The Pursuit of Happiness by Aristotle — Tell us what makes YOU HAPPY!!!

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“Happiness depends on ourselves.” More than anybody else, Aristotle enshrines happiness as a central purpose of human life and a goal in itself. As a result he devotes more space to the topic of happiness than any thinker prior to the modern era. Living during the same period as Mencius, but on the other side of the world, he draws some similar conclusions. That is, happiness depends on the cultivation of virtue, though his virtues are somewhat more individualistic than the essentially social virtues of the Confucians. Yet as we shall see, Aristotle was convinced that a genuinely happy life required the fulfillment of a broad range of conditions, including physical as well as mental well-being. In this way he introduced the idea of a science of happiness in the classical sense, in terms of a new field of knowledge.

Essentially, Aristotle argues that virtue is achieved by maintaining the Mean, which is the balance between two excesses. Aristotle’s doctrine of the Mean is reminiscent of Buddha’s Middle Path, but there are intriguing differences. For Aristotle the mean was a method of achieving virtue, but for Buddha the Middle Path referred to a peaceful way of life which negotiated the extremes of harsh asceticism and sensual pleasure seeking. The Middle Path was a minimal requirement for the meditative life, and not the source of virtue in itself.

In conclusion, according to Aristotle, what is happiness?

  • Happiness is the ultimate end and purpose of human existence
  • Happiness is not pleasure, nor is it virtue. It is the exercise of virtue.
  • Happiness cannot be achieved until the end of one’s life. Hence it is a goal and not a temporary state.
  • Happiness is the perfection of human nature. Since man is a rational animal, human happiness depends on the exercise of his reason.
  • Happiness depends on acquiring a moral character, where one displays the virtues of courage, generosity, justice, friendship, and citizenship in one’s life. These virtues involve striking a balance or “mean” between an excess and a deficiency.

Happiness requires intellectual contemplation, for this is the ultimate realization of our rational capacities.

Tell us what makes you HAPPY!!!

Credit: Pursuit of Happiness

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Survival of the Fittest – Traits of Mentally Strong People

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We live in a fast-paced world. There are fewer guarantees and more uncertainties these days. Thankfully this also means that there are plenty of opportunities, too. People who learn to welcome them as they come are the ones who are keeping up and making progress in the turbulent times we live in today. Usually these people are mentally strong and manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success in life. If you are wondering whether you are a mentally strong person, here are 25 signs that show you have nerves of steel:

You avoid conflicts

The true mark of maturity is when somebody hurts you and you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back. Holding grudges has never been a solution to problems, nor has anyone achieved anything out of it.Instead of spending your time hating people who hurt you, you choose to let go of the pain and learn from the incident. Even in the harshest stress factors, you choose to stay calm and you try to handle situations smoothly. You think that raising your voice is a sign of weakness.

You don’t judge or envy

You’ve hardly ever made assumptions without first being fully aware of the situation. You avoid believing in the negative stuff that you’ve been told and you don’t resent other people’s success. You celebrate other people’s success and don’t grow jealous when somebody is better than you in a particular area. You know that success comes with hard work and you are willing to work hard for your achievements.

You are open to receive the help of others

You are not trapped by your ego. You are not afraid of asking for help if you are in need. You are confident to admit that you don’t know everything and you are open to ask for help in order to learn.

You apologize when necessary

You are not worrying about losing face when you apologize when you’ve said or done something wrong. You don’t fear admitting your own mistakes and are ready to suffer the consequences from them. That makes you a responsible and honest human being.

You are open to other people’s opinions

You handle different opinions easily- you don’t reject them because you believe that the opposite of what you know may be true for someone else. You embrace diversity and are ready to listen to what everybody has to say.

You are selfless

You love helping others and you don’t expect anything in return when you do something good for a friend. You know that a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

You know you can’t always please everyone

Although you are a kind and genuine being, you are aware that you can’t always make everyone happy. You know that spending time on yourself is as important as containing a good relationship with the people around you but are willing to say “no” when somebody tries to steal from your time for yourself.

You know that the world does not owe you anything

You don’t feel entitled to things in life. You are willing to work hard for achieving your goals and you know that your world is what you make it. You don’t take anything for granted and are thankful for what you have.

You embrace change

You don’t try to avoid change and understand that it is inevitable. You welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible because you believe in your abilities to adapt.

You follow your heart

You believe that you can’t go wrong by following your heart and instincts. You understand that by doing that, you’re helping your soul grow and you are never sorry for following your heart.

You forgive yourself

You know that being angry at yourself is not going to take you far. Instead, you are willing to forgive yourself and by doing that you are able to learn. Leaving the past where it belongs instead of dwelling on it is the key of moving on and making progress.

You use your time wisely

You value your time and believe that by killing time, it actually is killing you. You fight procrastination and choose to spend your time productively.

You handle crisis calmly

You remain calm and clear of thought during a crisis. Good result of anything comes out when it’s done with a peaceful and a calm mind.

