Stoicism is a practical school of philosophy that can help us become more resilient, happier, virtuous and wise.
Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. It is a philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world. According to its teachings, as social beings, the path to eudaimonia (happiness, or blessedness) is found in accepting the moment as it presents itself, by not allowing oneself to be controlled by the desire for pleasure or by the fear of pain, by using one’s mind to understand the world and to do one’s part in nature’s plan, and by working together and treating others fairly and justly. Stoicism - wikipedia
The first principle of stoicism is the idea that we are not affected by the events that occur around us, we are affected by how we choose to perceive these events:
event -> reaction event -> perception -> reaction
In this light an event can’t be good or bad, it is our perception or judgement of it that makes it good or bad. Imagine you planned to do a presentation for your boss and then your boss gets sick and the presentation is cancelled: one may be sad and deflated because they were really looking forward to impress their boss, another one may be happy and relieved that they can have some more time to prepare the presentation. The event is the same: the presentation is cancelled. Your perception is different and results in different feelings. Therein lies the power to be able to contend with anything life throws at you. When something happens to you, you are in control and can choose how you perceive it and how you react to it.
If any external thing causes you distress, it is not the thing itself that troubles you, but your own judgment about it. And this you have the power to eliminate now.
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 8.47.
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Written by Jaime González García , dad, husband, software engineer, ux designer, amateur pixel artist, tinkerer and master of the arcane arts. You can also find him on Twitter jabbering about random stuff.