wisdom to win

 Wisdom to Win
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Boethius - Philosophy and HappinessBoethius - Philosophy and Happiness


Boethius (c.470-524)

Roman philosopher (pictured right) and politician.


His most famous book is...

The Consolation of Philosophy (524) which was very popular in Elizabethan and medieval England, and written when he was in prison awaiting execution for treason.


What did he say about happiness?

 Boethius - Philosophy and Happiness

1. Reflect

Think about;

  • the right way to live.
  • what wisdom is.


2. Forget fame and fortuneBoethius - Philosophy and Happiness

Success is temporary - those at the top will quickly find themselves at the bottom.

 Money doesn't make you happy because it creates:

  • higher expectations.
  • new demands on your time.

“If riches cannot eliminate need but on the contrary make new demands, what makes you suppose that they can provide satisfaction?”, he asked.


3. Learn from failure and adversity

You are happiest and learn most, when you fail, and you’re in trouble - why? 

  • you find out who your true friends are.
  •  you're not fooled by the temporary material pleasures of wealth and success (as Boethius discovered in prison) - see point 2.

 Boethius - Philosophy and Happiness

4. Happiness comes from within

Happiness comes from goodness and a clear conscience, because they give you:

  • peace of mind.
  • self-respect.


5. Life isn’t fair sometimes

Wrongly imprisoned, Boethius was tempted to think that the good suffer and evil people prosper.

But he concluded that:

  • only good people are truly happy (see point 4)
  • wicked people will eventually suffer.

 Boethius - Philosophy and Happiness

6. Believe in God

God gives you:

  • peace.
  • wisdom.
  • free will (to choose what you want to do with your life).


Key quote on positive thinking

Nothing is miserable unless you think it so.


Key quotes on happiness

He who is virtuous is wise, and he who is wise is good; and he who is good is happy.

Nothing brings you happiness unless you are content with it.


Key quote on stress and pain

Another cause of your sickness, and the most important, you have forgotten what you are.


Key quote on peace of mind

The man who recklessly strives for glory and counts it the highest goal should consider the far-reaching shores of heaven and the narrow confines of earth.


Key quote on death

Death equalizes the high and the low.


Key quote on money

If riches cannot eliminate need but on the contrary make new demands, what makes you suppose that they can provide satisfaction?

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