Below are my personal notes of Philosophy For Life and Other Dangerous Situations. These highlights were what I used to write my personal development book, Wiser Next Week, a condensation of many different self improvement books.
- Cognitive Re-appraisal: When we change our opinions about a situation, our emotions also change. We have some control over how we interpret the world and this gives us the ability to modulate our emotional reactions.
- No matter our situation, we still maintain control, partially, over our situation, our response to it. No one can take that freedom away from us.
- We can steer our way through the worst situations by focusing on what is in our control, without driving ourselves crazy about what can’t be controlled
- Suffering derives from trying to control what can’t be controlled(causes anger and depression) And refusing personal responsibility on what can be controlled (our attitudes) and instead blaming it on our environment
- Serenity Prayer: Lord, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can change, and the wisdom to know the difference
- What happens to us may not be our fault, but how we think and act is our own responsibility
- See food as nutrients for strength. Look at it from a detached point of view.
- We eat because it is necessary. But you’re in danger of letting it control you if you take too much pleasure in it. You become a slave to your stomach
Omitting Bad Habits
- “If you wish to free yourself of an anger temper, count the days on which you have not been angry.”
- By doing so, you strengthen your will and sense of progress. Effort and reward are linked
- “If you have omitted a bad habit for thirty days, make thanks to God, because the habit begins at first to be weakened before it is destroyed completely.
- Anger arises from a judgement we make about a situation
- “I have been injured by someone or something, and it is appropriate that I revenge myself upon them.”
- It is a judgement and not an objective fact.
- “The greatest cure for anger is to wait so that the initial passion it engenders may die down and the fog that shrouds the mind may subside.” Seneca
- Smile instead of frown, little by little, outer features mold inner ones.
- The angry person is acutely sensitive to all they are owed by the world, and blind to all they have received it.
- We rage at the weather and say “How dare this happen to me!” But it’s not happening to you, it’s just happening
- Do not personalize the impersonal
Making the Conscious Automatic
- Our minds absorb everything we think, say and act
- They directly impact our emotion and our experience of reality, ingraining desired actions and mindsets begin with our thoughts and words.
- Children watch, imitate and constantly absorb lessons from their environment.
- They set themselves models, or standards and then measure themselves up against that standard.
- The chief object of children’s emulation is their parents, for sons particularly their fathers, therefore fathers according to Plutarch should “make themselves a manifest example to their children, above all by not misbehaving and doing as they ought to do. Thereby children, by looking at their fathers lives as in a mirror, may be deterred from disgraceful words and deeds.
- While we cannot choose our parents or the people we grow up among, we can choose our own role models. We can bring to mind great figures either from our life or literature and then try to live up to the standard they set.
If these brief notes peaked your interest in Philosophy For Life and Other Dangerous Situations, you can check it out on Amazon here.
And be sure to check out my book, Wiser Next Week.
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