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.
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Self Improvement

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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RELATED IDEAS

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 on your own while having the support of an entire group provides you with all the necessary confidence. 

However, the main drawback consists of becoming so easily manipulated, that often one is not even aware of it.

The Daily Discipline Of A Lifetime

Philosophy, for the deep thinkers, was a daily discipline that put an end to the anxiety and suffering.

Great men like Socrates, the many Stoics, Epicureans and many others knew about the fundamental flaw in our judgement that is the reason for our misery: Valuing superficial things like money, prestige and material comforts.

Aspasia of Miletus
  • Aspasia of Miletus (~400 BCE) was the most famous woman in Classical Athens. Although a foreigner, she became the mistress of Pericles, the leader of Athens at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War.
  • She was not only remembered for her captivating beauty, but also for her captivating mind. Socrates himself called Aspasia his teacher and relates he learned from her how to construct persuasive speeches. After all, he tells us, she wrote them for Pericles.

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