Use Ancient Philosophy To Enhance Personal Development

As I continue to laud these wise men of ancient times, I share with you an inspiring post that support my claims that ancient philosophy can do much to help your self-development in all areas of modern life.

Read the following excerpt from the post ‘Ancient Philosophy and Modern Personal Development’ written by Stephen Cox:

“It is a common occurrence when someone is trying to take a step up in terms of their diet or exercise regime for unexpected saboteurs to appear. Most often the source of the sabotage is those who we had expected the greatest support from. This includes our partner, our mother or our best friend. Usually they do have our best interests at heart. Regardless, they often advise against what may appear to them to be an extreme or unusual path that we have chosen.

The result of this sabotage is doubt. We begin to question our own decisions. Perhaps I shouldn’t push myself quite so hard when I exercise. Maybe it is ok to break out of my dietary plan every now and again. Do I really want to continue with this fast? I’ve seen it happen and experienced it myself on numerous occasions. The disapproval of others, particularly those closest to us, however misguided and uninformed, can take the wind right out of our sails.

While this issue rears its head most often along the path of physical health it is also not uncommon on the journey of personal development. If you have experienced this problem you should know that you are neither alone nor is it a new problem. The ancient philosophers in their love of wisdom (the definition of philosophy) observed its occurrence in their own time.

It was Epictetus who said, “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” This is because many people are simply being swept along with the flow and the direction of the flow is dictated by popular opinion and “common” sense. Alain de Botton in his book The Consolations of Philosophy elegantly stated that, “the approval of others often forms an essential part of our capacity to think we are right.”

Personal development and growth often does not fit so well into the mold of consumerism, materialism and rat race work ethic that is currently prevalent in society. Quit your secure 9 – 5 job for something that pays less, is more work and looks risky and others will not only think you’re crazy, they’ll tell you so as well.”

Please take the time to read the rest of this post here.

3 Comments

  1. They will tell you you’re on the wrong road, if it’s your own.”-Antonio Porchia

  2. Jason Cooper says:

    Hi NP,

    Wonderful quote there, and also very true.

    If one can find the courage to stay on their own independent path in life, despite external pressures to join the mob, they may well find that their destination will be much secure and happier.

  3. I left Order for Chaos
    and found
    Former in the Latter
    &
    find
    Natural Paradox
    better Living
    than
    Natural Law

    scriptus per Κόζμώ [né Stephen] I. Graeme [né Graham] M. Kliegl
    2010/11/01