Showing posts with label Philosophy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philosophy. Show all posts

Monday 6 June 2022

Stop Chasing Happiness, Find Fulfillment Instead

From an early age, we’re led to believe that nothing is more satisfying than finding happiness. But happiness is so elusive and intangible.


Plus, happiness is different for everyone, so how do you know when you find it? And is there something out there that can make you feel even better than happiness?


Yes! It’s called having a sense of fulfillment. Yet, what is that exactly, and how do you get it? That’s what we’re here today to find out.


So, keep reading to learn how you can stop chasing happiness to find fulfillment instead.


Happiness vs. Fulfillment


Take a look at this quick overview of happiness vs. fulfillment.




Happiness includes feelings like contentment, excitement, and joy. But they’re all temporary.


Sure, it feels nice while it lasts, but other emotions take over, like anger, fear, and anxiety.


The trap many of us fall into is that we believe we’ll reach our point of happiness when we achieve certain things in our lives.


We say things like, “If I buy that shiny, red car, I’ll be happy.” or “Once I have my own house, I’ll finally be happy.”


Of course, you’ll be happy! But that happiness can only last so much. After that, reality sets in, especially when the bills start coming in.


Another problem with happiness is that we often view it in terms of other people. So we compare our lives to theirs, which is never a good idea.


No one knows what’s going on in other people's lives. So it’s not fair to compare only the good parts. It sends you on a loop of perpetual disappointment. The only person you should compare yourself to is you.




When you pursue the things that really matter to you, you bring fulfillment into your life. Fulfillment is when you take actionable steps towards the things you value. Part of it is also achieving goals that were set up based on these core values.


Living your life with a consistent set of values allows you to have integrity towards who you truly are. It also allows you more control over your emotions and thoughts.


This makes it possible to bring the locus of control inward. Thus, you feel stronger and more empowered.


The bottom line is that happiness is dependent on external factors. Many of these factors are material and likely to change at any moment.


Fulfillment, on the other hand, is internally driven. You’re the one who determines what means more to you, and then by going after it, you elevate the levels of fulfillment in your life.


How To Find Fulfillment


You can find fulfillment in many ways. But you have to choose to see it in every experience and situation in your life, especially those that don’t go your way.


It sounds more challenging than it really is, but it’s actually relatively easy once you know what you’re doing. And it’s way more rewarding and empowering than chasing the ever-fleeting feeling of happiness.


Here are some ways to find fulfillment and bring meaning to your life.


Know Thyself


The great philosopher, Socrates, said, “Know Thyself” to encourage his students to look inward when searching for the meaning of life. So then, when you know your true nature, you can find fulfillment because you know your true self-worth.


You can do that by thinking of a moment when you felt most fulfilled. What about that specific event made you feel this way?


The more you know about yourself, the more fulfillment you’ll find in life. Remember, fulfillment isn’t about having a nice house or the latest fashion. It’s much deeper than that and much more nuanced.


It just takes a bit of soul searching.


Help Others


Helping others is one of the best ways to fill your life with fulfillment. You feel good by volunteering your time or money to help someone in need.


The science behind it is that helping others boosts the release of ‘feel-good’ chemicals in our brains. Some of these include hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin.


So, whether you’re helping a friend move or helping out at a local soup kitchen, you’re bringing joy and ease into other people’s lives. Not only that, but you’re also making yourself feel more fulfilled.


Create Connections


Surrounding yourself with a healthy, supportive social circle allows you to feel connected to something. In addition, being part of something fosters a sense of fulfillment in your life.


You have people you can talk to anytime you feel sad or stressed out. Consequently, you don’t suffer from any feelings of isolation, disconnection, or separation.


Be Grateful


Having a sense of gratitude can help you see the purpose in life and feel like you’re connected to a greater good. Gratitude also boosts your overall health and encourages positive emotions, which can come in handy when you’re going through a tough time.


It also motivates you to strive for more. Yet, when there’s a setback, you focus more on what you have and what you’ve accomplished rather than wallowing in your losses.


Being thankful each day can help you overcome difficult times and give you the support you need to get back up and keep trying to reach your potential.


Keep in mind that if you’re not okay with what you don’t have, you’ll never appreciate what you do have.

Saturday 4 June 2022

5 Tips To Get To Know Yourself Better

When Socrates said, “Know Thyself,” he was teaching his students how to be at peace with who they were as individuals. Little did he know that his words would still hold true centuries later.


Self-knowledge was his path to embracing each person’s unique personality. Yet this path to self-awareness needs a bit of soul searching. That can be challenging for some people. So, we decided to make it a bit easier.


