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?

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: Consider Worst Case Scenarios

Submitted by c0c0c0 on Wed, 08/02/2017 - 19:17

Yet another re-write.  Hopefully, this one flows a little better, with a little less drama.  The take away needs to be that this is like exercising your misfortune muscle.  You really don't want to wait until you need it to see if you are strong enough.

"We should remind our spirits all the time that they love things that will leave - no, better, things that are already leaving.  You possess whatever is given by Fortune without a guarantor."  (Seneca – Consolation to Marcia)


Practical Stoicism: Reconsider the Wrong

Submitted by c0c0c0 on Sat, 01/21/2017 - 15:08

Here's another rewrite. The original was okay, but it was very short and didn't, IMHO, truly press home the point. Or at least my take on the point: That we are really not well positioned to even know when another has done wrong. And it's not in anyone's best interests for us to act like we are.

If any man has done wrong, the harm is his own. But perhaps he has not done wrong. (Marcus Aurelius - Meditations IX.38)


Practical Stoicism: Focus on the Thing at Hand

Submitted by c0c0c0 on Wed, 01/11/2017 - 17:12

This is a new chapter, soon to be added to "Practical Stoicism".  I had a hell of a time carving it down to the requisite "1 page", but once it was done, the resulting version actually came out far better than the original.  It's interesting how having to use fewer words make you use better ones.

About the only thing I still miss was the extra quote I had to throw out:

Anything worth doing is worth doing well.  (Your mom)


Practial Stoicism: Retreat into the Self

Submitted by c0c0c0 on Sun, 01/08/2017 - 17:18

The following is a re-write of one of the first exercises written for Practical Stoicism. When I was simply writing for myself, I did a lot of cut-and-paste off the internet, mashing ideas from multiple sources together to create a kind of rambling Frankenstein monster of a booklet.  It simply didn't read as well as it should have, with jumps from proposition to conclusion without pausing for explanation.  And then back again.  I intend to go back and fix that over time, at least for the worst of them.