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How To Grow Stronger from Painful Experiences

Quickie Question: If you could live 10 years of your life in total bliss – with NO emotional pain – but in the end, not remember any of it – would you do it?

According to Aristotle – the answer should be NO.

My favorite philosopher buddy Aristotle says true happiness comes from gaining insight and growing into your best possible self.

Otherwise all you’re having is immediate gratification pleasure – which is fleeting and doesn’t grow you as a person.

In a way the above scenario is a description of someone who does crack or drinks into oblivion.

At the time it feels like you’re avoiding pain and seeking bliss – but in longterm you’re NOT really enjoying real life — with life’s inevitable ebbs and flows which give you needed insights and exciting experiences which grow you and let you know more about who you are and what you love and who you truly love!

Aristotle has a wonderful quote related to this topic:

“We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts not breaths; in feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.”

How To Grow Stronger from Painful Experiences
Translation:

Life has ebbs and flows.

There’s no such thing as endless flow.

Unfortunately life can sometimes feel like ebb, ebb, ebb, brief-flash-of-flow, more ebb, ebb, ebb.

But every ebb always offers the opportunity to think a new thought flavor and feel a new emotion flavor.

The more varied the flavors of life you get to taste, the more interesting, layered, educated, self-developed, world-experienced and mightier You will be!

In keeping with this theme, Aristotle believed the highest form of knowledge is insight – because it’s the only knowledge which leads to growth – and evolving into your highest potential is what leads to true happiness.

How To Grow Stronger from Painful Experiences
For this reason, Aristotle believed that the reason why so many people are unhappy is that they keep foolishly confusing “pleasure” for “happiness.”

  • “Pleasure” is simply about immediate gratification—of your body/ego.
  • “Happiness” is about seeking longterm growth for yourself as a thriving individual – and is about nourishing your soul/core self.

Translation:

Often it’s our deepest pain which inspires us to grow into our highest self.

Share below. I’d love to hear your insights in the comment section below! What’s something which comes to your mind and heart when you read this story?  Be specific! Share your personal story or a personal happiness tool! 


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Karen Salmansohn (Founder)

Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.

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