Month: April 2019

Modern problems, Uncategorized

Stoicism and Power


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What comes to your mind when you hear the word power?

Among the most common words, you might say money, status, and fame. But those things are not “power” itself, those are consequences of power. So what is real power then?

Power should be thought about more as a verb than a noun. Having power is having the capacity to exert power. Power is the capacity to observe reality and yourself within it and then decide on your own terms what you want to make happen and then actually do it. That is exerting your power.

Keeping this in mind, right now, you have the capability of exerting power within your own reality, you are your only constraint if you decide not to. Doing this and knowing this makes you powerful right now, literally. Power is not money, success or fame. Power is a decision made from moment to moment, it is the decision to act and not be acted upon, and exerting it will liberate you, will give you freedom.

Possibilities within people’s realities differ, obviously, some people might be capable of some things while others are not, be it circumstance, ability or the place you were born. We need to remember that this is always within a specific point in time, reality is always changing as well as you and your relationship to it. This doesn’t change, however, the nature of power, power is always personal and available at any moment, regardless of any circumstance.

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.” – Epictetus

The act of consciously choosing what is best and what is worst for you within the options that are under your control makes you powerful.

Say you want to be rich. What can you do right now that will make it so? Remember, being rich is a consequence of power, riches don’t make you powerful, you make yourself so, richness extends possibilities to further exert your power. A rich person, most likely, exerted his power in that direction and by doing so, made himself or herself rich.

Everyone’s situation is different, agreed. But that doesn’t determine the ability of a person to decide which road he is going to take in his own life. When you let the things that are not under your control decide what to do or not do in your life and at the same time, neglect the things that do are under your control. You are giving away your power to someone or something else.

Philosophy, freedom and, power

Real freedom and power can only be found through philosophy. This is because only through philosophy you can begin to comprehend at least in some part, the nature of reality, just like the true nature of power. Only through reflection can you begin to better understand life and act accordingly.

Power is indifferent, you can use power for reasons you are not even really aware of.

For example, the idea of success. Is the idea of success you have truly yours?

You can do everything in your power to fulfill an ideal that is not even yours, just to find yourself in your deathbed thinking that everything you did was not really something you wanted but something you thought was going to look great in the eyes of others and by then it is going to be too late.

That is not being free, that is being manipulated by an idea that hasn’t been tested by your reason, your simple greatest human faculty. The philosopher asks why. It is only by putting things in the scrutiny of your reason that you can find out what is truly valuable and then use your power in the way that you see fit.

Any fool can make a rule and any fool can mind it – Henry David Thoreau

This process of reflecting can never stop as we are continually evolving. But you have to know that to be truly free and powerful, you need to accompany your actions with your reason.

True power is in your hands, right now. Rule or be ruled and remember.

Freedom is the only worthy goal. Epictetus

Here is some : Fuel for excellence.

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Conquering Fears, Self development

Work small, work smart


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“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing worthwhile is easy, have you noticed? Things require time and effort. That’s nothing new. If I’d ask you, how much time will it take you to:

  • learn to play guitar?
  • speak Chinese?
  • set up a business from zero?

Would you know? I ‘m sure you have at least an idea. It’s funny because we would all love to do so many more things but we don’t, someday we say.

Learning and doing new stuff isn’t as hard as we think it is.

In fact, it is pretty straightforward. If you want to learn Chinese, for example, you could just go to ask Google for a free class of Chinese and start. Here I’ll do it for you:

Learn Chinese for free

I say things are pretty straightforward because there isn’t anything magical or mystical about learning something new or starting a new venture. Things just need time, anyone with full mental faculties can learn anything if they really set their minds to it.

The hard part is the battle you have to undergo with yourself. That’s the hard part. Procrastination is easy, you can tell (lie) to yourself that you can totally do something if you set yourself to do it, you’ll just do it later. And you certainly can, but, when you actually sit down to learn or to plan something, you suddenly become conscious of all the things that you don’t know.

Procrastination lets you think you are smart. True work shows you how utterly dumb you really are and put things in perspective.

The problem with never starting is that you will never know what you are truly capable of doing, you will never hear a song or meet your lovely Chinese wife/husband. Things are hard, but they are hard because you need to rise up to their level, make yourself harder. Hard things show you what you need to learn, they literally show you the way.

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” ― Marcus Aurelius

But it will take forever! You might say.

Yes, things take time, obviously. But, the way I see it, time can work for you or against you. If you learn a new language daily, for a year, you will have a year on your side. If you postpone learning the language for a year, you will be a year behind.

Half an hour a day might seem minuscule in comparison to all that it’s needed to do something. But just like the river carved the Grand Canyon into existence, so does tiny, daily consistent action. Let the river flow.

Want one simple formula for bravery? One simple formula for bravery.

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

Subscribe here

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