What if you could find happiness and contentment in any situation, no matter how difficult it might be? This is the promise of Stoicism, an ancient philosophy that can be applied to the modern world.
Stoicism teaches us that we can control our emotions and reactions and that by doing so, we can find peace and satisfaction even in the most challenging circumstances.
In this article, we will explore the history and philosophy of Stoicism and learn how to apply its teachings to our own lives.
The Stoics were a group of philosophers who lived in Athens, Greece, around 300 BC. The name “Stoic” comes from the Greek word stoa, which means “porch” or “portico” – the Stoics gathered in public places to discuss philosophy.
The most famous member of the Stoic school was Zeno of Citium (334-262 BC), who taught that we should live in harmony with our surroundings and accept what is out of our control. Other famous Stoics include Seneca (c.65 BC-AD) and Epictetus (c.55-135 AD).
Three key ideas can sum up the philosophy of Stoicism:
– The Stoics believed that the key to a good life was living in harmony with Nature. They thought that everything in the world was connected and that by living following Nature, we could find peace and happiness.
– The Stoics believed in using reason and logic rather than emotion. They thought that our emotions were not always a reliable guide to what was best for us and that we should use our intellect to make wise decisions.
– The Stoics believed in self-control and moderation. They thought that it was essential to be able to restrain our desires and passions and to live a life of simplicity and restraint.
How To Stoicism
The philosophy of Stoicism can be applied in many different ways, depending on the individual. Some people might find reading the Stoics’ writings helpful, while others might prefer to attend workshops or talks on Stoicism.
Many books and articles are available online that can help us learn more about this ancient philosophy.
1. The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
2. The Art of Living by Epictetus
3. Stoicism and the Art of Living by William B. Irvine
4. A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine
5. The Stoic philosopher Seneca’s letters to a young friend
Final Word: Stoicism
The main thing is to start small and gradually incorporate Stoic teachings into our lives. We might begin by being more mindful of our thoughts and emotions and by reacting calmly to difficult situations.
Over time, we can work on becoming more self-controlled and rational and learning to find happiness in simplicity.
The benefits of Stoicism are vast – by learning how to live according to its principles, we can create a happier, more contented life for ourselves.