Philosophy for Life by Jules Evans (Book Summary)


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Nowadays, it is almost impossible to walk without seeing books or airport kiosks which are self-improvement guides describing upbeat, fruitful life. Be that as it may, these objectives have been around for quite a while, and even antiquated Roman and Greek thinkers committed their lives to contemplate what they truly implied and how best to accomplish them.

For reasons unknown, even today we can gain so much from their lessons – particularly when we join them with our advanced learning of subjective brain research.

In this rundown, you’ll find what number of the standards of present-day intellectual social treatment were at that point upheld by savants a huge number of years prior.



You’ll likewise get some answers concerning the down to earth advantages of old rationality grasped by both a slave and a ruler.

At last, you’ll arrive at comprehend why toward the day’s end it’s up to you, and nobody else, to enable you to have a decent existence.


Old reasoning and the cutting edge art of bliss utilize a considerable lot of similar standards.


The wisdom of antiquity is being reintroduced into modernized psychology. In fact, Greek and Roman philosophies have significantly influenced a significant part of the science of modern happiness.

For instance, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)which is a present day, science-based psychotherapy, is motivated by old rationality and particularly by the pupils of Socrates known as the Stoics.

Both CBT and the Stoics contend that the source of mental issue lies not in mind science but rather in our nonsensical convictions.

“Men are not aggravated by things, however by their sentiments about them.” The Roman Stoic scholar Epictetus summed this up by saying like this.



This sentence roused Albert Ellis, one of the organizers of CBT, to make his ABC model which is the establishment of CBT:

To begin with, we experience an enacting occasion (A), which our convictions decipher (B), and which has enthusiastic outcomes (C).

For instance, when you come up short your driving test (A) and think you are a disappointment (B), you may well feel useless (C).

Be that as it may, the Stoics and CBT contend that on the off chance that we change our convictions (B), we change our feelings. We can evade mental clutters like depression by reconceiving disappointment not as a deficiency of character but rather as a chance to learn. Grasp your disappointment and, enabled with the learning of your shortcomings, a practice that stopping move like an insane person.

Seligman, an understudy of another originator of CBT, Aaron Beck, intends to apply CBT not exclusively to fix the psychological issue, yet in addition to helping individuals e cheerful.


His advanced hypothesis of Positive Psychology is enlivened by Aristotle’s antiquated logic of thriving.

Thriving is accomplished by connecting with our most elevated drives to create ourselves to the largest amount, as, for instance, making progress toward aesthetic dominance.

Seligman focuses on developing brilliance of character much the same as Aristotle before him. The statement of our character’s qualities and excellencies –, for example, the bravery to stand up notwithstanding restriction and restraint to progress in the direction we had always wanted – are the everyday steps we take towards satisfying our best selves.


Old rationality is all the more profoundly engaged with society, life and the universe than the study of prosperity.


Since we comprehend the shared traits of antiquated reasoning and CBT, how about we take a gander at a portion of the fundamental contrasts?

Though CBT centers around momentary treatment, antiquated reasoning is a deeply rooted order to be drilled each day.

The recovery period of general mental disorders such as depression, PTSD, social anxiety is 4 months, and a CBT course usually lasts 4 months.

Be that as it may, old theory was to be rehearsed each day for quite a long time as a suffering treatment of the spirit.

This long-lasting responsibility implied that old rationalists moved past basic personal development with the objective of drastically changing themselves and, conceivably, society itself.

You could see this in the manner they offered scrutinizes of society and proposed political models – while in our very own age, CBT stays unopinionated.

For instance, Plato recommends that rationalists – the smartest individuals from the state – should lead as scholar lords.

What’s more, Aristotle contends that everybody ought to draw in with the inquiry, “What is the great society?” and think about what makes for a prosperous, reasonable society.



Second-Way old scholars went past personal growth was in their investigation of the significance of godliness, life and our place known to man.

For instance, the Stoics trusted that the universe was saturated by a levelheaded knowledge and that it was their obligation to dependably act judiciously, in order to be in agreement with the universe overall.


