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Thanks to Daily Stoic for sharing 

There is a wonderful interview with David Letterman from earlier this year, where he talks about some of the transgressive policies aimed at transgendered people in America. He said,

Look, you’re a human, I’m a human. We’re breathing the same air. We have the same problems. We’re trying to get through our day. Who the fuck are you to throw a log in the road of somebody who has a different set of difficulties in life?

Which is a very Stoic way to look at just about every contentious issue in today’s culture regardless of whatever political, religious or scientific mindset you adhere to. Far left or far right, creationist or scientist, it doesn’t matter what your opinion of transgendered people, or immigrants, an opioid-addicted kid in Ohio happens to be or why you think they got where they are. The Stoic approach would be to say: We’re all humans. We all struggle and those people are almost certainly struggling harder than me. Why would we spend our time legislating or pontificating about their issues when we have our own, right here, that we haven’t dealt with? Why would I actively try to make their lives harder?

The Stoics held strongly to the idea of sympatheia, the interconnection between all species, people and universes. They believe we were all the same, all struggling under different versions of the same logos which assigned unique roles and trials for us all. Who are we to make other people’s fates harder? Who are we to punish other people for things they don’t control—for things that have nothing to do with their behavior?

Don’t throw a log in front of someone else. Leave them alone. Or better, do the Stoic thing—offer a hand.

P.S. For more ways to keep Stoic principles in mind as you navigate your day, check out ourDaily Stoic Store. It features our popular amor fati and memento mori medallions, Marcus Aurelius print, and more. Also, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living is available everywhere books are sold.

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Why is Stoicism Having a Cultural Moment?

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Have been reading Seneca this month. This needull takes a look at stoicism in today’s context.
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The value for our globalized society of thinking and acting in a manner that emphasizes our similarities and increases our capacity for compassion and justice can hardly be overstated. Solving the problem of climate change, for example, will undoubtedly require us to draw upon and develop these qualities further than ever before. And yet, it seems to many that as a society we are only growing more fractured and detached from one another, focusing on our divergent political views, or our racial and religious differences, or our distinct lifestyle choices (all this notwithstanding our ubiquitous connectedness via the internet).The value for our globalized society of thinking and acting in a manner that emphasizes our similarities and increases our capacity for compassion and justice can hardly be overstated. Solving the problem of climate change, for example, will undoubtedly require us to draw upon and develop these qualities further than ever before. And yet, it seems to many that as a society we are only growing more fractured and detached from one another, focusing on our divergent political views, or our racial and religious differences, or our distinct lifestyle choices (all this notwithstanding our ubiquitous connectedness via the internet).

The complete articleThe complete article

Chiara Sulprizio — EIDOLON

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via Why is Stoicism Having a Cultural Moment? — Needull in a haystack

Winning Stoically

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via Winning Stoically — youwineverythingwithkids – Many thanks for sharing

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In recent years I have developed a real interest in Stoicism. Although I wouldn’t yet consider myself a Stoic, I have enjoyed learning some of the underlying principles that make up this philosophy of life. There have been many Stoics over the years but probably the most well known are Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor. I would recommend ‘Letters from a Stoic’ by Seneca or ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius. If any of these whet your appetite then Ryan Holiday has written two great books called ‘The Obstacle Is the Way’ and Ego Is The Enemy’ Both of these will give a modern feel to Stoicism. I will guarantee you that Stoicism is not what you think it is and can be translated into a modern philosophy of life.

Many of us don’t have a real philosophy for life as we jump from one issue to the next. We deal with what is in front of us. Many people think a good life is having a good job. This allows us to buy ever more stuff to impress people in our belief that this creates a meaningful life. But ask yourself how long the happiness lasts, that we create when buying the latest gadget before we crave the next shiny thing? This is a process of hedonic adaptation which I may well pick up on future blogs.

You are probably now thinking that he’s gone mad and what has this to do with grassroots football?  Well. if we could learn a few Stoic principles and put them into practice then we might actually move away from chasing the next shiny thing and build on what we already have. The Stoics chose ‘to want what they already have’ in order to make them fully appreciate what they had.

