Aristotle has a thought for us today worth pondering. He wrote:
What is most choiceworthy for each individual is the highest it is possible for him to achieve.
The American philosopher Henry David Thoreau famously added, “In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore ... they had better aim high.” He was in deep agreement with the ancient Greek sage whose advice has dominated much of Western philosophy. Aristotle and Thoreau didn’t want us wasting our time and our lives. They believed that we should always aim high, seeking to accomplish the greatest results of which we’re capable.
For some of us, our most choiceworthy activities and highest achievements may involve business. For many others, equally high aspirations and legacies may center on the creation of a great family life, or some contribution to a wonderful community. Many of us will find that our best and greatest involves a combination of personal and professional commitments. Whatever the focus, our overriding goal for the use of our talents in this life should be to discover what is most choiceworthy for each of us as individuals, and prioritize our time and energies accordingly.
One caveat: What is highest and most choiceworthy isn't necessarily what the society around you seems to value most. It may, for example, have very little to do with money, fame, or power. And then again, sometimes, it might. But true value is always deeper than appearances may show. And because of that, true value is sometimes hidden. It takes a measure of discernment, or real wisdom, to discover what is highest and best for you.
Ask yourself today if you are spending any of your precious time and life energy on things that are not choiceworthy, and, if so, make a choiceworthy change. Aim high.