Aristotle | The Purpose of Life

Aristotle | The Purpose of Life

Aristotle 

(384 BC – 322 BC)

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher whose ideas have deeply influenced science, philosophy and religion for more than two thousand years. He is known as the father of logical, scientific thinking. Although many of his scientific beliefs were later proved wrong, other of his discoveries in physics, biology and zoology were centuries ahead of their time.

Aristotle was born near modern-day Thessaloniki, Greece. His father was physician to the King of Macedon, so Aristotle was raised as an aristocrat and studied under the greatest thinker of the time, the famous Plato. Aristotle’s theories were the basis of modern science, and his works on philosophy and ethics helped form the teachings of religions and philosophers that are still held in high regard to this day.

Aristotle | The Purpose of Life

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

When I first read this quotation from Aristotle, I thought it was simplistic. I reasoned that Aristotle had lived a long time ago and perhaps life was less complicated then. After many years of study, however, I have come to the conclusion that Aristotle was correct; the quest for happiness is indeed universal. After all, whose life quest is to be unhappy?

The challenge lies in finding the difference between what we believe will make us happy versus what actually does make us happy.

Discovering where happiness comes from is the process of finding fulfillment. Many people assume that happiness comes from making money, which will allow them to buy things. In my experience and observation, happiness comes from serving other people – and I don’t mean “serving” in the sense of “volunteering,” I mean using our own gifts for the benefit of others in a way that is meaningful to us. (This may, in fact, be the way we earn our living.)

So how do we figure out which of our gifts will allow us to find happiness by serving others? Aristotle talked about that, too, when he said, ”Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” This search can take years. Be patient.

The journey begins with accepting yourself. So many of us are trying to be someone else. So first you have to accept yourself as you are. The next step is to believe in yourself.

From there, your instincts will guide you toward knowledge of what will make you happy, and the ways in which you need to treat others in order to be fulfilled.

We all need to work on “becoming” ourselves. We need to become ourselves more and more every day – and on that journey, we need to be our own best friends.

Aristotle | In His Own Words

Happiness is the settling of the soul into its most appropriate spot.

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is over self.

For the things we have to learn before we can do, we learn by doing.

To be conscious that we are perceiving or thinking is to be conscious of our own existence.

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.

The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.

He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.

Education is the best provision for old age.

Hope is a waking dream.

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.

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One of 50 Lessons from Amazing Teachers in my new book Wisdom to Live Your MAGIC!™

“A motivational book of words to live by and how to live by them. A valuable guide that encourages and enables self-actualization.” – Kirkus Reviews

“I heartily endorse this book whose lessons have the power to positively impact the lives of its readers.” – Ralph B. Young, Chancellor, University of Alberta

“This compilation of life’s great teachers and heroes, will inspire youth to take these lessons and connect the dots from where they are now, to their own future dreams and goals.” – Jay Ball, President & CEO, Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta

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FREE Ebook Download is available at this FREE ebook link

The Print Book is available from Amazon.com for $14.95 plus shipping. 100% of net proceeds, including author royalties, are donated to charities that support youth.

PRINT Book Link

 

Anaïs Nin | How We See

Anaïs Nin | How We See

Anaïs Nin

(1903 – 1977)

Anaïs Nin was a French-Cuban author who became famous for her personal diaries, which spanned 60 years and gave fresh insights into the many famous people she knew. Her writing was embraced by early feminists who admired her independent, free-living lifestyle at a time (nearly 100 years ago) when women had their roles limited by society.

Nin was born in France to an artistic family; her father was a composer and pianist living in Cuba and her mother a classically trained singer. Moving to the United States when her parents separated, Nin abandoned formal schooling at age 16 to become a dancer and model. Although mostly self-taught, her writings (ranging from her diaries to analyses of literature and erotic fiction) continue to be widely read and studied.

Anaïs Nin | How We See

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

“We see things as we are.” What does that mean?

Well, let us start with what we “are.”

What we are is what we believe. Our beliefs interpret things, events and people, and give them meaning. Our interpretations or judgments are driven by our beliefs and, in particular, by our personal values – the things we consider to be important in our lives.

If you believe fashion is the most important thing in life, then you see people from the context of their fashion choices and your beliefs about what constitutes good fashion. If you believe attaining wealth is the most important thing in life, then you look at opportunities in the context of how much money you can “make” from them. If you believe that football is life (and I can hear some of you saying, “Who doesn’t?”), then playing or watching football and cheering for your chosen team is a big part of your life – and doing that, to the exclusion of other activities, is an obvious choice for you.

It is as though you are wearing glasses, where the lenses are your core values through which you see (interpret) the world.

If we understand that each person has a different set of beliefs, and that therefore different people experience the same things and events completely differently, we gain a deeper understanding of other people. In addition, when we understand that how we view things is based on our beliefs, this can open us to examining our core beliefs and, maybe, choosing to adjust our priorities.

