Stoic advice

The work is never done. Fortunately


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There comes a time in life where time makes itself present. We realize that the infinite hqdefault.jpgtime we thought we had in our younger years, is not infinite, but really short.

Life is indeed, very short. Once dear time hits on our door, toil begins. We start thinking of all the things that we need to feel we are full and happy and so we say:

When I have my house I’ll be happy.

When I have my house and a beautiful wife I’ll be happy.

Once I have made that trip, I’ll find myself and be happy.

When I have everything I want, then I’ll be enough.

We think that we must hurry because life is going to end soon and we still haven’t attended to our purpose and our dreams (foolishly). This is the beginning of wisdom, because it is true, Memento mori, dead is knocking at our doors.

When we are young, we have a chasm in our heads. First we believe that we are going toDrinking-Game.jpg live forever, and live as so. Then we start pursuing things that we really didn’t choose consciously, like a career chosen by our parents or being “cool” drinking and partying way too much.

The time when we can no longer fool ourselves comes and truth starts to spring out, it is in that moment when you have to grab it as hard as you can and pursue it, it’s hard, but we must do it.

How much things do you get done throughout the day? Would you consider your days to be really filled with meaningful action? I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. 

Suppose that we have made the choice to live meaningfully, other dangers arrive and proper notice and car must be taken.

This is sound practice,—to refrain from associating with men of different stamp and different aims. And much harm is done even by one who holds you back, especially since life is so short ; and we make it still shorter by our unsteadiness, by making ever fresh beginnings at life, now one and immediately another. Seneca

As I said, that stage is the beginning of wisdom. Why the beginning? Because everything that we are chasing is external and we don’t realize that what we were chasing all alone was within ourselves. Work is necessary to produce a sound mind, and a sound mind is needed to attain wisdom.

I’m not saying that getting what we want is not important, but what we have to realize is that we can do everything in the world and still not feel that we have made it. Why?  There is a secret. As long as we are alive, it’s never done. There is not one point when you will say, ok great i have everything i want. No, it’s just not going to happen, as long as you are looking for it outside.

What we have to realize is that fulfilment does not come from getting at the top of the mountain, but from climbing the mountain and enjoying the climb.

We are very much like Sisyphus. The greek king that was punished by the gods for self downloadaggrandizing himself and condemned to roll a giant rock up a mountain for eternity. When he got to the top the rock was rolled again down, so he had to do it again and again and again.

Life is similar. There is never a point in which we reach completion. Incompletion is the rule of thumb. Change is the law of life, we can achieve a perfect business, a great wife, children and everything but as soon as we say this is enough things start to deteriorate and change.

So what does this has to do with the fact that we are going to die and we feel in a hurry because we have to get things done?

It means that life is really paradoxical. We have to hurry, we are going to die but we also have to be happy as we toil toward our worthy goals cause we are never going to get to a point where we are complete. We have to enjoy the process of whatever is it that we are doing and appreciate the person that we become as we do that, truly be comfortable at every moment as we already are who we need to be.

Paradoxically, again. When we realize that there is never going to be a moment when we are complete, we can embrace life and cease with the anxieties of the future self that will have everything handled, you are that self, right now, so start handling appropiatley. 

Even as i’m writing this, I have to be honest with you. I am looking forward to end this, today inspiration got late a bit and I’ve been figuring what to write for almost 2 hours. But I’ve just figured out, the problem is myself waiting for an outcome and not writing properly. That is the real issue. We have to forget time, and put our hands to work, otherwise expectancy is getting in the way of actually doing what is needed. So, now I know why I’m writing this, I needed myself to be reminded of this.

Once we realize, that we are already are all that we need and that we are doing what we cropped-cropped-marcus-aurelious-head.jpgwant (our truth), we can start acting correctly and enjoying what we are doing without preoccupation of the future.

Focus on the work, not so much on the results, the results will take care of themselves if we put conscious work on it. Trust me. Do not be attached to the results but to you doing the meaningful and perfect work as best as you can.

Would you know what makes men greedy for the future ? It is because no one has yet found himself. 

O when shall you see the time 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

 

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Reflections

A sound mind


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No man is able to borrow or buy a sound mind ;. in fact, as it seems to me, even though sound minds were for sale, they
would not find buyers. Depraved minds, however,
are bought and sold every day.  Seneca

What is a sound mind?

I was reading Seneca’s letters and this one in particular caught my attention.

“On the good which abides.”

At the beginning of the letter he first makes it clear that he does not want to correct Lucilious nor preach him about how he is supposed to live, for he himself is wondering the same thing as well.

That, right there, is a true teacher. Nobody can tell us what we have to do, we don’t have to do anything, and either way, every life is very different to follow the same path. I believe Seneca is here making Lucilious conscious of that. He’s doing a great job so far, but then he makes it even better.

He then starts talking about pleasures and their flettiness. True, pleasure is external and fleeting. Many times we do stuff that seems to be so good in the moment but regret stays with us far to long. Showing us that the pursuit of pleasure is not the best way to take if we ought to live cheerfully. How do we live cheerfully? Living by virtue.

Living with virtue is being in control, being the captain of the ship. Joy, springs from within, not from pleasure. That is the goal, no not goal, the process.

And it is a process. Remember when you were a child? We cried for candy, for potato chips, for our toys. Remember when you were a teenager? Cried for the girl or some other stuff.

A sound mind, is not easy attainable.

What is a sound mind exactly? I have a better answer now. A sound mind knows best from worse.

We have to work our whole lives, and fall and rise and fall and rise to get it and to realize that a life of virtue is what is best.

Because It is the best possible life we can get.

But nobody wants it. The pursuit of pleasure is ever more present in our society, we are constantly hitting dopamine on our cellphones, food and other cravings. The pursuit of philosophy and peace is rare. This is why Seneca said that if it were for sale, nobody would buy it.

Thanks for reading fellow stoic, happy to be with you in the everlasting attempt of achieving a sound mind.

 

 

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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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