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7 Ancient Ideas That Will Improve Your Modern Life

Community Is Vital

Loneliness is not a problem in traditional societies. For 99% of human existence, we lived in small tribes. We were constantly surrounded by family and friends. 

Research links loneliness to lower self-regulation, IQ drops and early death. Studies also indicate that face-to-face interactions decrease loneliness, while online interactions increase it.

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7 Ancient Ideas That Will Improve Your Modern Life

7 Ancient Ideas That Will Improve Your Modern Life

https://www.businessinsider.com/old-school-7-ideas-from-ancient-thinkers-to-improve-your-modern-life-2014-5

businessinsider.com

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Key Ideas

Community Is Vital

Loneliness is not a problem in traditional societies. For 99% of human existence, we lived in small tribes. We were constantly surrounded by family and friends. 

Research links loneliness to lower self-regulation, IQ drops and early death. Studies also indicate that face-to-face interactions decrease loneliness, while online interactions increase it.

"Mens sana in corpore sano"

Having a healthy body is essential to having a sound mind. Exercising is a habit that’s been shown to lead people to create other, often unrelated, good habits. Exercising is also a proven way to improve the rate of learning.

"Know Thyself"

Knowing yourself allows you to seize opportunities and make better decisions as well as know what you and others should expect from you and how to counteract your personal flaws.

"What's the worst that could happen?"

Stoic philosophers emphasized imagining the worst that could happen before any major undertaking. It allows you to prepare yourself for it and even prevent it.

Far too many ambitious undertakings fail for preventable reasons. Far too many people don't have a backup plan because they refuse to consider something that might not go exactly as they wish.

Focus

Increase your focus by decreasing distraction and limiting options. The time to master something nowadays is the same it was for Renaissance apprentices (7 to 10 years), but it feels harder because of all the extra distractions we have.

Focus is a function, first and foremost, of limiting the number of options you give yourself for procrastinating.

A Family Legacy

Sharing the family story with children increases their self-esteem, sense of control over their lives and the feeling that their families are well-functioning. Knowing they belong to something bigger than themselves and the story of it motivates, gives purpose and guidance and facilitates rule learning.

Effects stories have on us

  1. They motivate us.
  2. They give life meaning.
  3. They relieve depression (and are more effective than medication.)
  4. They offer guidance for decision making.
  5. They increase learning in children.

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule says to do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.

And research shows that being generous and reciprocal is linked with professional success in life.

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Belongingness
Belongingness

Individuals often seem defined by their need to belong to a certain group: family, school, political party. This can be explained by the fact that it is seldom easier to defend a viewpoint o...

History repeats itself

One useful conclusion that people can draw throughout their life is that, all things considered, it is not easy to find a path that hasn't been walked on before.

Most likely, the ones before you have already tried what you are thinking about, so why not taking into account their reactions to the events when planning on taking up the same path?

Value more learning sources

Once you have decided on a certain path to follow for your professional life, you might also want to consider reading and learning a bit about any subject that can be connected, even in a small degree, to your field. This can be extremely useful and interesting.

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Benefits of a daily writing habit
Benefits of a daily writing habit
  • Better self-discipline
  • Improving persuasion skills
  • Cultivating self-awareness
  • Better decision ma...
Writing as self-discipline

The reason why we don’t do anything useful with our time is that we lack self-discipline.

But when you write every day, you strengthen your discipline. And you can transfer that better self-discipline to achieve anything in life.

Writing cultivates self-awareness

Nothing will help you to get to know yourself more than translating your thoughts into words.

When you force yourself to write every day, you automatically become more aware of your thoughts. And self-awareness is one of the most important skills that predict career success.

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A practical philosophical school

Stoicism became popular in the Roman Empire. Slaves like Epictetus, rich people like Seneca or emperors like Marcus Aurelius found guidance for life in it.

Events don’t upset you

Beliefs about events do. Bad feelings are caused by irrational beliefs, so if you’re feeling negative emotions, focus on the belief you hold about what happens. 

For stoics there is no good or bad, there’s only perception. And you control perception. 

Control what you can

Ignore the rest. We worry about things that we have no control over. But worrying never fixed anything

The stoics are saying that if you focus your energy on what you can change, you’re going to be a lot more productive and effective. 

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Seneca

“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficient..."

Seneca
Epictetus
Epictetus

“To accuse others for one’s own misfortunes is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete.”

Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.”

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Hidden Gems From Ancient Philosophers
  1. The people you interact with the most influence your behavior. Consciously consider whom you allow into your life.
  2. Things can go wrong, anticipate worst-case scenarios to...
How Memories are Formed
  1. Create a memory. Our brain sends signals in a particular pattern associated with the event we're experiencing and creates connections between our neurons, called s...
Effective Ways to Improve Your Memory
  • Meditate to improve working memory. Take a pause to empty your mind and to reduce stress.
  • Although still debatable, drink coffee to help improve memory consolidation.
  • Eat berries for better long-term memory. Berries contain flavanoids,  which appear to strengthen connections in the brain.
  • Exercise not only to improve memory recall, but also to enhance cognitive abilities.
  • Chew gum to make stronger memories. It is proven that it increases activity in the hippocampus. It also increases heart rate which causes more blood to flow in the brain.
  • Sleep more to consolidate and easily remember memories.
Consider what you consume

Idea generation is fueled by consumption, not creativity.

Creativity is just connecting things. The more things we have to connect, the better our ideas will become.

Consider the...

Output

To get the most value out of what you consume, it helps to have a mode of output: Talk about it, write about it or condense it into a tweet.

Expand your viewpoint

To improve your idea generation, zoom out your perspective to a macro level. 

For example, on a micro-level, a Billy Joel concert may just be a fun way to spend a night. On a macro level, it is packed with ideas about how to connect with an audience.

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The millimeter difference
The millimeter difference

According to a cosmetic surgeon, a millimeter in a few spots of a face can be the difference between being very ugly or a supermodel.

There are times when you feel you are miles away from y...

Increase your rejection rate

When you want to hook up with a wonderful person, there is a chance you may get rejected. If you don't think you can handle it, increase your rejection rate.

Getting used to being rejected builds mental muscle that will eventually get you a yes from someone you thought were out of your league.

Embrace negative experiences

Every day, a billion things could go wrong for you and create a negative experience.

Learn to embrace the negative. Reframe your brain, and you will experience something new. Think to yourself, "Isn't it great that it is raining today. Now I can stay inside and read a book."

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What you say, and how you say it

When trying to explain complex information to an audience, the first task is to get the content of what you're saying right. 

How we communicate is also cr...

How much technical detail to include

Try not to use technical language. If you do, make sure it is absolutely necessary in order to help the audience understand or appreciate your point – and ensure that you explain the word or term immediately afterwards.

Keep your words as simple and clear as possible, and use real-life examples and illustrations where possible. But don’t patronize your audience.

How to use body language

If you look alert but relaxed, your audience will mirror this and feel the same way. Stand up straight, but relax any tension or stiffness in your body. 

It’s a good idea to gesture with your hands in such a way that helps to make clear what you are explaining – but only do this if it feels natural, and try not to wave your arms around unnecessarily.

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When you’re reacting, you’re not in control of your life

Your brain reacts to the bombardment of environmental stimuli coming its way. But while you’re definitely doing something, you’re rarely achieving your goals...

Make distractions harder to reach

When you have fewer things to react to or you make it harder to react to them, you’ll be less reactive.

When faced with distraction, keep your goals in mind
Thinking about your long-term goals when you’re tempted by distraction gives your brain a sense of control and can release dopamine which will make you feel better and more motivated.

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