The Stoics broke everything into 3 areas:

1.Where you have total control

2 Where you have some but not total control

3.Where you have no control

There is no point bothering about areas where you have no control ie the weather; the pitch; the referee; your height; the position you are asked to play or what the opposition will do and how they choose to play.

The second point we should consider, as that forms the largest group so we should try and influence this group while understanding that there are many factors at play that will affect the outcome. Examples are how you prepare physically and tactically but the biggest example is the final score of the game. Consequently, the first point is the most important. Concentrate on things in which you have total control. Examples of this are attitude, commitment, effort, enjoyment, opinions. These are all factors which the player has direct and full control over. Whereas the result, other people’s opinion and our reputation are not up to us.

There is much less energy required to do things in which we have total control over so we should be doing these as much as possible. We have it in our power to stop moaning at the coach; to be well mannered; to work hard; to take time to help our team-mates. The choice is within ourselves.

Consequently, a player who is looking to develop needs to set internal rather than external goals. Therefore, the goal is not to ‘win’ the match or the league or the cup (This is external and you don’t have full control over this) but to play to your best of your ability in the game.

The Stoics knew that our internal goals affect our external performance, but they also knew that the goals we set for ourselves have a direct impact on our emotional state. So if we set the goal to win the match, this does not increase our chances of winning that particular match. On the other hand, if we set playing our best game as our goal then we don’t reduce our chances of winning the match but we do lessen our chances of being upset by the outcome. We must then change the story we are telling ourselves and remove the thought of winning and replace it with playing to the best of our ability. This will significantly reduce your emotional anguish in the future.

Therefore I want players to ‘win stoically’ by setting internal goals for themselves. I can honestly say that I have never asked a team to go out and win. I have asked them to go out and enjoy themselves; express themselves and give their all. The result is of little significance but can they come off the pitch thinking they have given their all and reflect against the internal goal they set for themselves before the match? That for me is ‘winning’

If you want to read more on the Stoics then as well as Ryan Holliday’s books then you should have a look at the good stuff from Tim Ferriss. Also John Wooden and his famous quote “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” probably tells me that as well as being my coaching hero, he was also a Stoic at heart.

Finally, to quote Robin Sharma “The world belongs to learners” so let’s teach the kids to ‘win stoically’.

via Winning Stoically — youwineverythingwithkids

The power of solitude

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The power of solitude

This post was inspired by the article The Power of Solitude.

As much as I enjoy the company of others I also enjoy time alone. For me, solitude is an opportunity to be myself for a while – to read without interruptions, to sing without being heard and to dance without being seen. I can meditate wherever I wish, or do yoga in the middle of the living-room without bothering anyone. I can eat what I like and have a good cry as I watch a good old romance.

Some people fear solitude, they fear the turning inwards, afraid of what they might find. Mindfulness has taught me to spend more time looking inwards. Mindfulness helps us to approach what is inside us rather than to run away from it. We can approach our fears slowly, with compassion, edging towards whatever it is in a kind manner as we would towards a frightened child or animal.We can explore our emotions in a safe, gentle way and slowly begin to understand who we are.

This post was inspired by the article The Power of Solitude. As much as I enjoy the company of others I also enjoy time alone. For me, solitude is an opportunity to be myself for a while – to read without interruptions, to sing without being heard and to dance without being seen. I can meditate […]

via The power of solitude — My GO-TO MINDFULNESS

Daily Dose of Inspiration

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Daily Dose of Inspiration – Have Attitude

“The only thing that you have control over is your mind.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Your goal in life should be to feel good. And having a positive mental attitude is the only way to meet this goal. So if you want to change the circumstances of your life you need not worry about what’s going on in the world or what other people are doing. The only thing that you need to worry about is tending to your own mind and thoughts.

