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Quotes From Socrates That Are Full Of Wisdom

Quotes From Socrates That Are Full Of Wisdom

Socrates. A Greek philosopher. An enigmatic genius. A genius who gave a whole new norm to the Western philosophy. The standard set by him, his critical reasoning, his view on life and surrounding made him an admirable inspiration to many who came across his teachings, and also had accusers who eventually put him to trial and execution.

Socrates was born circa 470 BC in Athens, Greece. His father was a stone mason and sculptor, and his mother was a midwife. Being an ordinary Athenian, he received a basic Greek education. For many years he worked as a stone mason, before he dedicated his life to philosophy. He was married and had three children, none of whom he cared much of. His rest of the life went on to teach young boys on their intellectual development and their life. He believed in authentic knowledge, rather than only victory over his rival.

He was famous for questioning everything in life and the world. He would accept no vague answers, rather, he would ask only for appropriate account of the nature of the problem. Socrates lived an impoverished life. Despite being such a significant figure in philosophy, he never left a word about himself. Whatever we get to know about him, it was all second-hand. Most of them are from the dialogues of Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of Aristophanes. The dialogues from Plato’s account have to be fairly accurate because the latter himself was a philosopher and had a tendency of including his own theories into dialogues.

Socrates was 70 years old when his trial and execution took place. This was in 399 BC. The trial happened because according to his accusers, Socrates was “refusing to recognise the gods recognised by the state”, and “corrupting the youth”. Because he had an anti-democratic point of view. Because his haters thought Socrates was introducing the youths to new gods. He had three hours to present his case and to defend himself, instead, he presented philosophical ideas which the 500 members of the jury refused to understand. He was also given the option to get exiled from Athens. But he declined the offer. Thus, Socrates was given a cup of poison hemlock to drink. And that made him his own executor.

Here are 30 quotes from Socrates that are full of wisdom.

1. Wisdom begins in wonder.


2. The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


    3. To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.


    4. Be as you wish to seem.

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      5. Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.


        6. Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.


          7. To find yourself, think for yourself.


          8. He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.


            9. Be slow to fall into friendship, but when you are in, continue firm and constant.

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            10. By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.


              11. Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.


                12. Let him who would move the world first move himself.


                13. The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.


                14. Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.


                15. Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.


                16. Every action has its pleasures and its prices.

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                17. We cannot live better than in seeking to become better.


                18. Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual.


                19. Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.


                20. Those who are hardest to love, need it the most.


                21. The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.


                  22. The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.


                    23. I know you won’t believe me, but the highest form of human excellence is to question oneself and others.

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                    24. Understanding a question is half an answer.


                    25. Life is full of questions. Idiots are full of answers.


                      26. Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.


                      27. I cannot teach anyone anything, I can only make them think.


                        28. The unexamined life is not worth living.


                        29. To move the world we must move ourselves.


                        And last, but not the least,

                        30. Know thyself.


                        Featured photo credit: JR Benjamin via jrbenjamin.com

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                        Sumaiya Kabir

                        Sumaiya is a passionate writer who shares thoughts and ideas to help people improve themselves.

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                        Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                        7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                        7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                        The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                        Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                        Posture

                        First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                        • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                        • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                        • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                        • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                        All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                        Facial Expressions

                        Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                        • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                        • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                        • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                        If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                        1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                        A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                        The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                        This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                        2. Relax Your Face

                        New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                        The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                        To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                        3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                        Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                        The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                        To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                        3. Smile More

                        There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                        Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                        4. Hand Gestures

                        Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                        It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                        5. Enhance Your Handshake

                        In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                        “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                        It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                        6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                        As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                        Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                        Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                        Final Takeaways

                        Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                        If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                        More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                        Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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