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Stoicism - A Pragmatic Philosophy

Stoicism is a philosophy of personal ethics informed by a system of logic and its views on the natural world.

This philosophy comes from the Hellenistic world and Roman Empire, being largely influenced by Heraclitus and certain teaching of Socrates. (source: wikipedia)

Some of the prolific historic individuals haven taken upon some of the concepts introduced by stoicism. Individuals such as Marcus Aurelius, Frederick the Great, Adam Smith and Barack Obama.

The basic idea around stoicism is the notion of being able to control emotions and external influences in order becomes a virtuous individual. It contains a few practical basic tenets around matters such as wisdom, courage, justice and temperance from which an individual may reflect upon to improve himself.

Following the advice provided on this article by the dailystoic, I will now attempt to provide insight on a few exercises to apply the principles of stoicism on our daily lives.

Live below your means

Try and live below your means so that you can be bold and attempt more without being fearful. There is such a thing as becoming a slave to confort, even if you already consider yourself highly successful. Terms such as golden cage come to my mind.

Everything is an opportunity

No matter how bad or how good things are, opportunies are always present. There good and bad for the practicing stoic, only perception.

For example, say you started your own side hustle and failed tremendously. This can be perceived as a bad or as an opportunity gain insight on how to improve yourself for the next attempt.

Remember how small you are

At the end of the day, you are just yet another person in an ocean of humans in this planet. The experiencies you have attain are momentary and brief and it is important to appreciate them for what they are.

Don't lose sight of yourself, try to be honest and humble in all things.

See the grand scheme of things

Sometimes we let our feelings get the better of ourselves in situations on which, when taking a look back at the where it all fits, are of very little consequence to us and, as such, deserve very little attention.

Be indifferent to external influence

Loosely related with the previous point, if you are somehow affected by something completely outside of your control there is really no point in becoming too emotional about it. There is nothing you can do about it.

It is a much better practice to instead focus on what is under your control. Not only will you be happier but you will also learning how to not pick battles that you cannot win.

Reflect on the day

Be aware of your actions throughout the day, how you personally deal with situations and how you can improve upon them.

One of the best ways to really be able to reflect on that is to keep a diary. That way can compare day by day, check for inconsistent behaviours and find ways to better yourself.

Prepare for the negative

Whenever you're doing something, there's a chance it can go wrong somehow. It is important to prepare yourself for such situations and accept that it can go wrong. That way, you won't be surprised by that possibility and will be able to react appropriately.

Embrace the moment

Value the moment, enjoy where you are right now. No matter what is happening, learn the love the moment and understand that you will be better for it.

I am only touching the tip of the iceberg here when it comes to stoicism, be sure to check the dailystoic for more practical advice on how to apply this philosophy to your daily routine.

There are also other people who are trying to incorporate stoicism on top their existing mindset, such as John Somnez's Bulldog Mindset blog. This blog was actually where I first heard about this concept in the first place.

I'm really interested on the ideas behind stoicism and I'm trying to apply them little by little on my life hope that it will help me improve myself as a person and professional.