By Domithla Nyachieo
What exactly is Stoicism? Can anyone develop a Stoic mindset? Stoicism is a life philosophy that stresses the importance of agency, mental toughness, and self-discipline as elements for living a happy life. The stoic attitude is being tough with oneself and tolerant with others in order to keep the mind clean and avoid being influenced by negativity.
Most of us will face enormous loss and misery at some point in our lives. We should not oppress ourselves under adverse conditions. We should not try to cease feeling our emotional pain; instead, we should appeal to the fact that time passes. Change is experienced through emotions. As a result, we may always be certain that our pains will pass. Grief, rage, and sadness might feel overpowering and heavy, but we can choose to recognise how time will diminish our sorrows by cultivating a good attitude.
In this post, we’ll look at how Stoicism may help you improve your attitude, let’s look at them.
- Do Not Seek Pleasure
You have an intrinsic capacity to maintain your soul free of desire, confusion, and other negative emotions. You were given self-control, for example, to oppose your need for pleasure. However, you were not given any virtue to oppose your need for justice, therefore nature must have intended for you to avoid pleasure and pursue justice. Stoicism teaches us how to be steady and disciplined in our pursuit of justice and purpose.
Obeying the rules of nature and logos, by definition, will assure a good existence. Many people, however, do not. There are several ways to contradict nature and logos: Fighting against your natural state, isolating yourself from your group, and acting selfishly all pull you away from your natural state. Going against logos and nature is blasphemy. To resist nature is to resist the will of the universe. This sort of blasphemy might manifest as unfairness, greed, or deception. Nature did not design for those things to occur—remember, you exist as a higher creature to serve others.
- Accept your failures and faults.
Failure is an unavoidable aspect of life, as any Stoic philosopher would tell you. Consider any successful person you know. They most likely failed several times on their way to success. After one or two blunders, most individuals become disheartened and give up. If you believe you can establish a profitable business without losing money at some time, you are delusory. If you believe you can improve your social confidence and become more outgoing without encountering rejection, you’re probably daydreaming.
“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.”
- Consider how magnificent your existence is
It’s a wonder that you’re still alive. Science has no explanation for the existence of the universe at all. The Stoics acknowledged the importance of this concept. They discovered that reminding oneself of the wonder of life is an effective technique to make you appreciative of your existence. Every day, you get to get up and live your life. And that is really incredible. Close your eyes. Consider how incredible it is that your heart is continually pounding. Be thankful for every minute you are alive.
Remember that you can withstand any long-term difficulty, whether physical or emotional—unbearable suffering, by definition, fades swiftly. However, considering living with such agony and struggle for the rest of your life might be daunting. Instead, concentrate on the current situation. Furthermore, pain frequently masquerades as sickness or exhaustion. When you are suffering from such things, remember not to succumb to the anguish.
“You have power over your mind—not outside events. realise this, and you will find strength.” – MARCUS AURELIUS
Know yourself! Socrates really inspired the Stoics, and if you had to summarise Socrates’ teachings in two words, they would be, ‘Know yourself!’ In other words, know what is essential to you and what principles you want to live by. In your life, seek clarity and simplicity. If you wish to have equanimity or peace of mind in your life, don’t let outside events or other people’s opinions distract you. Of course, it takes a lot of introspection to figure out what type of life you want to live and what will give your life purpose.
- Focus exclusively on the essentials
Maintain your attention. Don’t allow yourself to get sidetracked by little issues. You don’t have to know everything. Furthermore, you don’t need to care about much of the nonsense that everyone in our culture is talking about. The Stoic virtue of Wisdom is neither about obtaining as much information as possible nor is it about having valuable knowledge that exclusively serves you. True wisdom is the capacity to be adaptable rather than rigid in your thoughts and beliefs in order to help make the world a better place.
The Stoics developed a number of epithets that act as reminders of fundamental notions. ‘Amor fati’ is one such term. These two Latin words mean “the love of fate.” The key word here is ‘love.’ It’s not a resentful acceptance of fate, but a plain and visible embracing of the unknown, of some degree of unavoidable danger. It surely does not imply avoiding fate—saying no to everything that makes us feel uncomfortable or vulnerable.
We can’t change the world, but we can change how we react to it. Saying yes to your reality, good and terrible, lessens fear while also adding purpose to our existence. It may be argued that if we say yes to everything, we accept everything. If we accept everything, we will not move to fix what is wrong with the world.
- Assess your thoughts and actions from a broader perspective.
Stoicism is not about self-improvement for the sake of self-improvement. It all comes down to making the world a better place. Including kindness and compassion in your goals increases their likelihood of success. Consider how we are all inherently related and maintain as broad a vision as possible.
- Lead by example.
The people in your life will pick up a lot more from watching how you live than from any advice you may offer. This is due in part to the fact that humans and the majority of other animals learn by imitating others naturally, as well as the fact that individuals become hostile when given instructions.
“On no occasion call yourself a philosopher, and do not speak much among the uninstructed about theorems, but do that which follows from them. For example, at a banquet, do not say how a man ought to eat, but eat as you ought to eat.” –Epictetus