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Ancient wisdom

Vanessa King of Action for Happiness, author of 10 Keys To Happier Living, recommends Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life by Edith Hall

Happiness Book Club


What one thing do you ultimately want for your life? Is it to be happy? I’m sure this would go beyond fleeting pleasures, and include things like a sense of fulfilment and good relationships with others. It turns out this is just what Aristotle was thinking in 350BCE. His word for happiness was ‘eudaimonia’, by which he meant living virtuously, realising your own potential and doing so in ways that benefit both yourself and others. He reasoned that maximising happiness in this sense was the goal of life – an internal state of mind achieved by thinking about what is required to live well and then, with intention, taking action and forming good habits; treating people fairly, including ourselves, rather than by accumulation of material goods or fame.

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