Practical Stoicism: Get Up

Submitted by c0c0c0 on Sun, 10/13/2019 - 11:46

At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: 'I have to go to work—as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for—the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?'

—But it’s nicer here…

Practical Stoicism: Amor Fati

Submitted by c0c0c0 on Sun, 04/28/2019 - 14:11
When the philosophers talk about Amor Fati, "Love your fate", they mean the bad parts. There's no difficulty in loving your fate when you've just won the lottery. Still, it's always been relatively easy for me to grasp why we should accept our fate. It's going to happen, so why fight the unavoidable. It has been far harder to really understand, however, why we should "love" it. It seems Stoic enough if we can just "grin and bear it", right?

On Pride and Shame

Submitted by c0c0c0 on Mon, 02/04/2019 - 16:48
Pride is among the most useless of emotions. Some claim that it motivates them to higher achievement, but there are better motivators. Love. Duty. A desire to simply be better. These all come from within, and all seek virtue. Pride, by caparison, seeks external recognition which is both dangerous and outside one's own control. How far might you drift from your own values when your goal is to measure up to someone else's? How demoralizing it must be to earn praise and have it not be granted. How embarrassing it is to fail, despite your best efforts, to reach pride's lofty goals.

On Obstacles

Submitted by c0c0c0 on Sun, 07/01/2018 - 15:59
Every morning, the universe prepares for you a new course of obstacles to face. Your entire day, from the moment you open your eyes until your return to your dreams, will consist of a gauntlet, a trial to judge how well you meet these obstacles.

On Advice

Submitted by c0c0c0 on Sun, 12/03/2017 - 14:35

You know how advice is - you only want it if it agrees with what you wanted to do anyways. - John Steinbeck

Advice has value only when the recipient sees themselves as having something to learn. This state of openness, of humility, is so uncommon, the act of giving unsolicited advice will almost always fall on deaf ears. In fact, the obvious intimation, that the recipient does not already know what they need to, that they should be humble and accept this wisdom, is almost always taken as an insult.

Practical Stoicism: Seek Your Own Approval

Submitted by c0c0c0 on Sat, 09/30/2017 - 10:33

Often I marvel at how men love themselves more than others while at the same time caring more about what others think of them than what they think of themselves. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Book XII)

If you ever happen to turn your attention to externals, so as to wish to please anyone, be assured that you have ruined your scheme of life. Be contented, then, in everything with being a philosopher; and, if you wish to be thought so likewise by anyone, appear so to yourself, and it will suffice you. (Epictetus, Enchiridion 23)


Practical Stoicism: Play Your Role Well

Submitted by c0c0c0 on Sat, 09/23/2017 - 14:10

Remember that you are an actor in a drama, of such a kind as the author pleases to make it. If short, of a short one; if long, of a long one. If it is his pleasure you should act a poor man, a cripple, a governor, or a private person, see that you act it naturally. For this is your business, to act well the character assigned you; to choose it is another's. (Epictetus, Endichirion 17)