Stoicism was founded by a dye trader. To begin with, Zeno of Citium was a Phoenician trader whose ship sunk near the Athenian port of Piraeus. Zeno lived, but he never returned to Athens. He spent twenty years studying with many philosophers before creating the Stoic school of thought about 301 BCE. Practicing stoicism can help you lead a better life.
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Practicing stoicism in modern life
These Stoic activities can assist us in bringing order and serenity into our chaotic and unpredictable lives today. It is quite simple to complete one activity per day. When you practice more of them on a daily basis, you will become more of a Stoic. Let’s get started.
- Eat-in the Manner of a Stoic
- Work at Your Own Value
- Do A Good Deed Today
- Read a Stoic Classical Passage
- Consider Another Person’s Point of View
- Recognize the Good Qualities of Others
- Speak Without Prejudice
Eat-in the Manner of a Stoic
The Stoic way of life was to eat sparingly. They adopted Socrates’ philosophy of eating to live rather than living to eat.
Rufus, the Stoic elder, urged his disciples to favor meals that are reasonably priced, easy to obtain, and nutritious to consume. He planned to avoid spending too much time shopping for or preparing food.
Rufus instructed them to abstain from consuming slain animals in favor of cereals, fruits, vegetables, milk, honey, cheese, and the like. He also discouraged overeating and eating aimlessly or hurriedly. He often encouraged the Stoics to eat with moderation, self-control, and attentiveness.
A person who consumes more calories than he should make a mistake. So does the person who eats quickly, is enamored by gourmet cuisine, prefers sweets over healthful dishes, and does not share his food evenly with his fellow diners.
Work at Your Value
Do you depend your self-worth on what others think of you? It makes no difference whether people appreciate, laugh at, like, or despise you as a practicing Stoic. Even if they love you, they may not give much thought to your aspirations and dreams.
And, of course, if they despise you, they will be unconcerned with your ideas and strengths.
They will never comprehend who you truly are. So, why should you live your life depending on what others think of you?
Instead, why not attempt to improve your self-worth? Why not focus on yourself and produce exceptional results in anything you do rather than attempting to gain their approval?
To accomplish meaningful labor that increases your worth, you do not need to set your sights on a bounty. You may select one item of work today and devote your full attention, expertise, and passion to it. This will discipline you to a greater degree of personal greatness.
Stoic precepts warn that your belongings, no matter how expensive, will lose their luster after a while. Then you’d begin to take them for granted. They’d be better off forgotten.
And you always have the option of not having an opinion on anything. You don’t have to criticize yourself just because someone else did. You are not required to categorize yourself simply because everyone else is. Stand on your own and work on your self-esteem.
Do A Good Deed Today
Every day, perform a little kind deed. Anything that has the potential to help another person.
Virtue, according to the Stoics, is the sole thing that contributes to eudaimonia or happiness. They made it apparent and unmistakable that doing good for the sake of doing good was the ultimate value of human life. A Stoic does a good deed because it is good. Period.
Read a Stoic Classical Passage
Reading a paragraph from a classic book by an old Stoic is a simple but profound practice. You could read a few words from Seneca, Epictetus, Musonius Rufus, or Marcus Aurelius, if not a whole piece.
Meditations, Marcus Aurelius’ legendary self-reflection diary, is the go-to book for busy novices. It is simple to read, grasp, and remember for the day.
Marcus succeeded to the Roman throne at the age of 40, after twenty-odd years of philosophical preparation and practice. He is appropriately referred to as the Philosopher-King. Marcus is regarded as the prototypical Stoic, despite having studied Cynicism, Epicureanism, Platonism, and concepts from other schools of thought.
Consider Another Person’s Point of View
According to the Stoics, a Sage is someone who possesses complete wisdom. The good news is that the Stoics also believed that no one could ever be a perfect Sage because all people are defective by nature.
So they advised taking the time to consider what a Stoic Sage would do in a given scenario and how they would handle themselves. This was to discover the optimal behavior pattern to mimic, even if they were imperfect themselves is a way for practicing stoicism. This was to overcome the prejudice of “my way of doing things” and do what the Sage would do.
Recognize the Good Qualities of Others
Whenever you want to cheer yourself up, consider the good qualities of your companions, for example, the energy of one, the modesty of another, the generosity of yet another, and some other quality of another; for nothing cheers the heart as much as the images of excellence reflected in the character of our companions, all brought before us as fully as possible. Seeing the good qualities in other is a major part in practicing stoicism.
Speak Without Prejudice
Our judgments are directed towards the individual with whom we are conversing. Even if we do not use judgemental words in our discourse, our tone and nonverbal cues disclose our true feelings.
“Does anyone bathe in a mighty small time?” Epictetus asks. He doesn’t do it poorly, but he does it quickly. Is there anyone who consumes a lot of wine? Don’t claim he’s sick, but rather that he drinks a lot. For, until you completely comprehend the concept on which someone behaves, how can you tell if he is doing improperly? As a result, you will avoid the risk of assenting to any appearances other than those that you completely grasp.” As a part of practicing stoicism on your daily life you must speak without prejudice
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