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How my Ancient Philosophy class got me back on track!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Who would have thought? I woke up exhausted and hung over from my chocolate binge last night, drug myself to my 9:30 AM class, and then left feeling more motivated than I've felt in months. This may get a little technical and educational, but bear with me! It's worth it!

Aristotle had this book called "Nicomachean Ethics," basically outlining what happiness is and how to achieve it. The key to happiness, according to him, is to find that perfect balance between reason (intelligence, knowing what is good for you to do) and desires (that which is pleasurable). He outlines four types of people that can be created from these two factors.

-The Virtuous- the ideal people; without internal conflict, only want to follow reason (wake up early to exercise because there won't be time later), and not their desires (over-sleep)
-The Continent- etymologically "those who hold it together;" want to follow their desires (eat chocolate), but choose to follow reason (nah, better not)
-The Incontinent- "those who don't hold it together;" want to follow reason (let's go to the park and get some sunshine), but end up only following desires (or sit and watch netflix all day)
-The Vicious- without internal conflict, only choose to follow desires without thought of reason

These past few months, I have definitely fallen into the category of the Incontinent. I am just full of excuses for things that will make me "happier" than doing what reason tells me to do. No, brain, skipping that workout to eat a pint of ice cream is not going to make you happy. It is going to make you sick and hate yourself, so then you eat more. When we first start trying to change our ways and get healthy, most of us probably fall into the last two categories. We don't realize that to truly be happy, we have to let reason rule us over our desires. Weight loss and getting healthy is a process. If we can all strive to fall into the Virtuous or Continent categories at least the majority of the time, I believe that we can all achieve our goals.

It really is all in your head. Remember that.
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