Month: July 2018

Self development, Stoic advice

Stop caring about how you look, what they think, what they say, now.


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There is a saying that says: “Man begins his life with an epicurean philosophy and ends it with a stoic philosophy” ed4eec889e9eea34aa70179175630d13

In the beginning, humans are in the full pursuit of pleasure, uninhibited pleasure as Freud would describe it. There is a constant hedonistic pursuit in food, love, and entertainment, you can notice this by the painfully persistent push of the kid at the line of Walmart for a chocolate. Later we begin to realize that this frenetic endeavor is not the best option for a good life, as there are consequences for the reckless pursuit of pleasure, sometimes ending in drug addiction, sex addiction or any other addiction that tries to hide the real and raw dilemma of humanity.

Then, if we are lucky, we begin to comprehend that the blind pursuit of pleasure might not be the smartest idea to live a good life, at this point, philosophy, starts making his illuminating way into the mind. Rationality starts kicking in, our most beautiful gift.

What do I have to do to live a good life if not pursue blindly pleasure?

I don’t know if there are people that come to stoic conclusions on their own, I’m sure there are, but for the most of us, reading Marcus Aurelius or Seneca, illuminates us into a new dimension of living. The stoic life then begins.

Answer the question, what is and what is not under my control, if I choose to act with what is under my control, I’m living a good and stoic life.

One issue I keep stumbling on is that of coming to grips with the fact that nothing but myself can bring true joy into my life and into my every moment, nobody but me has control over this.

Why do we need to be accepted all the time? To feel that others think the best of us all the time? Have you passed this petty need already?

This enslaving feeling of needing acceptance is stoically speaking, despicable. What is and what is not within your control? Within your control is to be lovable, to be an incredible friend, and to be a great man or woman. What is not under your power, however, is the power to control what other people think.

Caring about what other people think is a worthless activity.

Another worthless activity is pitying other people, you only have control over yourself, as they have over themselves. The highest form of insult you can give to anyone is that of pity. What we say when we pity someone is basically: “poor creature, I don’t think of yourself capable of doing anything, you are basically worthless”

Virtue dictates to act in the highest possible manner. This means being paramount Alfred_de_Breanski_BRS003ourselves, only by giving the example of the mountain is that the other people will become peaks in themselves.

The only think we should be concerned with is living a virtuous life. That is always, all the time completely at our dispositions.

This is relieving, this is freedom.

The only worthy goal is freedom

Epictetus

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

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GIFT A BOOK

Let’s use social media for something helpful, shall we? Help the world by spreading Stoicism, pay just $9 and gift a Mexico City person a copy of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. I’ll send you an email so you can write a personal message and the photo will be uploaded to the Stoic Answers page.

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Stoic advice

You have to lose to learn


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Two days ago, I was taking the bus to work. I was hearing some song from Emancipator broken-phone-contractwaiting for the next bus to arrive at the station. When it finally arrived, one of the doors was stuck and made the passing annoyingly difficult. There were several people waiting to get it in, so the process to do it was not pretty. Naturally, I had to push a little aggressively to get in as I was also in a hurry. When I got on the bus I realized I wasn’t hearing music anymore, my phone (apparently) got hooked with something or someone and fell into the bus rails, then, some guy jumped to the rails, took the phone and started running like a madman. I didn’t know at the moment that I had to lose to learn.

My phone fell from my pocket, landed on the rails and then got stolen by some guy.

Living in Mexico’s city is not easy nor enjoyable without a Maps app. It’s really, really big and getting to places isn’t easy.

Imagine what I went through at the moment. Anger, despair, fear, hopelessness, just to mention some of the emotions I felt.

I felt as Ryan Holiday would say: “The pestilence of panic”.

It is in this moments in which stoicism becomes what it truly is, a tool, a mindset. A tool to manage through life’s difficult situations. Panic is a hard emotion to handle, it numbs you from acting rationally. At that moment,  however, I started thinking stoically (thank logos).

  • What is it directly under my control right now?
  • What is the best way to act?
  • Is it rational to give in to emotion right now?

Stoicism is a marvelous tool. If you really think about it, we always know what the “next step” is. It’s a matter of acting courageously on it.

When you’re scared you get numbed. By doing this, however, you shoot yourself in theEdvard-Much-painting-Two-Friends-stolen-in-Malmo-Sweden-Slover-Linett-blog foot, because, by not doing what needs to get done, things are not getting better, they are getting worse.

You have to say GOOD, whenever anything happens.

Panic and fear are never good ideas providers, it’s difficult to calm yourself down and act rationally, but that is precisely what will make things better.

Inaction creates more problems. Action creates advancement and solution.

What stands in the way becomes the way

Marcus Aurelius

Today, As I awoke, I started thinking about all of the negative feedback I had in the previous days. I lost count of how many times I got called an idiot for losing my phone.

The problem comes when you start to believe this, the first day, I was embarrassed and I did felt like an idiot, but I kept aggressively concentrating in that which was under my control, again, not easy, but doable.

Concentrate on the next action do it and then do the next one, that is the way to go. If you do this, you’ll not even have time to mourn yourself as you’ll be busy, actually getting shit done.

I have to say, I’m actually quite glad that I read Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. They are great men, men of action, men of wisdom and men whom I trust. Stoicism is a tool, it really has helped me go through many situations in my life in the best way imaginable. This made me think that many people do not have this marvelous psychologic tool to use in their lives. That’s why you hear so much negative feedback instead of actionable feedback. “You are an idiot” will do nothing to fix something, “what are your options?”, is way better.

If you have to fix a chair, It’s way better to have a hammer and nails. It will make the whole process easier. This is the same with stoicism. If you are going to live, it is way better to have a philosophy that helps you, rather than a mindset that hinders you.

This whole situation taught me many things I had forgotten.

  • People mean good, just that they don’t know what the best ways are, you do.
  • Your best bet is to trust yourself to do everything in your power to fix things.
  • Taking action feels “not great” in the short term and “fucking great” in the long term.
  • Trust the great men, almost nobody reads them (at least in my experience) so be prepared to figure your way in solitude.

There is a gift in everything my friends, it may be difficult to grasp it at first, but trust yourself and you’ll find it.

Ricardo Guaderrama 20171003_180742

Master brewer at Querida Catalina, ultrarunner and stoic.

 

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

Subscribe and receive for free the Askesis ebook to further develop your practice of stoicism. 

Subscribe here

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

Donation for the cause

A stoic boldly leaps into life, he does not question himself whether to act or not, the decision has already been made, we want to help you become a stoic. Thanks for the support

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