It’s a common misconception that stoicism is about enduring pain or hardship without complaint. This could not be further from the truth. Stoicism is about using your understanding of the natural order of things to live a good life. It’s about making the most of every situation, no matter what it throws at you.
Here are ten lessons that will change your life if you take them to heart.
1.“Our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: Externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to what I do control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices.” Epictetus
We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can always control how we react to it. This is the essence of stoicism. We only have control over ourselves and our own actions. Everything else is out of our hands.
2. “If, at some point in your life, if you should find anything better than justice, honesty, self-control, and courage, if you find anything better than that embrace it without reservation. It must be an extraordinary thing indeed.” Marcus Aurelius
In the quotation above, Mascus Aurelius is stating that if one should find anything that is better than justice, honesty, self-control, and courage then they should wholeheartedly embrace it. This is because it must be an exceptional thing to be better than those virtues. Marcus Aurelius was a Stoic philosopher and this philosophy teaches that one should use reason and logic to make decisions in their life. So, if one were to find something that is better than the virtues mentioned by Marcus Aurelius, it would be an extraordinary thing and they should accept it without reservation.
3. “There are more things likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; We suffer more in imagination than in reality.” Seneca
This is a very important lesson that Stoicism teaches. We often suffer more in our minds than we do in reality. We are often much more afraid of things than we need to be. We should learn to not let our imagination get the best of us.
4. “Get rid of self-conceit. It is impossible to learn that which one thinks they already know.” Epictetus
One of the most important lessons that Stoicism teaches is to get rid of self-conceit. This is because it is impossible to learn and grow if one thinks they already know everything. We should always be willing to learn and grow, no matter how much we think we know.
5.” Associate with those who will make a better man of you. Welcome those whom you yourself can improve. The process is mutual; For men learn as they teach.” Seneca
Seneca teaches us that we should associate with those who will make us better people. We should also welcome those whom we can help to improve. This is because the process of learning and teaching is mutual. We learn from those we teach and vice versa.
6. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” Marcus Aurelius
This quote is a reminder that we have control over our own thoughts and emotions, and no one else can make us feel anything we don’t want to feel. When we remember this, we can be strong in the face of adversity. We can face anything that comes our way with confidence, knowing that we are in control of our own destiny.
7. “The true man is revealed in difficult times. So when trouble comes, think of yourself as a wrestler paired with a tough young buck. For what purpose? To turn you into Olympic-class material.” Epictetus
When difficult times come, we should remember that it is an opportunity to become stronger. We should think of ourselves as a wrestler who is paired with a tough young buck. This is because the purpose is to turn us into Olympic-class material. We can become stronger and better people by facing adversity head-on.
8. “This is our big mistake: To think we look forward to death. Most of death is already gone. Whatever time has passed is owned by death.” Seneca
This is because once we die, we can’t take anything with us. All the time that has passed is gone forever. We should make the most of the time we have left and not waste it worrying about death.
9. “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” Marcus Aurelius
This is a very important lesson that Stoicism teaches. Our happiness depends on the quality of our thoughts. We should make sure to think positive thoughts and be happy with what we have. We don’t need to worry about things we can’t control and we should focus on the positive aspects of life.
10.“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” Marcus Aurelius
This is another important lesson of Stoicism. We should not take everything we hear and see at face value, but instead, we should question it and try to find the truth for ourselves. This is a very important lesson that can help us live a better life. By remembering this, we can avoid making mistakes and we can also learn more about the world around us.