Throughout life, our experiences change us, and change our perceptions. Meeting someone and falling in love, the birth of a child or a grandchild, starting a business or connecting to a charity – these and many other things can alter our personal values and our priorities in an instant.

If you want to know what your personal values are, examine where you spend your time and money. You may then wish to examine these choices and see if they serve you well.

We all see the world from our own perspectives, but we have power over those perspectives.

Anaïs Nin | In Her Own Words

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.

Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.

Do not seek the because – in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.

You don’t find love, it finds you. It’s got a little bit to do with destiny, fate, and what’s written in the stars.

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One of 50 Lessons from Amazing Teachers in my new book Wisdom to Live Your MAGIC!™

“A motivational book of words to live by and how to live by them. A valuable guide that encourages and enables self-actualization.” – Kirkus Reviews

“I heartily endorse this book whose lessons have the power to positively impact the lives of its readers.” – Ralph B. Young, Chancellor, University of Alberta

“This compilation of life’s great teachers and heroes, will inspire youth to take these lessons and connect the dots from where they are now, to their own future dreams and goals.” – Jay Ball, President & CEO, Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta

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FREE Ebook Download is available at this FREE ebook link

The Print Book is available from Amazon.com for $14.95 plus shipping. 100% of net proceeds, including author royalties, are donated to charities that support youth.

Print Book Link

Dr. Albert Ellis | The Power of Beliefs

Dr. Albert Ellis | The Power of Beliefs

Albert Ellis

(1913-2007)

Albert Ellis was an American psychologist who helped revolutionize psychotherapy. In 1955, he developed Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, a new way of helping people understand and change their own behaviors. A 1982 professional survey of U.S. and Canadian psychologists rated Ellis the second most influential psychotherapist in history – after Carl Rogers, and ahead of Sigmund Freud.

Ellis was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1913. His father was a businessman who was often away, and he described his mother as a self-absorbed chatterbox with opinions on most subjects that were rarely supported by facts. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from Columbia University in 1947. His legacies include the Albert Ellis Institute and the many books he wrote for professional and general audiences that still influence psychology today.

Dr. Albert Ellis | The Power of Beliefs

Rational beliefs bring us closer to getting good results in the real world.”

I learned from Albert Ellis that it is not rational thought but our beliefs that interpret events and trigger our emotional and behavioral responses – and that we don’t have to let them do that.

A psychiatric nurse was working with kids with behavioral problems at an elementary school in Edmonton. She was teaching them strategies based on Albert Ellis’s principles of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy that would help them manage the emotions that were preventing them from learning effectively. One Saturday, I was a guest at a session she held to show parents how they could help their children with these techniques at home.

I watched these parents become overwhelmed – some even burst into tears – as they realized that they could not only help their kids, they could also use the strategies themselves when their own emotions got out of control.

I have since read everything Ellis has written, and his theories have become a core part of my view of the world. He showed me that we are what we believe. Attitude is nothing but beliefs, and the voices of our negative beliefs prevent us from moving forward.

It is a simple but profound model: A leads to B, leads to C.

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Here is an example. Let us say that you are cut after the second round of tryouts for a sports team. (This is the activating event, Block A, in the diagram above.)

If one of your beliefs (B) is, “I must make the team to be popular,” or “I am worthless if I don’t make the team,” now you’ll get anxious and depressed. That is called the “consequent emotion” (C).

We tend to “awful”-ize things. But we can change our irrational beliefs by asking questions like: “What is the evidence for my must/should?” (e.g., “Why did I believe that I was worthless if I didn’t make the team?”). We can ask, “Why is this situation terrible? Why is it awful? Why can’t I stand it?”

In Ellis’s view, we just need to add a D and an E to the ABC model to move forward. If we change the wording of our belief only slightly – in this  case from “I must make the team” to “I prefer to make the team” (D), our emotional responses change immediately (E).

Until I read Ellis, I thought that we had to get our self-limiting beliefs right out of our heads in order to avoid negative emotional responses. Now, I realize we just need to change them a little.

Dr. Albert Ellis | In His Own Words

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.

Acceptance is not love. You love a person because he or she has lovable traits, but you accept everybody just because they’re alive and human.

People have motives and thoughts of which they are unaware.

People don’t just get upset. They contribute to their upsetness.

Happiness is experienced largely in striving towards a goal, not in having attained things, because our nature is always to want to go on to the next endeavor.

There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy.