You are not co-dependent

You don’t rely on others to do your work and by doing so, you maintain a healthy relationship both personally and professionally.

You know you are responsible for how your life unfolds

You believe your own happiness and success is a byproduct of your own thinking, beliefs, attitudes, character and behavior.

You know that gratitude is the best attitude adjustment

The more goodness you see, the more you create, and the more good things you have to smile about. Happiness doesn’t start when “this, that or the other thing” is resolved. Happiness is what happens now when you appreciate what you have.

You know that you don’t have to be perfect

You believe that when you spend too much time concentrating on everyone else’s perception of you, or who everyone else wants you to be, you eventually forget who you really are. So you don’t fear other people’s judgments because you know in your heart who you really are and are not ashamed to show your real face to the world.

You know who you are

You are at peace with yourself and you aware of what you want to achieve. You have certain limits that you’ve established for yourself and you’ve embraced them because you know well that that is who you are.

You expect less and learn more

Although things don’t always go as you’ve planned, you’ve realized that this is what life is about. You don’t always get what you’ve wanted and that’s a good thing because you learn from this experience and keep going.

Credit: I Heart Intelligence

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Survival of the Fittest – How long Naps benefits the Brain

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Benefits of Naps

So what are the most ideal ways to nap? Napping can be seen as a quick reboot or boost for the brain. Think of when your computer is starting to perform slowly and things aren’t responding up to par, after you shut everything down and do a reboot, things are back up to speed. The brain is quite similar in that, as you nap, even for very short periods of time, benefits can be seen in a number of areas.

Sleep experts suggest  that taking a 10-to-20-minute power nap can give you a quick burst of alterness and mental clarity when you don’t have much time. This can be used throughout the day, late at night, before something important or right before you are trying to beat the final boss of a video game you’ve been playing all night right and you know you need the extra quickness.

When I was interested in trying to maximize my time awake (which I still am, but haven’t tried much lately) I did some research into sleeping cycles and how to minimize the amount of sleep you need while still being able to function well. I ended up choosing a cycle that gave me a core sleep and then several naps throughout the day that lasted about 20 minutes. I found that after the 20 minutes naps, I felt great. Very alert, mental clarity was high and I was ready to gofor the next 3 or 4 hours easily.[2]

I found though, that near the beginning of my experiment with cycles, I would start to lose cognitive clarity as I got closer to the end of the day. While this was part of the transition portion of the cycle, I got to feel what its like when the brain just isn’t getting enough deep sleep. According to Dr. Mednick, this is where longer naps of 60 minutes or so are said to be good for increasing that cognitive power again. [1] Mednick also states that the 90-minute nap will likely involve a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity, emotional and procedural memory, such as learning how to ride a bike. Waking up after REM sleep usually means a minimal amount of sleep inertia.

Naps Summarized

A study evaluating the recuperative effects of short and ultra short naps found that napping for 5-10 minutes can create a heightened sense of alertness and increased cognitive ability when comparing to not taking a nap at all.

If you are looking for a quick recharge: nap for 5 – 20 minutes.

If you are looking for deeper sleep rejuvenation: nap for 60 – 90 minutes.

Final tip: When you take your shorter naps, sit up slightly as it will allow you to avoid falling into a deeper sleep. If you dream during these power naps, it could be a sign that you are sleep deprived.

Credit: online.wsj.com / www.collective-evolution.com

The Scientific Power of Naps:

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Science Behind The Brain’s Response To Dangerous Situations (Science is Awesome) – Tell us what really Scares you!!?

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According to ByteSize Science “Fear is the expectation or the anticipation of possible harm,” Dr. Abigail Marsh, associate professor of psychology at Georgetown University, says in the video. “We know that the body is highly sensitive to the possibility of threat, so there are multiple pathways that bring that fear information into the brain.”

And which part of the brain is central to the fear pathway? The amygdala, an almond-shaped group of nerve cells that release neurotransmitters, chemicals that relay signals in the brain. Neurotransmitters trigger a cascade of responses in the body responsible for that “fight or flight” response — and that adrenaline rush that not only may be key to our survival in dangerous situations, but also may make scaring yourself so fun. Adrenaline raises your heart rate and blood pressure, and gives you a boost of energy and alertness.

Luckily, the brain dials down the amygdala’s response and returns your system to normal if it recognizes that you’re not actually in danger — and you can keep scaring yourself without getting too stressed out.

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Are you going to eat after learning these Horrifying Facts about McDonald’s Food?

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Here are some of the most disgusting additives you are eating when you “treat” yourself to a MacDonalds.

Ammonium Sulfate – This is used to mass-produce bread, it is alsoused to fertilizer soil and kill bugs and more commonly used in strong household cleaning products. Unbelievably, the FDA has deemed it safe at the low levels which are found in food products, but the issue has been raised as to effects on people who eat bread daily. Ammonium sulphate has been linked with irritation to the gastrointestinal tract causing diarrhea and nausea.

