Recently I’ve begin studying stoicism and how it can change ones life through changing one’s thinking about circumstances as well as their perceptions of the world around them. And, through my findings and practice, stoicism proves to be the most effective and conducive philosophy toward success, contentment, and a meaningful existence.
What do I mean by this? Glad you asked!
What I mean is, stoicism is the best philosophy not only for western society (since it is western philosophy) but for the world at large as it teaches one how to take back and preserve their sense of equanimity and peace of mind in a world that has, frankly lost its damn mind.
The basic principle of stoicism is this: there are things over which you have control and things over which you have no control. Disregard the things you have no control over and only worry about the things you do have control over and your life will go more smoothly.
Sounds simply enough, right?
Well, not wrong per se, but, just because it sounds simple doesn’t mean it is simple or easy.
Stoicism is actually a very difficult thing to practice as it requires damn near extreme self control and an unbreakable will. That is, if your goal is to become a stoic sage. However, for the average person, it is still difficult but not as difficult as those who treat stoicism like an Olympic sport.
So, what am I getting at here? What makes stoicism so special and difficult? Why should you practice it and how can it benefit your life?
Well. . .
1) What I’m saying is that if you practice stoicism, the boneheaded idiots surrounding you won’t bother you so much and you won’t constantly feel like you’re about to snap.
2) What makes stoicism so difficult is the amount of willpower it requires as well as honesty with oneself and self control.
3) It benefits your life by giving you peace of mind and the ability to deal with things with a sense of equanimity.
Now, what do I mean by equanimity?
Simple, mental calmness.
When you practice stoicism whose basic principle is focusing only on what you can directly control or have a sufficient degree of influence over, you eliminate a lot, if not, all of the stress in your life caused by worrying about things you can’t do anything about in the first place. Like the traffic jam on the way to work, or the fact your friend flaked on you, or the fact your flight got canceled and you’re out 1500 bucks, or some slick shit your coworker said to your but got away with because she’s sucking the boss’s dick for a promotion.
You know, things like that.
When you practice stoicism, you accept all the tings that go on around you with or without your consent. You begin to understand that the world doesn’t give a damn about you, so there is no reason to give a damn about the world (unless you’re a humanitarian). You begin to see things as they are rather than how you wish them to be. And, you realize how little you actually control and the mental space that frees up for you to focus on things that do matter rather than some stupid shit that has nothing to do with you in the first place.
Now, what does this have to do with the ego?
The answer to this is severely simple.
Your ego is the very mechanism that causes you stress in the first place. When you practice stoicism, you gain control of your emotions, thoughts, and actions. And, you are able to observe the situation from a point of detachment, meaning, you’re not needlessly inserting yourself into something which you don’t belong.
Be careful when you practice stoicism, as the ego can hijack the philosophy to its own end. This is done by preconceived notions and misconceptions about stoics being these emotionless sociopaths that don’t care about anything.
Stoics have emotions.
Stoics have feelings.
Stoics go through ranges of emotions live everyone else.
The only difference is stoics don’t let their emotions control them. Stoics are led by strong and sound reasoning and rationality. Stoics get to the bottom of things and make sense of it rather than just react mindlessly to the world’s shenanigans.
Alright, that’s my spiel. Til next week!