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One of 50 Lessons from Amazing Teachers in my new book Wisdom to Live Your MAGIC!™

“A motivational book of words to live by and how to live by them. A valuable guide that encourages and enables self-actualization.” – Kirkus Reviews

“I heartily endorse this book whose lessons have the power to positively impact the lives of its readers.” – Ralph B. Young, Chancellor, University of Alberta

“This compilation of life’s great teachers and heroes, will inspire youth to take these lessons and connect the dots from where they are now, to their own future dreams and goals.” – Jay Ball, President & CEO, Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta

_____________________________________________________________________

FREE Ebook Download  is available at this FREE Ebook link

The Print Book is available from Amazon.com for $14.95 plus shipping. 100% of net proceeds, including author royalties, are donated to charities that support youth.

Print book link.

 

Albert Einstein | My Greatest Gift

 

Albert Einstein

(1879-1955)

Albert Einstein is one of the most famous and influential scientists and intellectuals in history. In 1921, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his theory of relativity that revolutionized our understanding of time and space. In 1999, Time Magazine named Einstein the Person of the Century, one hundred top physicists named him the greatest physicist ever, and a Gallup Poll recognized him as the fourth most admired person of the 20th Century.

Einstein was born in Germany; his father was a salesman and engineer. Although intelligent, Einstein had some learning difficulties and rebelled against regimented and rote learning. Still, in 1900, Einstein graduated from the Polytechnic in Zurich with a diploma in mathematics and physics. As a philosopher, Einstein taught us to value curiosity, respect and peace.

Albert Einstein | My Greatest Gift

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

I knew Albert Einstein’s name even when I was a child, as everybody does, but it wasn’t until I began to read about his life and what he’d written that I learned what an amazing man he had been. He wasn’t just a brilliant scientist: he understood human nature, too. One quote of his had a particular impact on me. He said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” It wasn’t until many years later that I realized how very important that statement was.

The power of that quote led me to read many other things Einstein had written. Another famous quote of his that I love is this one: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

About 14 years ago, I was mulling over a quote by Mother Teresa: “Life is a promise: Fulfill it.” And I asked myself, “What is the promise of my life? Am I fulfilling it?”

That was when I realized that I had gifts that I hadn’t even known about when I was in my twenties. I knew that everyone has gifts, but I had never thought about the different types of gifts we all possess, and the role each gift plays in fulfilling our promise.

Aptitudes – our talents, including our innate performance excellence and abilities, and our innate understanding or sensory skills – are what we innately do well. I was beginning to understand that these gifts will turn into nothing unless we connect them with two other important gifts, our energy drivers: 1) passion, the driver for performance excellence; and 2) curiosity, the driver for knowledge and understanding. That’s when the brilliance of Einstein’s quote became clear to me. Einstein was passionately curious.

Later, I came to appreciate that the gift of dreams is what gives direction to our aptitudes, talents and abilities, supported by our drivers of passion and curiosity, to create the new reality we see in our imagination. To really unleash the power of my dreams, I learned to turn them into goals supported by action plans and deadlines. Your imagination connects your gifts to your curiosity, your passion and your dreams.

Today, when I think of that particular quote by Albert Einstein, I realize that I have adapted the words a bit to fit with other things I’ve learned in my life. So now I think about it this way: “I have no special gifts. I am only passionate and curious.” I’m sure that Einstein wouldn’t mind the minor change I’ve made to his original wording in order to put his brilliance to work in my life.

Albert Einstein | In His Own Words

A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.

If A is success in life, then A = x + y + z. Work is x, play is y and z is keeping your mouth shut.

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. But intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience.

The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.

Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value.

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society.

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.

Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things.

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

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One of 50 Lessons from Amazing Teachers in my book Wisdom to Live Your MAGIC!

“A motivational book of words to live by and how to live by them. A valuable guide that encourages and enables self-actualization.” – Kirkus Reviews

“I heartily endorse this book whose lessons have the power to positively impact the lives of its readers.” – Ralph B. Young, Chancellor, University of Alberta

“This compilation of life’s great teachers and heroes, will inspire youth to take these lessons and connect the dots from where they are now, to their own future dreams and goals.” – Jay Ball, President & CEO, Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta

_____________________________________________________________________

FREE Ebook Download  is available at this FREE ebook link

The Print Book is available from Amazon.com for $14.95 plus shipping. 100% of net proceeds, including author royalties, are donated to charities that support youth.

Print book link.

 

$16,000 Awarded to Edmonton High School Proposals

Larry and Janet Anderson Philanthropies ( www.LifeIsAPromise.com ) is pleased to announce the funding awards to student proposals from Edmonton High Schools for the 2013/2014 Empowering Self Talk Initiative ( www.EmpoweringSelfTalk.com )

Students at four Edmonton High Schools have been given awards:

Victoria School of the Arts for their proposal Walk the Self Talk whose objective is to improve student mental health has been awarded $4,000 to implement their proposal.

Video Proposal

Archbishop Oscar Romero for their proposal Faces of Canada whose objective is to reduce racism has been awarded $4,000 to implement their proposal.

