Month: May 2018

Self development, Stoic advice, Uncategorized

Stoic Ju-jitsu, win the battle of the mind.

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Everything that happens is an opportunity for mastery.

Upon every accident, remember to turn towards yourself and inquire what faculty you have for its use. If you encounter a handsome person, you will find continence the faculty needed; if pain, then fortitude; if reviling, then patience. And when thus habituated, the phenomena of existence will not overwhelm you.

Enchiridion, Epictetus

Japanse martial art Ju-jitsu’s aim is to use the force of the enemy against him. Stoicism is Ju-jitsu in the mind’s realm.

Everything that happens in our lives can be used as practice to become better at practicing virtue. Just yesterday to give an example, I fell off my bike and pounded in the concrete really hard, I suffocated and didn’t really knew for a moment what was happening. Eventually, I got up and everything seemed ok, except my ragged T-shirt and blood in several parts of my body, oh and a severe muscle pain in my hip. I wasn’t going to write anything today but then I stumbled into this Epictetus quote and decided to use my pain to practice fortitude, so now I’m sitting writing with a severe hip pain, but quite happy about it. So, in a way, thanks to this hip pain, I can write about how I’m using it to get better at something else. Stoic Ju-jitsu.

Virtue is the sole good. That’s our aim.hydra

Hard choices easy life, easy choices hard life.

Our minds are the arena for vice and virtue. It is an endless battle that goes on and on and one that will never end until our lives come to an end.

But the mind and vice, more accurately, is extremely creative! The mind is always ready to offer us rationalizations as to why we can’t do something or why is better not to act and stay quiet.

This is extremely common in day to day practice. Has it ever happened to you that you realize in the morning that there are quite an amount of tasks that you need to get done to push forward on your life, important stuff rather than urgent stuff? But, then at the end of the day, you are just really tired and you really cannot set yourself to do anything other than relaxing and going to sleep?

At that moment, rationalizations come into play:

  • I’m too tired.
  • I’ll do it in the morning.
  • I have too many days left to finish it.
  • Someday.

Usually, that becomes a habit and nothing ever gets done. The next time you stumble into one of these situations practice Stoic Ju-jitsu.

Hard choices easy life, easy choices hard life, remember?

In the realm of the mind, stoic Ju-jitsu is practiced by using those rationalizations. Every “I can’t”, “later”, can be used as a sign that you need to actually do that which you least want to do. Use your rationalizations as signposts for action. Use them to practice your virtue.

Stoic answers aim is to provide answers to the deepest human questions, which sadly, are almost always never asked.

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Self development, Stoic advice

Envy is ignorance imitation is suicide

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Which, and which not lies in your power?

If you ask this question seriously, and actually apply it. There will be no room in your heart for envy.

Why would it be?

Envy is ignorance

If you happen to see someone else carrying the computer that you’d like to have or driving the car that you’d like to drive, you should feel happy for him. For he is enjoying the fruits of his work. We should be happy in any of these situations because there is nothing else we desire than what we already have, the will to focus on what is under our control.

This is precisely what Ralph Waldo Emmerson referred to when he said: 220px-Ralph_Waldo_Emerson_ca1857_retouched

Envy is ignorance, imitation is suicide.

Envy is ignorance of your power, your immense power, available to you precisely this very moment. The power to control what is under your direct control.

When we choose to do and live with what is directly under our control we choose to live independently as well. We may emulate the greatest characters in history like Socrates or Marcus Aurelius but in the end, we must choose to live our lives.

There is a great power on acting within that which is under our control. Doors open after action. The area of influence you have may be small, but with enough action, it will start to get bigger and bigger and then we will all congratulate the work that’s been done.

Stoic answers aim is to provide answers to the deepest human questions, which sadly, are almost always never asked.

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Visit our Patreon page for more stoic, Patreon only content. Thanks.