We rounded up the best five tips to get to know yourself better. These tips will help jump-start your journey into self-reflection. By finding the answers you’ve been looking for, you can start to strive toward your true potential.


Let’s get started.


Tip #1: Be Still


For many people, it’s hard to sit alone in a quiet room and contemplate. They become uncomfortable and agitated.


Still, this is an important step to get to know yourself better. Be brave in the face of your imperfections. As soon as you begin to embrace the good with the bad, you can start discovering your true self.


It all starts when you take the time to sit still and listen to yourself. Think of it as a form of mindfulness meditation where you focus completely on the present moment.


Tip #2: Ask the Right Questions


Too many times, we knock ourselves down through negative self-talk. Instead, talk to yourself as you would a friend. Be kind and show empathy. The best way to do that is by asking self-discovery questions so you can get to know yourself better. 


Write down the answers on post-its and hang them up next to your bed or bathroom mirror. You can also jot the answers down in a journal. In fact, experts say journals are one of the most effective tools of self-awareness.


Here are some important questions you can ask yourself today:


  • What are my core values?
  • Who’s my biggest role model? Why?
  • What makes me feel safe? Or Who?
  • What are my short-term and long-term goals?


Tip #3: Find Your Strengths


Each one of us is here for a reason. Some of us do certain things better than others. That’s the natural order of things.


Knowing what you’re good at is necessary on the journey of finding who you really are. Focusing on your strengths boosts self-confidence and increases your drive to achieve more. Only then, will you be able to make room for better, more productive things in your life.


Let’s not forget that it’s just as important to figure out what you’re not good at. Allow yourself to try different things. Then, by trial and error, you’ll know exactly what you’re good at and what you should steer clear of.


Interestingly enough, your strengths will almost always align with your core values. Together, they can help you manage your life path, both at home and at work.


Tip #4: Discover Your Passion


Now that you know what you’re good at, it’s time to hone in on the things that excite you and give your life meaning. This can be one thing or twenty—the point is to follow through.


Having that drive gives you purpose and strength. You savor each moment and push yourself to achieve new goals.


This positive energy you exude when you’re doing something you’re passionate about is vital. It allows you to want to be better and do more. That can only come when you truly enjoy what you’re doing.


Tip #5: Determine Your Sense of Style


Your fashion sense is unique to you. Whether you realize it or not, your style is a form of self-expression. It gives people a quick peek into who you are, as well as your likes and interests. By figuring out your style, you allow yourself to be self-assured and poised in your special way.


Start by going through your wardrobe. Keep the things you believe are a true reflection of who you are. Then, get rid of anything that doesn’t make you feel beautiful and confident.


For inspiration, check out fashion styles online and in magazines. Then, find one that shows off your true self.


This is one form of self-care that will work wonders for your self-esteem. Best of all you won’t just feel good, you’ll also look amazing! Who doesn’t want that?!


In Conclusion


We hope you found these five tips to get to know yourself better helpful. Figuring out who you are as an individual has many advantages.


The most significant is that it puts things in perspective. It allows you to feel comfortable in your own skin.


As a result, you’re able to focus more on your strengths and be more accepting of your weaknesses. Socrates also said, “Be as you wish to seem.” In other words, when you know what you want out of life, the only thing that can hold you back is your imagination. So, be bold and dream big!


Friday 3 June 2022

Live Your Truth, Grow Your Self-Worth

Living a happy life is everyone’s goal. Who doesn’t want to feel good about themselves? And yet so many of us live a life of self-doubt, feeling undeserving or incapable, or wishing we were walking another path.


However, living a happy life, being a happy person, is a matter of how you perceive yourself and your place in the world. You can “think yourself happy” by taking action, being honest about yourself, your patterns of thinking, and being open to your capacity to change. Self-knowledge is the key to living a happy life. And that means living your truth, not other people’s truth, or what society tells you is your truth. 


Socrates famously said that the unexamined life is not worth living. An ongoing process of self-analysis and self-examination leading to greater understanding and self-knowledge is also the basis for most of the world’s religions and belief systems for a good reason. If you don’t know who you are, you're not your true self in the world. If this is the case, you’re living a passive life, reacting to whatever comes along instead of taking control. Living unconsciously like this is living half asleep, and if you’re half asleep, you can’t be your best you.


Living an authentic life does not mean going off the grid. It does mean a daily practice of being honest about how you’re feeling and why, and reminding yourself that you are in control of how you feel. It means being clear about what your values and beliefs are – what “rules” you live your life by. Are your values yours, or have you absorbed them from other people in your life? Do they still fit with the life you want to lead? 


Five steps to living a more authentic life:


1.    Be clear about how you want your life to be right now and where you want to go. Understand and live by your values and beliefs. 