We are all meant to be successful and to receive all that we want and desire and thinking negatively will hold you back from obtaining what you want. The way you’ve been thinking is a reflection of everything that you have attracted into your life thus far. Always remember your thoughts are the only thing that you can control, and by practicing a positive mental attitude is the first step in…

Originally posted on Be Inspired..!!: “The only thing that you have control over is your mind.” ~ Napoleon Hill Your goal in life should be to feel good. And having a positive mental attitude is the only way to meet this goal. So if you want to change the circumstances of your life you need not worry…

via Daily Dose of Inspiration – Have Attitude — Be Inspired..!!

The Power Of Now A guide to spiritual enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

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The Power Of Now : A guide to spiritual enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

Thanks to Salman Chatta – Happiness and Beyond for sharing…

“Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”

My first time reading this book was just a few months ago. I spent the few weeks afterwards captivated by its’ ideas and how it applied to every moment in my life.

I walked down the same road for the millionth time to reach home, and yet I noticed countless new things about my surroundings. Had I really never noticed that weird looking tree or that huge crack in the road despite living here for 16 years?  It’s surprising how much you notice about the world around you when you’re not caught up in meaningless thoughts about the past or the future.

Eckhart Tolle describes in this masterpiece how every moment that you spend regretting the past, or worrying about the future, is a minute lost.

All of Life is simply a series of Present Moments

Think about it, anything that happened in the past occurred in the present moment just like anything that will happen in the future will also take place in the present moment.

Eckhart teaches that the reason we regret and worry so much is due to how our mind functions. The constant noise in our mind is predominantly to do with 2 things: the past and the future.

This applies to my life as much as the next person’s. If I have an assignment due in 2 weeks time, neither regretting the time I’ve wasted nor being anxious about the heavy workoad I’ve left myself with will help. However, what will help is seeing what can be done right now and getting started.

Consciousness is the Way Out of Pain

Eckhart argues in the Power of Now that the only personal pain we have comes from either identifying ourselves with the past, or a longing for the future. Essentially, he brings up the point that many of us have built up resistance to things we can not change.

We fret constantly about the past and the future, but all we have and will ever have is the present moment.

This also leads to Eckhart’s point about ego. Our ego’s feed on the past (who we think we are) and the future (who we want to be). The only way our ego can survive is if we allow it to by continually thinking about the past and future. If we were to be fully living in the present, we would be freed from the way we identify ourselves based on our problems and experiences (ego).

Free yourself by Observing your Mind and Refraining from Judging your Thoughts

One of Eckhart’s strategies described is to simply ask yourself regularly “What will my next thought be?”. This is based on the quantum zeno effect, sometimes stated as “a system can’t change while you are watching it”.

Ask yourself this question and you will be surprised at how long it takes for your next thought to pop in your mind. Personally, I’ve found that the more I ask myself this question, the longer my next thought is delayed. By even asking yourself this question, you bring yourself into the Now and are observing your mind.

Through this you can begin to understand just how much of your time is spent on autopilot, and slowly start detaching yourself from your mind and bring your attention into the present moment.

Another concept that I learnt from Eckhart’s book is to refrain from judging that voice in my head that says “I should’ve done this” or “I bet that will happen”. Rather than resisting these thoughts and fighting them, learn to simply accept them without judgement. 

Notice the thoughts when they arise as if you are observing your own mind under a magnifying glass, but don’t label them or act upon them. In essence, you will be dropping your regrets and worries so you can actually focus on what’s happening right now.

Conclusion

The Power of Now is the sort of book that you might want to read multiple times. Each time you read it, you will undoubtedly gain a better understanding of the powerful concepts of mindfulness, presence and acceptance.

Your grasp of his ideas will strengthen each time you read them and if you’re anything like me, it will give you a fresh perspective on life and how to finally get rid of that damn voice in your head so you can actually live your life.

If you’ve read the book or have any questions/thoughts about it, feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to discuss it with you.

“Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” My first time reading this book was just a few months ago. I spent the few weeks afterwards captivated by its’ ideas and how it applied to every moment in my life. I walked down the […]

via The Power Of Now : A guide to spiritual enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle — Happiness And Beyond

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