Silicone Oil – Chicken McNuggets are full of dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicone oil that is often used to make contact lenses and other medical items. Dimethylpolysiloxane is also an anti-foaming agent.

TBHQ – You can find this additive in 18 McDonald’s menu items. TBHQ, is ususally listed as an “antioxidant,” what it doesn’t state is that it is a SYNTHETIC chemical with antioxidant properties and NOT a natural antioxidant. The chemical stops oxidation of fats and oils which helps to prolong the shelf life of processed foods. It is used in processed foods of all kinds, but it is also found in varnishes, lacquers and pesticide products. It is also used in cosmetics and perfumes to reduce the evaporation rate and improve stability. It is a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you, but don’t panic, the FDA says it’s generally regarded as safe (GRAS).

Cysteine-L – Fast food restaurants use Cysteine-L, it is an amino acid derived from human hair, duck feathers and hog hair and is used to flavor their meat and soften their breads and pastries. This is an amino acid which also shortens the baking time of mass produced bread. This is mostly produced in China by dissolving the hair or down in acid and sent around the world as a bread softener.

Prescription Drugs -Researchers from Johns Hopkins University tested feathers from farmed raised chickens and found some interesting facts. Anti-depressants as well as other prescription drugs are added to chicken feed for fast food “poultry”. Basically, the chickens are raised on a steady diet of prescription, over-the-counter and banned drugs.

Propylene Glycol -Propylene glycol is a chemical compound that can be found in anti-freeze, e-cigarettes and fast food.

Carminic Acid – derivived from Cochineal beetles, Carminic acid is used to dye foods, especially meats, red.

Dimethylpolysiloxane - This is found in almost all fried fast food menus and it can be also found in contact lenses, silly putty, cosmetics, shampoo and conditioners, polishes, heat resistant tiles to name a few!

Silicon Dioxide - This usually added to processed beef and chickento prevent clumping and is listed ingredient for chili from Wendy’s and Taco Bell. Experts suggest that it isn’t harmful for consumption, but it’s interesting to know that the ingredient keeping chili meat nice and non-caking is also the primary component of diatomaceous earth, commonly used as a natural insecticide.

Cellulose – ~This is processed wood pulp and is found in nearly every fast food menu item. It is used in proactically everything ranging from cheese to salad dressing, from muffins to strawberry syrup. Food processors use it to thicken and stabilize foods, replace fat and increase fiber content. It also lowers the cost due to minimizing on ingredients such as oil or flour. Powdered cellulose is produced by cooking virgin wood pulp in chemicals to separate the cellulose which is then purified. Modified versions require extra processing, such as exposure to acid to break down the fiber further. Here are just a few of the fast food restaurants that include cellulose in their foods: McDonald’s, Arby’s, Jack in the Box, KFC, Pizza Hut, Sonic, Taco Bell and Wendy’s.

Thank you for reading this article, please share this information with family and friends by hitting the share buttons below.

Credit: Natural Cures Not Medicine

FAST FOOD NATION: THE DARK SIDE OF THE ALL-AMERICAN MEAL

Would you eat this? Burger King in Japan Launches Black Cheeseburger

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The black buns? We’ve seen those before. But why, Burger King, why black cheese? Why?

NariNari reports that Burger King Japan is rolling out another “Kuro Burger” (“Black Burger”), with buns made from bamboo charcoal, an onion and garlic sauce made with squid ink, beef patties made with black pepper, and black cheese, which is also apparently made with bamboo charcoal.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen black cheese in my entire life. This could be a first for me.

The ugly burger launches nationwide in Japan on September 19 with two varieties – one with salad and one without, but there’s no plans as of yet to bring them to the UK market.

Japan is at the top of the game when it comes to strange snack foods, bizarre burgers, and robot restaurants.

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Credit: narinari.com

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Happy National Filet Mignon Day!!! – August 13

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Filet Mignon with Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 6 ea. 6 oz. Filet Mignons, thawed
  • 3/4 lb. firm, fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 9 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 2 tsp. flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream, heated
  • 6 slices French bread
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup scotch

Directions

  1. Remove filets from package and set aside.
  2. Heat 3 Tbsp. butter in large saute pan, over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms for about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add flour, blend well.
  4. Stir in warmed cream, reduce heat to keep warm. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. In a separate pan, heat 2 Tbsp. of oil on medium high heat.
  6. Sauté the filets for 2-1/2 minutes per side for rare, 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare.
  7. Meanwhile in a separate pan, heat 6 Tbsp. butter over medium high heat. Add the bread slices, turning often until golden brown.
  8. Place one bread slice on each serving plate.
  9. Top each bread slice with a cooked filet.
  10. Add the scotch to filet pan juices and boil 1-2 minutes.
  11. Add mushroom sauce to pan with scotch and bring to a boil. Spoon sauce over filets and serve.

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