Home

Always Room to Improve

1 Comment

Daily Stoic

Thanks to Daily Stoic for sharing…

Epictetus reminds us: “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”

He tells us that this is the “first task” of philosophy: to get rid of our preconceptions, to do away with the dogmas we have in our heads. Be humble. Be open to things you don’t know, or things that challenge what you do know.

Emerson talked about the advantage of a life of humility in his memorable line: “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.”…

Humility is an easy virtue to talk about—and a much harder one to put into practice. We don’t want to seem stupid. We don’t like saying, “I don’t know” or “You might have a point.” Harder still: “Maybe I’m wrong? Maybe I have more to learn?”  But it’s this attitude that leads to change and improvement. So give it a try. You can’t get better if you think you’re superior.

The Philosophy Of Stoicism: Five Lessons from Seneca, Musonius Rufus, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus and Zeno of Citium.

Leave a comment

Daily Stoic

Source: The Philosophy Of Stoicism: Five Lessons from Seneca, Musonius Rufus, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus and Zeno of Citium.

Below is a guest post from Philip Ghezelbash, as he offered to share five of the most important lessons he took away from Stoicism. Enjoy!

1. Live Every Day As If It Were Your Last

Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher. He once said:

“You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last.”

Death doesn’t make life pointless, death makes life worth living. The world keeps spinning when you’re gone and so many of us live life with an attitude which represents the arrogant thought that we are destined to live forever…

When you wake up, pretend today is your last day and live life as you would in this circumstance.

2. Food Is the Best Test Of Self-Control

Food is the best test of self-control and temperance because it’s presented to us every single day and in the modern world at any hour of the day.

Musonius Rufus was a Roman Stoic philosopher who in his two part discourse on food said:

“That God who made man provided him food and drink for the sake of preserving his life and not for giving him pleasure, one can see very well from this: when food is performing its real function, it does not produce pleasure for man, that is in the process of digestion and assimilation.”

Although the pleasure of food is experienced on the tongue, it’s clear that the purpose of food is revealed when it assimilates with the body through digestion.

The lesson here is similar to what Socrates once said which is that we should eat to live rather than live to eat.

3. Failure Is Natural, Regret Is Foolish

Marcus Aurelius was emperor of Rome. His untitled writing, commonly known as Meditations is an important source of Stoic philosophy.

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

He means that everything, no matter whether it is good or bad is an opportunity to practice virtue.  Don’t be surprised by failure, expect it, in fact, embrace it and seek after obstacles in your life which seem uncomfortable…

Epictetus is famous for what he called the dichotomy of control which describes what is in our control.  We can apply this to failure.

The moment you start to regret something in the past you’re fundamentally acting against something which is out of your control and so there’s no practical reward from doing so only frustration and anger.

We should learn from the past and our failures, but to regret, to ponder and to revisit our previous attempts and then look at present with disdain is a crime to your character.

4. Focus on The Small Things

Zeno of Citium was the founder of Stoicism, described as living an ascetic life. He once said that:

“Well-being is attained by little and little, and nevertheless is no little thing itself.”

The idea is basically that one must never underestimate the small things in life, because who’s to say that the small things don’t define the larger and seemingness more important parts of life? They do…

It’s easy to look at other people’s successes and pin them down to luck or good fortunate when in reality it was the small “insignificant” things done consistently which defined their successes.

Don’t place your satisfaction on big goals and dreams, place your satisfaction on small wins.

5.  Throw Away Vanity

Epictetus was born a slave in what we call Turkey today; he lived in Rome, was then banished and spent the rest of his life in Greece. He said:

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”

When you wish to pursue philosophy and therefore any subject of interest to you, you must throw away conceit and excessive pride before you begin.

Be willing to learn, be willing to listen, be willing to leave your ego aside to learn, evolve and develop through the wisdom of others and through embracing the joy of ignorance.

As the Socratic paradox goes: “I know that I know nothing”

***

Philip is a health nut, writer and a certified personal trainer. His mission is to close the gap between health and philosophy. He is the upcoming author of the book The Stoic Body. What he is striving to do is combine the seemingly unrelated fields of nutrition and health in with the philosophical world and in particular, Stoicism.Subscribe to Philip’s YouTube channel here. You can also join the Stoic Body Facebook group here.

 

Daily Stoic

Leave a comment

Daily Stoic

Thanks to Daily Stoic for sharing…

In America [and Europe], it’s Halloween, which is a fun holiday for children. In Mexico, however, it is the beginning of Día de los Muertos, a much more adult and philosophical holiday. All throughout Mexico, people will gather not to eat candy but to celebrate and remember their friends and family who have died. It is, in a sense, a three day commemoration of the idea of memento moria kind of collective bereavement mixed with the fun of a jazz funeral.

The great Montaigne would tell of a story that had trickled back to him from the New World, of an ancient drinking game where the members took turns holding up a painting of a corpse inside a coffin and cheered “Drink and be merry for when you’re dead you will look like this.” This cheeky but also profound observation captures the spirit of Día de los Muertos quite well with imagery of skulls and skeletons, the makeup and the music and the dancing, the praying and the altars set up to honor those who have left.

It might seem strange to celebrate death in this way, and stranger still to involve children in it. But is it really that stranger than banishing any thought of death from our lives and letting it return to us only as a dreaded nightmare? There is real value in taking time to process and grieve and dance with the morbidity of our mortality, of creating a ritual that allows us to come to terms with this essential part of our existence. Better to be on good terms with death and to schedule an annual check up than to be surprised and shocked by this enemy we pretend doesn’t exist.

So drink and be merry today and celebrate the day of the dead. Say goodbye to the people you have lost and enjoy the people you are lucky enough to still have with you. That’s all we can do.

***

P.S. For more ways to keep Stoic principles in mind as you navigate your day, check out our Daily 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.

Like this email? Forward it to a friend. And if it was forwarded to you, sign up for our free 7-day course on Stoicism, packed with exclusive resources.

 

Daily Stoic

1 Comment

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.

Like this email? Forward it to a friend. And if it was forwarded to you, sign up for our free 7-day course on Stoicism, packed with exclusive resources.

 

Why is Stoicism Having a Cultural Moment?

Leave a comment

Have been reading Seneca this month. This needull takes a look at stoicism in today’s context.
500full

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

Image source

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

Winning Stoically

Leave a comment

via Winning Stoically — youwineverythingwithkids – Many thanks for sharing

marcus-aurelius-quotes-3

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

1 Comment

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

Older Entries Newer Entries

Lowes Travels

jammin' on down the road

Flowers For Socrates

A political, legal, social, philosophical and cultural blog.

Katie Kay!

WRITER & BLOGGER

Hush-Kit

The alternative aviation magazine

Air Prayer

Can a man fly and love Jesus? You'd better believe it!

Model Airplane Maker

Building and improving scale models

e-Quips

News and views to inform or amuse

Aerospace Export

Innovation & Business development tips for the Aerospace & Defense market

The Transport Journal

News About What Moves the World

Canadian Plane Trade

COPA classifieds

Flight To Wonder

The wonder of earth science, without all the equations

maylynno

mostly philosophy

WELCOME TO THE MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD OF NALLE WESTMAN

The Life and Times of Roller Skating Cowboy

Photos by Ravi

Sharing unique images that I have captured from around the world. All images are copyrighted by Ravi Patel.

Road to Sangam

an Artaissance

Coffee with Kate

The Zen of Simple Living.

Debra LeGere, LCSW

Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, BodyTalk Access, Beyond Quantum Healing

Xprexity

Earn Like A Pro!

%d bloggers like this: