Do you think the Philosophy of Stoicism is helpful?

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  1. Chrisinmd

    Chrisinmd Yellow Belt

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    Do you think the Philosophy of Stoicism is helpful?
    I recently came across the idea of Stoicism. Do you think the Philosophy of Stoicism is helpful? I could see the benefit for people.

    What is Stoicism?
    Stoicism philosophy dates back to 3rd century BC, when it was founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens. Stoicism is the art of not being phased by situations that are not under our control. It is a basic human tendency to try and control our surroundings. When this control is lost emotional turmoil and depression grips our mind. Stoicism enables us to let go.

    For those who like it super quick, here’s my version of Stoicism in a sentence:
    “Stoicism teaches how to keep a calm and rational mind no matter what happens to you and it helps you understand and focus on what you can control and not worry about and accept what you can't control.”

    The philosophy is of great help in the unpredictable modern world because it helps to stay calm in difficult situations, direct our thoughts, and choose the best (re)actions. It offers many useful strategies, here are the 10 key principles/ ideas:

    1. Live in agreement with nature. What separates the human being from animals are our mental and social abilities. We are meant to apply reason to all our actions. We are able to think about our preferred action before we act. This is the Stoic goal of life: To live in agreement with our nature by applying reason to our actions.

    2. Live by virtue – Virtue is the highest of all goods. No matter what happens to us, we can always try to apply reason and choose to live in accord with virtue. We should always try to do the right thing, it’s all that we control.

    3. Focus on what you can control, accept what you can’t. All we control is our mind and the actions we choose to take. We can try our best, and accept all that happens because we don’t control it. If we get disturbed by what we don’t control, we become helpless victims.

    4. Distinguish between good, bad, and indifferent things. The only good is virtue – living by wisdom, justice, courage, and self-discipline. The only bad is vice – folly, injustice, cowardice, and intemperance. Everything else is indifferent and does ultimately not matter for a happy life.

    5. Take action like the true philosopher. The true philosopher actually lives by the ideas, he is a warrior of the mind. Today, many people learn and acquire knowledge only to store it in their mind. They forget the most important part: to live and practice the ideas.

    6. Practice misfortune. This is a gem. Imagine potentially “bad” scenarios in advance and they won’t catch you by surprise, and you’ll be able to face them calmly and act according to virtue. Visualize **** before and you’ll be able to take it much more calmly.

    7. Add a reserve clause to your actions. You only control your actions but not the outcome. You can give your best but maybe it won’t bring the results you wanted. Choose to do your very best to succeed and simultaneously know and accept that the ultimate outcome is beyond your direct control.

    8. Love everything that happens (amor fati). Accept rather than fight every little thing that happens. You don’t decide everything that happens to you, in fact, you control very little. Imagine that everything that happens, happens specifically for you. Wish for situations to happen as they do and your life will go smoothly.

    9. Turn obstacles into opportunities. How you perceive things is highly important. Everything that happens can be looked at as an opportunity. Even if it sucks, because you can always see it as a chance to practice virtue.

    10. Be mindful. You must bring your full awareness in your actions. Otherwise you act out of emotions instead of your rational decisions. Observe yourself and go through your daily actions before you go to bed so that you will make better decisions the next day.


    Stoicism is all about looking forward in life and controlling what you can. It prevents your brain from overthinking. Stoicism is closely related to teachings of Lord Buddha and also forms building blocks of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Nothing can help fight depression and anxiety better than stoicism.

    Anyway thoughts on whether this is a useful philosophy to live by?
     
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  2. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Why would it not be helpful to live by that philosophy?
    Although i guess that answer depends on what you mean by helpful. Itll probably make you pretty happy/content, but might not help you if you're a mafia don
     
  3. Rat

    Rat Black Belt

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    Varies from person to person, thats why there are many differing ideologies. I think standard living has a element of it in, but that can be said for many things. Actually there seems to be quite a lot of things which have been mixed together/influenced some cultures you don't think about/know about until yous tart studying philosophy or at least are largely unknown where their origins lie. anyway thats a tangent.
     
  4. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.
     
  5. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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  6. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    May I ask what part of the world you are in? Agree or disagree, but I believe that matters tremendously when you try to put a label on how people should act toward life in general. I plan to add to my response but would like to know more about the poster.
     
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  7. Chrisinmd

    Chrisinmd Yellow Belt

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    I live in the suburbs of Washington DC. In Maryland
     
  8. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Thanks, I have honestly thought about your post all day. I has much do to with my own life events but I feel like I can't comment on this without sounding offensive so I am going to bow out on my response.
     
  9. Chrisinmd

    Chrisinmd Yellow Belt

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    Something about where I live is offensive? Well I guess I understand a lot of people are not big fans of Washington DC at the moment. No offense taken I would like to hear your thoughts if you like.
     
  10. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Orange Belt

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    The ideal Samurai ethos is one of stoicism. The Samurai acted according to their code, their sense of right and wrong, despite whatever hardships incurred and willing to accept the consequences of their act. "The way of the Samurai is death." - When this is your motto and you are willing to face death, how could lesser situations phase you? Rather than a small sect in ancient Greece, the Samurai was a whole culture who lived the concept of stoicism. Some part of this philosophy lives on in the martial arts today as serious practitioners strive for self-discipline and living in harmony with the principles of Nature.
     
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  11. Chrisinmd

    Chrisinmd Yellow Belt

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    Great post. I thought of stoicism as it related to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Didn't associate it with the Samurai. I like your quote" to face death, how could lesser situations phase you." Makes sense if you dont fear death then any other problems you have are minor by comparison.
     
  12. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    To me, the idea reminds me of buddhism. I would bet that a similar philosophy has come up in every (large) civilization at some point or another.
     
  13. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    No, not at all; you misunderstand. I asked where you were from before I decided it best for me not to reply. I have zero issues with you or where you are from. My reasons are much more personal.
    My apologies for sounding otherwise.
     
  14. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Beware the Philosoraptor.

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  15. Chrisinmd

    Chrisinmd Yellow Belt

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    No offense taken
     

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