Hint: It was not Plato or Aristotle.
Photo by EVREN AYDIN on Unsplash
Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher said, ?Change is the only constant in life.?
I admit I had to look this up. Given I have used this quote in my writing I?m a little embarrassed not to know the source.
Did you answer correctly? If so, I?m impressed with your knowledge of ancient Greek philosophy!
Heraclitus was a pioneer of wisdom who lived over 500 years before Jesus Christ. His thoughts fed into the writings of Aristotle and Plato.
Ancient Greek philosophers taught valuable lessons that are still mind-blowingly relevant today. When a simple saying has remained alive for centuries, it is a good idea to stop and recognize its truth.
In this article I look at four profound sayings from over 2,500 years ago and relate their meaning for modern life.
Enjoy and share your thoughts!
The worst of all deceptions is self-deception ? Plato
When someone lies there is always the possibility to uncover the truth. When we suspect something is wrong, we start asking questions and sooner or later the lie will be revealed.
With self-deception, however, you are lying to yourself. You stop yourself from learning the truth.
People lie to themselves everyday.
- They believe they?re not talented enough, smart enough or pretty enough to succeed in life.
- They ignore signs their partner is cheating.
- They think they can?t possibly leave a dead-end job.
- They imagine that one day all their dreams will come true, but without taking action toward achieving their goals.
- They trust that everything will be fine when clearly it is not.
Self-deception is the worst kind of deception because you cannot escape from the lies you tell yourself.
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing ? Socrates
None of us can know all the answers. Yet, we are often afraid to admit when we don?t have the required knowledge or skills. Sometimes we stop ourselves from taking a risk due to fear of the unknown.
To find success, you must overcome fear, admit you don?t know everything and adopt a learning mindset.
True wisdom comes from wanting to learn. So be teachable. Be trainable. Embrace that fact that others have a lot to teach you. Choosing to learn will always enrich your life.
Know how to listen and you will profit even from those who talk badly ? Plutarch
Most of us talk way too much. Even as we nod along we are thinking ahead for our turn. When you speak you can only repeat what you already know. But when you listen you may learn something!
By listening (really listening) you can better understand people?s motivations and desires. The more questions you ask the more likely you are to get to the root cause of problems.
By listening you can gain new insight that leads to innovation.
Character is destiny ? Heraclitus
This quote suggests that we are the ones who shape our future. It is our future, because our character is the way we perceive and respond to the world.
In other words, if you chose to look for downsides in life, you will find them. When you cast things in a positive light, you can create opportunities for yourself. As always it comes down to mindset.
Taking advice from those who have gone before is a smart move. After all, the problems we face today are not new as the philosophers? quotes demonstrate; it is the normal human condition.
What is your favourite philosopher?s quote? I?d love to hear it in the comments below.