Sometimes people put up walls, not only to keep people out but also to see who cares enough to tear them down.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
A better way to improve your life if you follow these lessons from Socrates.
Socrates was a Greek philosopher, an enigmatic genius- A genius who gave a whole new norm to the Western philosophy.
The standard set by him, his critical reasoning, his view on life and surrounding made him an admirable inspiration to many who came across his teachings, and also had accusers who eventually put him to trial and execution.
Socrates lived an impoverished life. Despite being such a significant figure in philosophy, he never left a word about himself. Although we know little about his life except for the information recorded by his students, including Plato, what we do know makes it clear that he had a unique and powerful philosophy and personality.
Although we live in a world that is different from Socrates time and may be the life we live is much different now but he had to say then still applies on our conquest to get a peaceful and happier life.
1. The only true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing.
You can’t learn anything if you think you know it already if you believe you are an expert already and there is nothing more left to learn then you really will have nothing to learn.
Open your mind, realize that you might be wrong or mistaken, and you may be ready to learn. Additionally, no matter how much you know, there is a nearly infinite amount of stuff that you don’t know.
You will come across various people in your life with different experience and knowledge sets, you will meet an industrialist and a beggar on the same day, and you must be curious to learn from both and try and understand the problems of both the people and solve their problems accordingly.
2. Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.
Gossiping and engaging in small talk which is not productive and leads you nowhere are works of smaller minds, stronger minds discuss ideas which hold power to introduce change for the betterment of one and all.
My favorite quote from ‘V for Vendetta’ sums it up perfectly.
“Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason, and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot… But what of the man? I know his name was Guy Fawkes and I know, in 1605, he attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. But who was he really? What was he like? We are told to remember the idea, not the man because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I’ve witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I’ve seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them… but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it… ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love… And it is not an idea that I miss, it is a man… A man that made me remember the Fifth of November. A man that I will never forget.”
Creedy: Die! Die! Why won’t you die?… Why won’t you die?
V: Beneath this mask, there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask, there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.
Unfortunately, this generation is more after people and their life more than ideas. They are interested in knowing what particular celebrity is eating or wearing instead of thinking of ideas that could change the world for better.
3. He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.
Some people have a hunger, a desire to get more and more. When this desire is uncontrolled, we call it greed. On the other hand, if you can be content with what you have, having more would be better, but not necessary.
The one who keeps wishing for more instead of being thankful for what he has will never be happy even after he receives more. We need to appreciate what we have, enjoy and be content with whatever we are blessed with and the universe will reward us with more of it.
4. ‘Gnothi Seuton’ (know thyself)
One of the ways of knowing yourself is understanding your belief system. Our beliefs are subconscious and we are least bothered to critically examine them before accepting them.
We thereby refuse to hear anything that contradicts with our beliefs. Now how do we know where our belief system is creating the problem?
Well, you can either take a psychological test or can meditate or the easier and most under looked way is self-observation. You cannot blame TV, teachers, parents, friends or even yourself for the beliefs you have and it is not even important to play the blame game here. The important thing is you want to get rid of it now.
Being in relationships or busy schedules are not necessarily the problems but if the problems you face are 99% times caused due to these then you need to accept and fix the belief system.
You need to watch for yourself over your emotions and thoughts and let go of the beliefs which you hold blindly and which is holding you back. The answers to your questions are inside you!
When you use Socratic method to win an argument.
Of course, the title of the article was able to grab your attention.
Why wouldn’t it?
Obviously, you want to win arguments. Don’t you?
Read on to find out how you actually can…
Are you sick of silly arguments with your partner?
Do you find it difficult to convey your idea to the other person?
Is the result of most of your arguments a ‘Heated verbal fight’?
Well, if the answers to the above questions in a yes, then by knowing this one simple method you can win over
arguments and prove your mettle.
Well, you know how philosophers keep talking about important life matters all the time. Philosophy does try to solve some of our problems through argument but we usually declare the solutions that philosophy offers to be too idealistic and non-practical.
We dismiss them and try to find more “Real” solutions. But maybe, let’s suppose, philosophy does have the answers for you this time! Maybe, philosophy can help you win the argument.
Ever heard the term Socratic Method?
What is the Socratic Method?
