The History Of Stoicism

 Stoicism originated in Athens in the early 3rd century BCE, and its principles remain relevant to this day. Thanks to these principles, one can maintain courage and resilience in various life situations. Let’s discuss the principles that can help us today.

Stoics believe that not everything depends on us. Consequently, worrying about things and events beyond our control is unnecessary, and it is better to direct our resources toward what is within our power. Massimo Pilucci noted in his book that one should have inner peace to accept what cannot be changed, courage to change what is possible, and wisdom to always distinguish between the two. For example, when applying for an educational grant, after completing all the necessary steps (gathering documents, writing a motivational letter, participating in various scientific conferences, etc.), the decision remains with the university. All that’s left is to await the response and take care of one’s well-being in the meantime.

We can influence our own reactions and states, and Stoics urge us to learn to manage them. “Today I avoided anxiety. Or no, I discarded it because it was within me, in my own perception—not from outside,” wrote Marcus Aurelius. By changing our attitude toward something, we can feel better and start acting productively. For instance, an employee who has been laid off may initially feel dejected. However, at one moment, they can pull themselves together, accept the experience, and seek new career paths that may turn out better than the previous ones.

Stoics focus not on what they don’t have or what they want, but on the resources and opportunities they possess. It is also important to think about how to minimize the likelihood of losing these.

Stoics remind us that no one is eternal, and any encounter could be the last. Embracing this fact, one begins to appreciate more what they have. Premeditatio Malorum, or “premeditation of evils,” means Stoics believe one should think about bad things because, by planning for negative scenarios in advance, you will be better prepared for them.

“He who does not know himself to have a fault does not desire to correct it. First, one must expose oneself, then improve,” wrote Seneca in “Moral Letters to Lucilius.” He suggested “occasionally being one’s own critic” to identify flaws and start working on them.

“Do not accept invitations to feasts with people unrelated to wisdom. Know that if your friend is tainted, when you associate with him, even if you are clean yourself, you will inevitably be sullied,” said Epictetus in the work “Enchiridion” about the power of the environment. According to Stoicism, one should choose those from whom they can learn something.

The practice of virtue according to Stoicism also involves considering obstacles as opportunities. Virtue can manifest in every action. For example, if partners from another company cease collaboration with you, you can thank them for the work and experience gained and start looking for new candidates.

Share this

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *