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Harnessing Aristotle's Ideas for Personal Development

Harnessing Aristotle's Ideas for Personal Development

Harnessing Aristotle's Ideas for Personal Development

In our journey toward personal development, we can draw upon wisdom from various fields, including the rich well of philosophy. One philosopher, in particular, offers valuable tools that can guide our growth and self-understanding: Aristotle. He introduced five key concepts, known as predicables - definition, genus, differences, proprium, and accidens.

Here's how we can use Aristotle's predicables to enhance our personal growth journey.

1. Definition: Articulating Our Desires

Aristotle emphasized the power of clear definitions. In the realm of personal development, the ability to define our goals, values, and aspirations precisely is indispensable. By accurately defining what matters most to us, we create a roadmap for purpose-driven action and intentional living.

2. Genus: Recognising Our Categories

In Aristotle's terms, 'genus' refers to a broad category to which a particular concept belongs. By identifying the broad categories, or 'genera,' that we fit into - whether based on our skills, passions, or interests - we gain insight into our place in the world. This understanding fosters self-awareness and guides our personal development.

3. Differences: Embracing Our Uniqueness

'Differences' delineate a member of a class from others within the same genus. Recognizing our unique traits - our 'differences' - is key to personal growth. Our individuality shapes our life path, and by understanding and embracing our unique traits, we make choices that truly resonate with us.

4. Proprium: Identifying Core Traits

'Proprium' signifies properties that are inherent in a concept or entity, following necessarily from its definition. Recognizing our own 'proprium' - core attributes that are closely tied to our identities - facilitates authenticity and self-understanding. These attributes, while not defining us, shape our behaviour and attitudes in a significant way.

5. Accidens: Navigating Change

Finally, 'accidens' represent changeable characteristics that do not alter the essence of a concept or entity. In personal development, acknowledging our 'accidens' means recognizing aspects of ourselves that can change or evolve. By consciously working on these attributes, we can facilitate personal transformation and align more closely with our aspirations.


In conclusion, Aristotle's predicables can be invaluable tools for personal development, offering unique insights into ourselves and our world. By defining our goals, understanding our genus and differences, recognizing our proprium, and navigating our accidens, we empower ourselves on the path of self-improvement. Embracing this Aristotle-inspired approach can deepen our understanding of our true selves, leading to a more intentional, fulfilling life.

Join us on our two-day Personal Development training course which has been designed to help you become a well-rounded and successful individual, who is capable of thriving in any environment.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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