There are benefits to exploring stoicism. It’s not just for the ancient Greeks, but for everyone. I’m going to show you how you can take advantage of this philosophy that has been around for over 2,300 years and still has relevance today.
Stoicism is an ancient Greek Philosophy that is often overlooked.
Stoicism is an ancient Greek philosophy that’s often overlooked. But though it may sound intimidating, you don’t have to understand the details of Stoic philosophy in order to benefit from it.
There are two parts to Stoic cognitive skills training:
1) Practising a set of mental exercises and
2) Reflect on your experience afterwards.
These exercises help us become more aware of our thoughts and reactions to events, which allow us more control over our emotions—and ultimately lead us toward a more fulfilling life.
Stoicism has been around for over 2,300 years.
Stoicism has been around for over 2,300 years. It was founded by Zeno of Citium in the 3rd century BC, who was a student of Socrates. He taught stoicism in Athens and then later established his own school in what is now Turkey. Stoicism became popular during the Roman Empire when Marcus Aurelius ruled as emperor from 161 to 180 AD.
Stoicism can be boiled down to four words.
Whether you’re a stoic or just someone who enjoys being told what to do and not doing it, here are four words that can help you get your life back on track.
These are the words that can help you “just do it” when it comes to challenging situations:
- Acceptance. You don’t have control over everything in your life, but you do have control over how you react to things. It’s not helpful to waste time wishing things were different than they are; instead, accept them as they are and move forward from there.
- The world doesn’t owe us anything—we earn what we get through our own efforts and effortlessness is not an option for success (or even happiness). You’ll never achieve anything by sitting around waiting for something magical to happen; instead, take action toward your goals or whatever ends up being important enough so that inaction doesn’t feel right anymore. Do something! Anything! Don’t wait until some future date when “it will be easier.” That day will never come because if it did then we wouldn’t need hard work now—and besides this isn’t about making ourselves happy or sad but merely doing what needs doing regardless of whether those actions make us feel good
A lot of people have benefited from reading the Stoics.
It’s hard to imagine that stoicism is still a thing in 2019. But it is! And the people who benefit most from it are those who have been able to take what they’ve learned and apply it to their lives. Famous people who have benefited from stoicism include:
- Bill Clinton, former U.S. President
- Oprah Winfrey, media personality and billionaire entrepreneur
- Jimmy Fallon, late-night media personality
Don’t worry if you’re not as well-known as these folks—you can still use stoicism to help you deal with stress, negative emotions, difficult situations, and anger.
The core idea of stoicism is quite simple.
The core idea of stoicism is quite simple. In the words of Marcus Aurelius, it’s about “not allowing yourself to be carried away by the impression of things, but always taking refuge in your own ruling faculty.”
Stoicism teaches us how to be mindful and aware of our thoughts, feelings and actions. We can apply this practice in every aspect of life: from dealing with difficult situations to finding happiness by being content with what we have.
The Stoics were not fatalists.
It’s useful to think of fatalism as the opposite of determinism: instead of everything being predetermined, we have no control over anything. The Stoics believed that humans have free will, so they rejected this idea. In other words, they thought that while some things are inevitable (the sun will come up tomorrow) and some things are determined by external factors (a rolling stone moves), our actions are up to us. We can’t change the past or predict the future with 100% certainty, but we do have control over how we act in response to these things – which is how Stoicism helps us make sense of them in our lives today!
You don’t have to know how Stoic philosophy works to benefit from it.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to know the history or theory of Stoicism in order to practice it. You don’t even really have to know what Stoicism is. Just by reading some of the key texts—especially Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations and Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic—you can experience its benefits.
But this doesn’t mean that knowing more about the history and theory behind stoicism won’t help you understand and apply it better. If you’re interested in reading more, I’ve listed some recommended books below:
There are two parts to Stoic cognitive skills training.
There are two parts to Stoic cognitive skills training. You can either practice the exercises and see what happens, or you can read them and learn how they work. In this section, we will go over each of the exercises in detail.
- Stoicism is a philosophy of life
The first question we asked ourselves was: What does it mean for something to be “a philosophy of life?” This is an important question because if you don’t understand what that means in practical terms, then it won’t make sense to use your time practising these exercises instead of doing other things that might seem more “fulfilling” on their face—like watching cat videos on YouTube or playing video games all day long (if you’re into that). We concluded that there are four key things about philosophies:
- They are not religious beliefs (for example Buddhism isn’t a religion but rather a set of practices for living well); 2) They give answers about how best to live; 3) They contain advice based on reason rather than faith; 4) They teach virtues such as courage and wisdom so people can become better versions themselves
Stoicism is a great thing to explore if you want to better understand your mind and emotions.
Did you know that stoicism isn’t about being a fatalist? Or unemotional? Or indifferent to pain? In fact, it has nothing to do with being passive—it’s actually quite the opposite. Stoicism is focused on recognizing our emotions and understanding them so that we can use them as tools in our life rather than letting them control us.
Stoics believe that pleasure and pain are possible because of events outside of our control. They also believe that our thoughts have an impact on what happens in our lives (i.e., if I’m feeling depressed today because I missed my flight or because I stubbed my toe, it’s not the same thing).
We hope that you have enjoyed this brief introduction to stoicism. If you would like to learn more about this ancient philosophy, we highly recommend reading Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations or Seneca’s Letters From A Stoic. There are many other books on the subject as well, but these two give a good introduction for anyone looking for an easy read that will provide some insights into how we should live our lives