The Philosophy Of Stoicism -
5 Key Principles Of Stoicism Explained
The philosophy of Stoicism. Here are 5 principles of Stoicism for the modern-day Stoic. What is Stoicism? Stoicism is an ancient Greco-Roman philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium around 301 B.C. The ideal for a Stoic is to have perfect wisdom and therefore show complete equanimity in the face of adversity. The Stoics believed that virtue is the only good with the four cardinal virtues being: Here are 5 key principles of Stoicism for every day Stoic. 1. Live Every Day As If It Were Your Last Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher. He once said: “You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last.” - Seneca When you wake up, pretend today is your last day and live life as you would in this circumstance. 2. Food Is The Best Test Of Self-Control Musonius Rufus was a Roman Stoic philosopher who in his two part discourse on food said: “That God who made man provided him food and drink for the sake of preserving his life and not for giving him pleasure, one can see very well from this: when food is performing its real function, it does not produce pleasure for man, that is in the process of digestion and assimilation.” - Musonius Rufus Eat to live; don’t live to eat as the great Socrates once said. To practice this principle one can eat plain foods without sauces or try intermittent fasting. 3. Failure Is Natural, Regret Is Foolish Marcus Aurelius was emperor of Rome. His untitled writing, commonly known as Meditations is an important source of Stoic philosophy. “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” - Marcus Aurelius He means that everything, no matter whether it is good or bad is an opportunity to practice virtue. Don’t be surprised by failure, expect it, in fact, embrace it and seek after obstacles in your life which seem uncomfortable, it is here where your character will be tested and most importantly molded and developed. 4. Focus On The Small Things Zeno of Citium was the founder of Stoicism, described as living an ascetic life. He once said that: “Well-being is attained by little and little, and nevertheless is no little thing itself.” - Zeno of Citium The idea is basically that one must never underestimate the small things in life, because who’s to say that the small things don’t define the larger and seemingness more important parts of life? They do. Don’t place your satisfaction on big goals and dreams, place your satisfaction on small wins. 5. Throw Away Vanity Epictetus was born a slave in what we call Turkey today; he lived in Rome, was then banished and spent the rest of his life in Greece. He said: “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” - Epictetus When you wish to pursue philosophy and therefore any subject of interest to you, you must throw away conceit [excessive pride] before you begin. Be willing to learn, be willing to listen, be willing to leave your ego aside to learn, evolve and develop through the wisdom of others and through embracing the joy of ignorance.
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