you’re doing if your newfound sense of moderation requires changing some old house rules.
Watch your diet. Crash diets can undermine your health and many people gain back more weight than they lose in the first place. Aim for a nutritious eating plan that fits your lifestyle. Eat as many unprocessed foods as possible, drink lots of water, and stay away from the fast food.
Enrich your friendships. Be a good friend by acting generously and respectfully towards others while still living within the boundaries you need for fulfilling your own needs. It will promote true harmony in your relationships with others and with yourself.
Develop true, long-lasting relationships. Love isn’t what they show on television, crushes usually fizzle out quickly. Let your relationships develop over time. Pay attention to your friends and social circle while you see where your new love interest may lead. Manage your money. Sound financial planning will enable you to spend, save and invest according to your own personal income level and net worth. Economic security can increase your options in life and work wonders for your peace of mind.
Be willing to take risks. Getting ahead often means venturing outside of our comfort zone. Learn to live at the level of comfortable discomfort when you are working on new things and processing new ideas. Make a careful assessment of risks and benefits to prevent making rash decisions or missing out on opportunities.
Limit your time online. Of course, Aristotle fails to mention the Internet in all his wisdom, but we know what he would probably say. Use your leisure time to grow closer to family and friends and expand your education by switching off the TV sitcoms and setting time limits on video games and web surfing.
Remember and appreciate who you are. A healthy sense of self keeps excessive vanity or modesty in check. Celebrate your achievements while you acknowledge how much you still have yet to learn. Be humble, yet proud of your accomplishments. You were created perfectly to be who you are supposed to be. Don’t hide it.
Avoiding extremes is good advice for all our daily activities. Remembering the importance of and practicing moderation will help you to better enjoy your current blessings and welcome more good things into your life.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.