The Epicureans, then again, were persuaded they lived in a materialistic universe and a world without eternity, so trusted that we should cause the best of a couple of years we to have on the planet.

By thinking about every life in general, antiquated rationalists meant to make a method for being that prompted the great life. In spite of the fact that they differ about numerous standards, they conceded to the essentials: reasoning is a deeply rooted practice and requests incredible control. So what does every theory bring to the table to the self-improvement of our cutting edge age?


The Stoics show us the craft of restraint, every day preparing of our psyches and the acknowledgment of reality all things considered.


Everybody confronted hardships throughout everyday life in the past. In any case, the antiquated Greek and Roman Stoics were the primary individuals to transform the defeating of hardship into reasoning: Stoicism.

Also, we’re not discussing afflictions like that time your hamster kicked the bucket: the hardships experienced by celebrated Stoics ran from the desolations of servitude to the difficulties of running a domain.

So how did Stoics manage such hardships?

The Stoic’s focal conviction was that by focusing on changing what is in our control and tolerating what isn’t, we maintain a strategic distance from dissatisfaction and increment our adequacy.

For instance, our notoriety, wellbeing, and riches all rely upon elements out of our control, be it the changes in the market or the desire of our manager.

In any case, how you consider the end result for you is, for the Stoics, the main thing under your control – and along these lines your prime duty.

Let’s assume you lose your employment: you can accuse the economy, and fury and feel defenseless and whine, or apathetically acknowledge your destiny and begin the scan for your new future.

Be that as it may, regardless of whether you do lose your employment – why get agitated? The Stoics would contend this is a direct result of your improbable desires and expectations, such as keeping your activity until the end of time.

This is the reason the Stoics always helped themselves to remember the cruel idea of the real world. This helped them abstain from winding up sincerely appended to the present situation.



For instance, the Roman statesman Seneca suggests we consistently help ourselves to remember thrashing, enduring, and demise, with the goal that when we definitely meet them our spirits are readied.

Such preparing of the psyche resembles preparing the body and requests customary practice. That is the reason the Stoics regularly analyzed the severe preparing fundamental for logic to preparing for the Olympic Games.


What’s more, much the same as competitors, these antiquated logicians monitored their advancement, recording in a diary consistently how they had carried on amid the day.

So next time the world doesn’t go your direction, acknowledge your destiny and work from that point.


The Epicureans instruct us to relish joy, be available right now and enable ourselves to be cheerful.


Don’t we as a whole long for a real existence of joy spent among great companions? The old Greek Epicurus intended to make this genuine.

Epicurus trusted in a way of life of gratification and shared living – however not at all like the normal confusion about his logic, Epicurean indulgence was discerning.

The legend that Epicureanism comprised of blow-outs, wine, and fine sustenance is a result of the Romans’ confusion of this rationality.

Judicious joys, nonetheless, incorporate adjusting short-and long haul delight for the last mentioned, valuing the nonattendance of torment and relishing the simple reality of being here. Like somebody who has quite recently endure an auto crash, we ought to value each day that we are as yet alive.

Smoking, then again, is an unmistakable case of a nonsensical joy: we penance the long haul delight of wellbeing for a transient joy that dependably leaves us needing more.

Note that Epicurus didn’t have confidence in eternal life, nor in passing judgment on divine beings, so there are no obligations to perform on earth, nor a the great beyond in which to be rebuffed – and that makes us allowed to seek after delight in the present time and place.

Epicurus additionally trusted that by disregarding the present minute we make ourselves miserable.



We generally put our joy off to the future, saying, for instance, that we will be cheerful after we have set aside enough cash for that huge trek, or else we accuse our misery of our past, such as considering how we were tormented at school.

However, contemplating what’s to come is a misuse of the present – we ought to enjoy life while regardless we can.


Also, the past never again exists: that domineering jerk is a distant memory and can never again keep us down.

We are alive for a couple of brief years for Epicurus and after that, we bite the dust – we should, thusly, satisfy the extreme decision to be as opposed to observing motivations to be hopeless.

At this moment, pause for a minute to value that you are alive.


