Month: May 2018

Stoic advice

Gain power, peace and perspective by questioning first


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Question

Put things to the test. Put your fears to the test. 

Question your fears, question other people fears, question yours and other people suffering and also question your fortune, question everything. First, question. Then make your decisions and assumptions.

In order to gain power instantly, ask more powerful questions.

Why not? , How can this be better? , Does it have to be this way? How would this, ideally be managed? If I could make the most out of this, how would I do it? , What is the good in all of these? , How can I use this to my benefit?

I had a serious relationship recently.

I loved her, a lot. I am single again now. At first, I wanted to drown the feelings with alcohol and trust me I did try. Painfully and obviously so, it did not work. Now that I look back, that was a seriously stupid decision. What you do not want to do in a breakup is grieve and immerse yourself in a hole of alcohol and self-pity. A breakup is improvement time. 

You see, here is where questioning helps.

The mind is either with you or against you.

After the breakup, I began to ask myself better questions. By doing this I began using my mind to gain power and peace.

I asked myself. Is there anything good at all about this? The answers started appearing from nowhere and I soon was moving again. 

One terrific exercise is to write it down. Write the solutions as well and then take Book-and-pen-top-10-wallpaper-hd6action.

By doing this, you, first, keep your mind busy and give it something to work on, which is what you need to do at the moment and second, you begin to dispel the chasm of the breakup and start realizing that you will find someone else again. Second, you start to appreciate more what you are doing for yourself, and that is invaluable.

I told you this short story, first of all, to give you some real-world advice if you happen to be in that situation and second because it relates profoundly to what I’m trying to say.

I’m trying to say that perspective is everything.

Stoicism is the practice of rationality and perspective. Epictetus warns you to be careful of other peoples state of minds or calamities because, just as I had the power to grieve with alcohol and self-pity (and actually did the first time) or with self-betterment and new enjoyment of life, so does everybody in their life face the same situation, it’s on your shoulders how you are going to take your circumstances. 

See, whatever happens to anybody, is not the situation itself what causes sadness or joy or anything in them, but their views upon it.

Although it seems at times just unthinkable to think or rationalize yourself into a more empowering state of mind (like when a loved one dies) it is possible with practice. 

ASK BETTER QUESTIONS, SIT DOWN AND WRITE YOUR SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR PROBLEMS AND THE SOLUTIONS WILL BEGIN TO APPEAR.

This is why, as a stoic. You have to be always on the lookout for the right perspective. Put things to the test, put your fears to the test, put people judgments to the test and you’ll start to develop power. The power of perspective and of correct action. Just as I decided to take the route on self-betterment after my breakup, so do you can find the best route in any situation. Just sit down and write your problems and ask, what would be the best outcome and how would I do it? 

Honestly, I cannot emphasize more the need to actually grab a piece of paper and begin writing. Trust me.

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Self development, Stoic advice

Progress


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We live quite calmly. Leaving many things, for tomorrow. the-persistence-of-memory-salvador-dali-4

How different would it be, if we knew we had an enemy on our backs, racing to trust his sword on our bellies?

Death is coming. 

As I begin to write this post, sitting in my chair to write in the evening, as usual. I opened Seneca’s letters to Lucilious on a random page and stumbled upon the chapter: “On progress”. What impacted me the most was his comparison of the enemy and death and how we distract ourselves with petty stuff, hindering progress in what truly matters.

If we go about our lives, postponing our work and art long enough, the enemy will surely come and we will not welcome him with open arms, knowing our duty here is done, but with fear and unease knowing we didn’t do our work.

Why do we postpone our lives? Can’t we see that there is no time?

This is why progress is fundamental to the happy life.

I might sound pretty anxious by now.

But what is the source of anxiety (fear) anyway?

Don’t you think that the source of anxiety is not the little time that we have but our neglection of not beginning to live, to do our work?

Hurry up and live

Seneca

Just about a week ago I wrote about the Resistance. The resistance work is impeding progress and progress is fundamental because what it means is that we are no longer postponing what needs to be done and what you know in your heart that you are destined for.

O when shall you see the timetumblr_ogy5dcjXAM1uj062xo1_500
when you shall know that time means nothing to you, when you shall be peaceful and calm, careless of the morrow, because you are enjoying your life to the full?

Seneca

Practice seeing yourself from this standpoint. If you knew, for sure, that you are going to die in 3 months from now, what would you be doing? What remains with importance in your life?

Memento Mori.

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

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