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We could all do with a little wisdom now and then. A few words of advice or, even better, a simple ‘How-To’ guide for the next 60-something years.
Imagine that – on the day you enter the world, you’re handed a bright green book with 101 hints and tips on how to live a good life. Pages upon pages of how not to upset your fellow humans, and live a meaningful existence.
OK, that might be a stretch too far. But we are fortunate enough to have literature, such as these Aristotle quotes to turn to during difficult times.
They can offer comfort and direction, and remind us that we’re not alone; that there is always hope.
And sometimes, that’s all we really need.
What is the Ultimate Purpose of Human Existence?
Advice can come in all shapes and sizes. It can appear from a range of unsuspecting sources. And in varying degrees of helpfulness.
Some may be welcomed, such as the suggestion of whipped cream on your molten chocolate cake. Or the need for an umbrella with a downpour due at 2 pm.
And some may be less so, such as the need to scrap your beloved car because it’s just not worth the repairs. Oh, the frustration!
In those situations, you can't help but feel that the so-called experts are more interested in their own gain than actually offering assistance. You can see that they're just out for themselves. And to line their pockets with your misery-coated money.
But fear not, for amidst the sea of questionable advice, there are still pearls of wisdom waiting to be discovered. And you won’t find much better than the words of Aristotle.
This Ancient Greek philosopher left behind a legacy of wisdom that, to this day, resonates with people from every walk of life.
He lit up the world with his thoughts and ideas, relentlessly searching for the answers to questions that many of us wouldn’t even consider, including “What is the ultimate purpose of human existence?”
And his answer? To achieve happiness.
It sounds simple. Almost too simple. But Aristotle didn’t mean just any kind of happiness. It’s not like the contentment found at the bottom of a bowl of ice cream or felt after petting a cute puppy.
Instead, he believed in a happiness that could only be reached through practicing virtue: A happiness found in honesty, bravery, generosity, and so on.
So does this mean we should all give up on our dreams of a nice car or an exotic holiday? No. Not at all.
Instead, it’s about finding a balance and dedicating some time to nurture our virtues. And by doing so, bringing ourselves closer to the true essence of happiness.
Now, let’s take a look at these Aristotle quotes.
- “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.”
- “Be a free thinker and don't accept everything you hear as truth. Be critical and evaluate what you believe in.”
- “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
- “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”
- “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.”
Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.”
- “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
- “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”
- “The more you know, the more you know you don't know.”
- “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life: the whole aim and end of human existence.”
- “Happiness depends upon ourselves.”
- “Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach.”
- “Life is only meaningful when we are striving for a goal .”
- “Friendship is essentially a partnership.”
- “Quality is not an act, it is a habit.”
- “Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
- “Well begun is half done.”
- “Our problem is not that we aim too high and miss, but that we aim too low and hit.”
- “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
- “It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.”
- “The proof that you know something is that you are able to teach it.”
- “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.”
- “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
- “Equality consists in the same treatment of similar persons.”
- “The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.”
- “We are what we repeatedly do… excellence, therefore, isn't just an act, but a habit and life isn't just a series of events, but an ongoing process of self-definition.”
We are what we repeatedly do… excellence, therefore, isn't just an act, but a habit and life isn't just a series of events, but an ongoing process of self-definition.”
- “The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons.”
- “It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.”
- “He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.”
- “The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.”
- “The energy of the mind is the essence of life.”
- “What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.”
- “Doubt is the beginning of wisdom.”
- “All persons ought to endeavor to follow what is right, and not what is established.”
- “Change in all things is sweet.”
- “The most important relationship we can all have is the one you have with yourself, the most important journey you can take is one of self-discovery. To know yourself, you must spend time with yourself, you must not be afraid to be alone. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Aristotle’s ideas and philosophies have withstood the test of time and continue to be relevant in today’s ever-changing world. He believed in living a good and fulfilling life. And that true happiness can only be found by exercising virtue.
That’s not to say we should all give up on our designer shoes and fancy coffee shops. But practicing bravery, respect, honesty, and being true to our morals is something we can all dedicate a little more time to.
And for more inspirational quotes be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 100 Inspirational You Are Amazing Quotes
- 71 Diversity Quotes to Prioritize More Inclusion
- 71 Inspiring Rainbow Quotes That Will Brighten Your Day
Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then check out and recite these 57 affirmations for success.