2.    Be aware of yourself and how you react and interact with other people, situations, events, the world.


3.    Set and maintain conscious boundaries. Be clear in your mind and be at peace with what you can and can’t control.


4.    Be okay with imperfection in yourself and others. Be objective about your weaknesses so that you can improve upon them without letting them get you down.


5.    Be kind and forgiving to yourself and others.


Living your truth means taking responsibility for your life and building a deep self-knowledge that will ultimately lead to contentment and happiness. 


Sunday 8 May 2022

How Martial Arts Use Mushin to be At Peace and Unstoppable

If you’re looking to promote a calmer mind and a healthier body, then you could do a lot worse than trying martial arts.


This might sound like a contradiction. After all, martial arts are all about fighting, and that hardly screams ‘calm’.


But that’s only the mainstream perception of martial arts. If you actually look deeper and start to learn more about these disciplines, you learn that martial arts are about discipline, calmness and defense. There is no aggression here.


And Mushin is perhaps the ultimate example of this, think of it like fighting in a meditative state!


What is Mushin?


Mushin can be loosely translated as ‘no mind’ and it’s something that you may actually have some familiarity with.


If you’ve ever been playing a sport and you’ve found yourself become completely fixated on that sport, then you might have noticed external distractions and other thoughts simply falling away. All that’s left is you and the game and this results in heightened reflexes, accuracy and performance. You stop thinking and let your body take over from you, and suddenly you become much better at combat.


This is something that scientists have been very interested in recently. In science, this is known as a ‘flow state’ or more accurately ‘temporo-hypofrontality’. In this state, your prefrontal cortex closes down and you’re left simply with your reflexes.


In martial arts, this is the goal during combat and it allows you to think without thinking and to become effective, efficient and harmonious. 


Pushing Hands and No Mind


One way this is achieved in martial arts like Aikido, is through the rigorous training of technique. Every time we practice any movement whether it’s a dance, a fighting form, or the movements necessary to play an instrument, this causes neurons to fire in the brain (this is called an ‘action potential’). Each time we repeat the same movement, the same neurons fire. And each time this happens, the strength of that connection strengthens (through a process called myelination) and this makes it easier for those neurons to fire next time.


Ultimately, this results in the connections strengthening to the point where one neuron firing causes an automatic cascade and we can complete complex movements entirely without thought. It’s this rigorous training and practice that eventually allows the mind to step back and the body to act purely on instinct and reflex. And this can feel incredibly enlightening. 


This can also be trained through something called ‘pushing hands’. Here, one opponent stands opposite another and pushes them gently. The defender then needs to react to that Kinetic energy by moving their upper body to prevent it from pushing them over and they then return the energy back by pushing their opponent. At no point should it be ‘force against force’ but rather it should be like two willow trees swaying in the wind.


With practice, an Aikidoka can develop this ability to the point where they react entirely without thought and can move out of the way of any attack.


How a Stoic Mindset Can Make You Impervious to Harm

One of the most incredibly motivating and inspiring films of all time is without a doubt Rocky. Rocky is a film about people punching and hitting each other, but it has become much more than that. The Rocky theme tune is iconic and plays during pretty much any scene featuring people getting better at something. The film is adored by gym-goers all around the world and it is the ‘go to film’ for getting pumped.


But Rocky’s appeal lies deeper than the surface level masculinity, muscles and 80s rock. The key to Rocky’s influence lies in its message.


Because when Rocky goes up against and impossibly tall opponent, you know that it’s a metaphor. This is a metaphor for life and in our own lives, that opponent could be any obstacle. You know that eventually, Rocky is going to plough through that obstacle and you feel that in time, you could do the same.




If you watch the Rocky films more deeply, you’ll notice that they all share a few things in common. In particular, they all have Rocky in a rather bad place at the start. Rocky starts out destitute and alone and it is only by conquering these challenges that he is able to improve his lifestyle and his happiness.


What is this telling us? Simple: life is hard. And this is clearest in the excellent speech in Rocky Balboa ‘It ain’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit’.

Here, Rocky is espousing stoic wisdom. Stoicism is perhaps the most bad-ass philosophy and its central tenant is that life is hard. Bad things will happen. There’s no benefit in being blindly optimistic: all we can do is to focus on dealing with the hard times when they come.


By doing this, we prepare ourselves for the storms that will come and we fortify ourselves against them. We are prepared for hard times and we are psychologically ready to deal with them. And because of this: nothing can surprise us and nothing can slow us down.


There is honor in surviving hard times. It makes us stronger, it makes us better. So, don’t shut out the hard times: thrive in them and allow them to make you stronger. That is stoicism and that is how you can ensure that you never face a challenge that you can’t handle.