Stoicism as concept — Become Stoic

Legacy Network

25 Jun, 2024

One becomes a Stoic by following Stoicism, which got its name from Stoa, a covered arcade in Ancient Greece. A philosophy that holds profound relevance even today. It basically consists of emotional regulation, rationality and virtue. A solid mental attitude towards the wave of life, being indifferent to ups and downs. And becoming a person who identifies the controllable and uncontrollable aspects of life and behaves accordingly.

The Stoic Philosophy — Origins and Core Concepts of Stoicism

The origin of Stoicism was a philosopher named Zeno of Citium, way back in the early 3rd century. The Hellenistic period is when it became a guide of ethical and moral behavior.

One of the most pivotal concepts in Stoic Philosophy is logos, the governing principle that oversees the universe. The Stoic viewpoint is that everything is a part of the natural progression of events, and it’s sensible to accept the occurrences without judgment.

Being a Stoic, one must hold virtue at a higher regard. According to Stoic principles, the epitome of excellence, wisdom, justice and courage is virtue. Wisdom is crucial for making informed decisions, while courage is needed to overcome challenges without surrendering; justice directs us towards our moral values.

Being a Stoic and Its Characteristics

The dictionary of the Royal Academy of Spanish Language defines “Stoic” as an entity that is strong and indifferent in the face of misfortune. According to the Oxford definition, stoicism refers to an individual who endures pain in spite of concealing their inner emotions. In a simpler yet deeper sense, stoicism represents the profound skill of controlling aspects within our control and gracefully accepting the uncontrollable as an inherent aspect of life’s natural trajectory.

Stoicism focuses on emotions, which are simply called passions. Passions that are divided into Good, Bad and indifferent. Promote the good ones, deal with the bad ones and ignorance is bliss for the indifferent ones. You shouldn’t be disturbed by the things that happened but by the opinions about the things that happened. In simpler terms, it is crucial to challenge those opinions, treating them as hypotheses instead of absolute truths, before adopting them.
The pioneer of Stoicism, Marcus Aurelius wrote in Meditations, “Begin each day by telling yourself that today I shall be met with interference, disloyalty and selfishness — all of them are due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil.”

Marcus Aurelius basically says that everyday we might run into difficult people, how we deal with them is always our choice.

Don’t treat situations as better or worse, look only through the lens of good or bad, and then choose good. Good is always the right thing to do. Be true to yourself when you run in with difficult people.

Remember to not let their opinions change your values or make you lose your temper. Their ‘passions’ don’t dictate the truth, they project emotions as they comprehend them through their lens, which is often of ‘Better or Worse’, stay on the team of ‘Good or Bad’. Be true to the fact and not the hypothesis. Marcus’ point was just that.

By seeking a more productive perspective and responding rationally to those passions, they can be refuted and transformed into healthy emotions.

This story is about a farmer, in the later stages of life, owner of a herd of horses. He woke up one day to find that the whole herd had jumped the fence and ran off in the wild.

The news spread across the neighborhood, alerting one of the neighbors to come over to the farmer’s house. “Terrible fortune, my friend”, he consoled the old farmer. “Maybe”, replied the farmer.

To everyone’s astonishment, the following day, the herd made an unexpected comeback, bringing along a splendid black stallion. This stallion was a valuable asset.

Once again, the neighbor approached the old farmer and exclaimed, “This is an incredible stroke of luck for you!” The farmer replied with a simple, yet mysterious, “Maybe.”

The following day, the son of the farmer made an attempt to ride the brand new black stallion. However, he ended up falling off and fracturing his leg.

Repeating this weird cycle, the neighbor again came and said, “Bad luck, my friend.”

No points for guessing what the farmer replied.

A week later, the army arrived at the peaceful farmers’ village, determined to draft every strong young man into their service. The army captain approached the elderly farmer with a commanding tone and insisted on the surrender of his only son.

Unfortunately, the farmer’s son had to rely on crutches because of a serious leg injury, which forced the army to move on to the next homestead.

The neighbor came again, the cycle repeated.

Farmer still lived in a “Maybe”, rightfully so, because he knew that all this wasn’t in his control.

Stoicism in Daily Life

Stoic philosophy is more than just talk. It’s a real-life guide. Stoicism helps us take charge of our thoughts and actions. This will help you develop emotional resilience. We are reminded to shift our attention away from external matters and place greater emphasis on our internal realm. This keeps us rooted right here, right now.

Living in sync with nature is a big deal in Stoicism. This means our actions and thoughts should match our smarts and social side. Stoicism points out that being happy is about our own mindset, not what’s happening outside. It’s about how we see and react to things. This keeps us cool and steady, no matter the ups and downs.

Stoicism and Personal Development

In many ways, Stoicism and personal development are intertwined. The Stoic approach to managing emotions promotes a healthier mental state by providing us with tools to gracefully navigate life’s challenges. Through the pursuit of virtue, Stoicism ensures a life filled with purpose and integrity, contributing to our personal growth.

Encouraging introspection and self-improvement is a cornerstone of Stoicism. It assists us in refining our

thoughts and keeping negative emotions and irrational beliefs at bay. By mastering our perceptions through Stoicism, we are enabled to respond to life’s adversities effectively, turning obstacles into opportunities.
Self improvement is always in our control, and that’s how we can prepare ourselves for the future situations.
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In the end…

Stoicism, anchored in ancient wisdom and holding significance in the modern world, serves as the North Star in the dark for those seeking direction. Its principles cultivate emotional resilience, personal growth, and a sense of contentment, regardless of external challenges. Our voyage of life will be empty without the wisdom of Stoicism. It is a lighthouse for our boat, and it’s light guides us to a peaceful existence.