The Pythagoreans advocate removing yourself from your everyday inconveniences and utilizing mantras to change nonsensical convictions.


Have you at any point seen the photographs of the Earth from space? The Pythagoreans were the first to try to see their lives from a much wider angle thousands of years ago, and this angle made their lives seem insignificant and short.

From this “View from Above,” we can put our life into its actual viewpoint and see that it comprises just of little stuff.

We see all humanity as a whole from above the earth, and the value of our concerns such as getting promoted at work is decreasing.

What’s more, from the perspective of endlessness, we understand our lives are nevertheless flashes of light in a boundlessness of murkiness, and our everyday concerns become unimportant.

In CBT, this system is called removing and is utilized to help individuals quit catastrophizing about minor difficulties. That wrecked hard drive may be a debacle now, yet in the all-inclusive size of things, how significant were those photographs?



In such seasons of misery, “retained sayings” – short, significant expressions – take us back to our objectivity. The Pythagoreans would, for instance, over and over advise themselves that enduring is unavoidable and must be acknowledged.

These proverbs would then naturally strike a chord in tough occasions, even amidst war or a city-wide flame, and help them acknowledge the enduring they confronted.

Likewise, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy saddles the intensity of remembered statutes to lighten dysfunctional behavior.


How?

CBT gives close consideration to our oblivious self-talk: the story inside our heads that adds a layer of elucidation to our experience.

Now and again this elucidation can turn out badly, as in dejection, where individuals may call themselves useless, disappointments and garbage.

CBT rectifies these misinterpretations by supplanting our unreasonable musings with objective ones. By routinely presenting positive, normal explanations like “I have the right to be upbeat,” you can beat the awful voices disguised from quite a while ago.

What’s more, next time you commit an error and put yourself down, envision yourself as a minor speck on the enormous blue Earth, and ask yourself – does it truly make a difference?


Plutarch demonstrates to us the significance of idols.


Do you remember a companion, or parent, or a genius you generally turned upward to? How could you need to dress like them, talk like them, resemble them? The old rationalists definitely realized the amount we are affected by our good examples and along these lines contemplated incredible lives to lift their own.

What’s more, from that point forward, present-day science has affirmed that we learn in an incredible part through impersonation.

The social analyst Albert Bandura’s well known “Bobo the doll” test indicated how subordinate we are on impersonation.



He demonstrated that kids in a room loaded with toys who viewed a grown-up hit a doll were bound to likewise hit the doll. This trial has been reproduced from various perspectives with grown-ups, and the outcomes exhibited that our companion gathering can unknowingly push us towards both great and unfortunate propensities.

This information was saddled by the Roman Plutarch, who was the best-antiquated advocate of the system of exemplum or good precedent, which meant to sharpen our ethical feelings by imitating instances of good perfection.

He focused on the significance of guardians being great good examples for their kids – yet in addition how even the long dead can enable us to live better.


By perusing accounts about the extraordinary people from an earlier time, he figured we could contrast our lives with theirs and endeavor to imitate their methods for being.

Plutarch composed his arrangement Parallel Lives – an examination of antiquated Greek and Roman legends, including Alexander the Great and Caesar – to show the best in good character.

Almost 2,000 years after the fact, a youthful hoodlum, Louis Ferrante, developed his character in prison by perusing Plutarch’s works, and memoirs of Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill – and now he’s a distributed creator and campaigner for proficiency.

So ask yourself: who do I spend time with and why? Is it true that they are drawing out the best in me, or would they say they are hauling me down?


Aristotle instructs us that the great life lies in the common development of brilliance.


A large portion of us carry on as though we have overlooked why we exist and thoughtlessly walk during our time without reflecting: what for?

Be that as it may, Aristotle, the understudy of Plato, had a reasonable thought: people are made to be glad.

Aristotle approached himself what are we intended for, and concocted three key answers: bliss, network, and objectivity.

To begin with, bliss is simply the main end we seek after alone. When we look at ourselves, we see that all that we do is a (regularly misinformed) endeavor to accomplish joy.



Second, it is just when everybody takes an interest in a network that we can progress in the direction of congruity among people.

Furthermore, third, levelheadedness is the thing that makes people as animal types special.

The satisfied life, in this manner – what Aristotle called eudaimonia – is achieved when we regularly utilize our objectivity to seek after our bliss.

So what’s the initial step to accomplishing eudaimonia? For Aristotle, the establishment of joy is the normal development of our feelings into temperances.


A virtue is characterized as a feeling developed to perfection by Aristotle.

Greatness implies that every goodness – for instance, bravery, equity or shrewdness – lies in the ideal equalization or brilliant mean between two enthusiastic boundaries. For instance, fearlessness is the mean among thoughtlessness and weakness.

Be that as it may, goodness can’t be gained from perusing Aristotle – it requests wide understanding and thorough preparing. The brilliant mean of valor, for instance, must be tried out by standing up to dread until the prudence turns into a propensity.


Be that as it may, singular temperance isn’t sufficient and the great life can’t be accomplished alone.

Aristotle trusted that the great life must be found in a general public that empowers human satisfaction. For him, society ought to be sorted out to expand human bliss – and instruction is the establishment of a general public’s satisfaction, our youngsters will possibly accomplish the prudent life in the event that they are taught.

Lately, Aristotle’s logic of satisfaction has been grasped by present-day legislators. What at that point could antiquated reasoning and present-day self-improvement need to convey to society all in all?


The administration can apply the exploration of prosperity to society in general – however, at last, it’s up to us.


In a perfect world, each legislature has the prosperity of their natives on the most fundamental level. Also, these days a few governments are notwithstanding coordinating standards of CBT into their foundations.

For instance, the United Kingdom has put £500 million into preparing 6,000 new CBT specialists, and most youngsters in UK schools currently pursue a class in Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning, which utilizes methods from CBT to create enthusiastic knowledge.

Also, in 2009, the US Army enlisted positive therapist Martin Seligman to build up a $125 million program called Comprehensive Soldier Fitness to instruct versatility to American troopers to avert post-awful pressure issue.

In any case, the government approach can and mustn’t go excessively far.

A noteworthy threat is that researchers and administrators overlook that not all things can be estimated with numbers and surveys. For instance, in Great Britain, the Office of National Statistics delegated a specialist council to make meaning of satisfaction – without including a solitary logician or craftsman.



What’s more, if policymakers force one model of “experimentally demonstrated” joy, we will never again be allowed to choose how to live.

That is the reason governments ought to shield both our opportunity from the obstruction of others in our lives and the opportunity to pick how best to live. On the off chance that you need to eat an incredible blowout consistently, the administration ought to keep undesirable visitors from appearing and enable you to eat as much as you need – in spite of the harm you could do to your wellbeing.


Be that as it may, at last, the great life is up to us.

There should be harmony between the exploration of prosperity that underpins society and every individual’s entitlement to pose inquiries and pick how to live.

It’s up to every one of us to practice our very own ethical judgment – what the antiquated Greeks called phronesis – with respect to what the great life is.

Although governments can lead the right life, we have to be responsible for ourselves at last.


Philosophy for Life: And Other Dangerous Situations by Jules Evans Book Review


Self-advancement is about something other than perusing a couple of books on the subject. Old Greek and Roman thinkers show us it is a lifestyle – a day by day practice – which includes posing the troublesome inquiries of how we should live, both as people and as a general public.

Keep your very own diary conduct, refreshing it each night.

When you wake up the following day you’ll have the option to audit your shortcomings and achievements and endeavor to improve further on them throughout the day. This won’t just keep you on a way of nonstop improvement, however, you may likewise begin to see themes in your conduct and discover main drivers for them.


Learn through impersonation.

You should encircle yourself with individuals you find praiseworthy and rousing. Before you know it, you’ll begin to build up a similar character attributes that you appreciate in those individuals.

Keep in mind: life is nevertheless a blaze of light in the endless obscurity of the universe.

You ought to subsequently always remember the significance of the present minute. Every breath, every discussion and each chomp of sustenance could possibly be your last, so appreciate it.


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