Video Proposal

Saint Joseph for their proposal Saints Social Justice whose objective is to reduce injustice has been awarded $4,000 to implement their proposal.

Video Proposal

Austin O’Brien for their proposal Life Changer whose objective is to reduce bullying has been awarded $4,000 to implement their proposal.

Video Proposal Not Currently Available

At the Larry and Janet Anderson Philanthropies Our Vision is a world where youth fulfill their promise. Our Mission is To awaken youth to their promise; To empower youth to live their promise; and to celebrate people living their promise.

We achieve our mission through partnerships with select charity, education and arts partners; through the media we create and through the events and initiatives we produce.

Our core belief is that every child is gifted, powerful and important.

The Empowering Self Talk Initiative is designed to engage students and challenge them to discover their gifts, embrace their power by learning to make better choices and to understand their importance by making a difference for others.

You are gifted. You are powerful. You are important.

$24,000 In Grants Available For Alberta High Student Leadership Projects

Peer influence is powerful. But, too often it is used negatively and hurtfully. This Fall, after a very successful pilot program in Edmonton last year, the Empowering Self-Talk Initiative is being expanded to include all Alberta High Schools, .

Nobody knows more about what will help students than the students themselves. So we are reaching out to students for the answers and we will award six student proposals with $4000 each to implement their empowering self-talk program at their high school in Spring 2014.

“Twenty-Five per cent of kids who start grade 10 won’t graduate” states Larry Anderson, funder for the Empowering Self-Talk Initiative. “I was one of those kids, and when I learned to change my self talk, I changed my life.” We are reaching out to student leaders in Alberta High Schools. These student leaders are energized and motivated to change lives in their own high schools through developing and implementing innovative programs that improve the self-talk of fellow students.

All Alberta high school students are invited to submit a two-minute video proposal by November 29, 2013 about what they believe will help improve the self talk of other students in their high school and how they will implement the program in their high school. Two Selection Panels, one for the Edmonton Proposal Call, and one for the Alberta Proposal Call (outside Edmonton), will each select three proposals for a $4,000 grant, for a total of six awarded proposals, and a total of $24,000 in grants.  The awarded proposals will be announced on December 6, 2013.

For More information visit the Empowering Self Talk Website.

Please Join Me: Attend This Concert

 

 

See and hear all of these amazing Edmonton Singer Songwriters in one concert.

Anna Beaumont | Brian McLeod | Brooke Trelenberg | Carling Hack |

Christin McCauley | Erin Mulcair | Jay Willis | Jordan Kaminski |

Martin Kerr | Rob Hewes | Roland Majeau | Susan jane Hodge

Under the direction of veteran music producer, Rob Hewes and featuring the Celebrate Band.

 

At the Spring “Off Broadway” Concert the response was overwhelmingly positive.

 

“It blew me away! A real nice variety. I loved the whole mix.”

Annemarie Petrov, Executive Director, ESO

 

“One of the best concerts I’ve seen in years!”

Tami Dowler-Coltman, Principal, Victoria School of the Arts

 

“Each artist impressed us with the quality of their music and writing. It’s uplifting.”

Neil Wilkinson, Ethics Commissioner, Alberta

 

See the concert trailer.

For more information visit the concert website.

 

This concert is 100% sponsored so that all the ticket revenue can empower youth.

100% of Ticket Revenue Donated to charities that support youth.

Youth Empowering Self Talk Initiative in Edmonton High Schools – students helping students improve their self talk supported by funding from this concert!

Youth Empowerment and Support Services – YESS, formerly Youth Emergency Shelter – awakens and empowers at risk youth by first providing safety and then fostering the healing from homelessness, abuse and addiction and by supporting job preparation and education in partnership with other agencies.

Junior Achievement – awakens and empowers youth through in-class discussion, materials and exercises about financial literacy and the economics of staying in school and through the life-changing experience of starting and running a real business in the JA Company Program.

Free the Children – Free The Children domestic programs educate, engage and empower hundreds of thousands of youth in North America and the UK to realize their full potential as agents of change. Their international projects, led by their holistic and sustainable Adopt a Village model, has brought over 650 schools and school rooms to youth and provided clean water, health care and sanitation to one million people around the world, freeing children and their families from the cycle of poverty.

Literacy and Learning Day – Literacy and Learning Day helps parents support the education of their children by providing the insights of world renown keynote speakers (examples: Barbara Coloroso, David Bouchard) the advice of experts on a host of parenting and education challenges through workshops and other resources all for free. This enables the parents to help awaken and empower their children.

Please join me and attend. Bring some friends.

 

Celebrate! Songs of the Human Condition

Sunday, September 16, 2012 7 PM

Jubilee Auditorium

11455-87 Ave.

Tickets $20 plus service fees

Tickets available At

Ticketmaster

By phone: 1-855-985-5000

Thank you, I hope to see you there.

 

 

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