The Socratic Method is a 2000-year-old trick that will surely help you to win some arguments. It has stood the test of time and is still quite a popular method for argumentation.
It was developed by Socrates as the name suggests. As most of us know, Socrates was an ancient Greek philosopher whose method was a bit different. He would ask questions after questions from his students during all the discussions that were held.
Because of this the students would get overwhelmed eventually and easily make some self-contradictory remark. This approach thereby proves that there is a fallacy in everyone first argument.
Thus, all first arguments are mere assumptions. We make these assumptions based on our perceptions. Since different people see the world differently, all assumptions are different.
Thus, our views obviously differ from someone else’s views. But we don’t accept the difference in discourse. All we desire is a similarity. Hence, we do need the Socratic Method. It is no wonder then that this method has been held in very high esteem among educated communities for such a long time.
Socratic Method consists of the continual use of questions to transfer the latent idea and to expose the main line of thought.
This approach helps to make the other person see your point of view without any conflict. This makes the person realize that there are other ways of approaching the problem and that those ways are as acceptable as the way the person is suggesting.
The Socratic Method is also known as maieutics or the method of elenchus. Actually, this method was created to arrive at a better conclusion in logic by eliminating hypothesis which does not fit well in the argument.
By this Socrates found out the validity of the “commonly held truth”. He scrutinized this truth with critical questions and thus determined their consistency with other beliefs.By expressing your point in form of a question, you make it less threatening for the other person.
It is a natural human tendency to explain one’s stand, by asking questions, you give the other person a chance to be more comfortable.
But again this depends on how you ask your questions. If questions are asked in a very forceful manner, it will act in a completely opposite way as this will put immense pressure on the other person.
This approach becomes even more important when our loved ones are involved in the discussion.
We do not want to hurt their feelings intentionally but in the heat of an argument, we may end up inadvertently hurting them. The best way to deal with this situation is to use the Socratic Method.
Find out the interesting quotes by Socrates
We all have come across this name: Socrates.
But, who was he?
Socrates was a Greek philosopher and a logician. He was an important influence on Plato (427–347 B.C.E. ) and had a major effect on ancient philosophy.
Here are some amazing Socrates quotes on love, youth and philosophy – that will hopefully trigger your philosophical side.
“Let him who would move the world first move himself.”
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
“I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”
“Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual.”
“Understanding a question is half an answer”
“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us”
“He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.”
“To be is to do”
“The mind is everything; what you think you become”
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
“There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.”
“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think”
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”
“By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”
“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”
“If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”
“Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”
“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”
“To find yourself, think for yourself.”
“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”
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In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.
One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance, who ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?”
“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied. “Before you tell me, I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Test of Three.”“Test of Three?”
“That’s correct,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to test what you’re going to say. The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”
“No,” the man replied, “actually I just heard about it.”
“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”
“No, on the contrary…”
“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him even though you’re not certain it’s true?”
The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.
Socrates continued, “You may still pass though because there is a third test – the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?”
“No, not really…”
“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”
The man was defeated and ashamed and said no more.
This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.
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People these days judge more which makes them react to life rather than living it. This is result of being reactive and not proactive. Reactive here means you initially have no agenda but only resultants from the events around. You let yourself be tossed and drowned and again rise up by the tides of life to put your words forth. Each new wave that hits you catches you by surprise. Breathless you hastily scramble to react in order to keep floating on the surface.
On the other hand ‘pro activity’ is sort of grace in life. Lets continue with previous analogy, lets say you are in soaring waves. This time you look calmer, you are in tune with the waves- anticipating with it. There is no hurry to escape them but enjoy each and every wave. Wouldn’t it be to great to enjoy everyday in life with the flow of events as the source of energy? It is only possible if we can uncover the gift we are endowed with – ‘pro activity’. It is just a way of dealing with things that can be developed and strengthen.
[su_quote]“I know nothing for certain, except the fact that I know nothing.” – Socrates. [/su_quote]
Ever wondered why these words from Socrates are so powerful? Because it shows the right mindset to actually gain some knowledge. We easily dismiss any theory that we think we knew which makes our brain vulnerable and this ignorance leaves room to entertain new theories and ideas that might look like real knowledge. Look up and realize that magic does exists.
Thank you for reading.
Lots of love
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