During the 1890’s, a Russian scientist called Ivan Pavlov conducted a series of experiments investigating the links between various stimuli and the responses they elicited. The findings of the studies are often referred to as “Pavlov’s Dogs” and explore human behaviour.
How good is your memory? How long are you able to remember something after you’ve just learnt it? To help understand we can look at the findings of the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus.
Rumi believed that the universe and everything in it is an endless flow of life. Death and decay are inevitable but as something ceases to exist in one form, it is reborn in another. Therefore, we must have no fear of death, nor should we grieve a loss, for it is never truly lost to us.
‘Amor Fati’ is a Latin phrase that translates as ‘love of one’s fate’. It’s used to describe an attitude towards life in which you see everything that happens, including loss and suffering, as good or at the very least necessary. Instead of just accepting or complaining about what we experience in life, we must love everything that happens to us.
There’s an old story said to be dated back to the philosopher Lao Tzu in Ancient China. It’s a story that teaches us to not view situations as good or bad; only time and proper perspective will tell.
Through the work of B.F. Skinner and Operant Conditioning theory (1983), we’ve learnt that behaviour is more likely to be repeated if you positively reward yourself for doing it. If you want to change something in your life or form a new habit, then reward yourself for doing it. No matter how small the behaviour is, if you reward yourself for it then it will be more easily repeated next time.
We often want things to happen in our lives but we rarely find ourselves actually asking for it. We just sort of hope that others will offer it to us or read our minds. We avoid asking out of fear of rejection and looking silly. More often than not, if we just ask for what we want we may actually get it.
“I want doesn’t get” is a phrase that’s often drilled into us as children. It’s a way to stop us being rude. However, as we become adults you have to know exactly what it is that you want out of life. In fact, “I want does get”.
Are there things you’re doing just for the achievement of fame and the approval of others? Are there things you want to do but are worried about what others will say? According to Montaigne, the best way to achieve peace of mind, tranquility and happiness is to shake off the desire for glory and approval from others. Live a life in accordance with your own dreams, goals and moral compass within the confines of society. Aim for peace of mind, not fame and glory.
Francis Bacon was an English scientist who believed that all knowledge should come from sensory experience, not just theoretical judgements. We too, could apply this thinking to our own lives, and seek to test and learn to make sure we are living our lives in the best way possible.