thinking

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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Reflections

Some thoughts on quality


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“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.”

Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

First, some thoughts on quality.

Today, Sunday, I feel compelled to talk about so many things with you, but first as I just said, I need to talk about quality, because it is that single attribute what defines this whole process, called life.

A concept seems easy to understand in our heads don’t you think?

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We, after all, comprehend phenomena in the realm of our unique consciousness but when it comes to set a concept into words and we try to illustrate the pictures from our heads, into others, that right there, becomes the tricky part.

What is the solution for that difficultness?

Quality.

Quality is the aim to do something  the right way.

Quality is admirable because it is self-explanatory, everyone can feel it or understand it even metaphysically.  Sometimes we don’t know how to explain the why a work is a work of quality but we just know deep inside.

To do anything with quality is to do it right and we all know what that right is, we feel it.

When we make the decision to act with quality there is no confusion, there is no hesitancy, the choice to do it right has already been made and so no explanation for action is needed, there is just right action.

When we act with quality, the feeling of how we are using our time can get counter-intuitive. We tend to make the supposition that time is scarce, so we better hurry, thus sacrificing quality.

Quality needs time and patience, as long as attention. What’s counterintuitive is that acting in a hurry and without care, is actually slowing us down.

By not taking the decision to act with quality and being half-there half in other place, slows us down because by doing something good we only have to do it once, but do something bad and you’ll stumble into the same problem again and again.

Let your work, work on you.51a7fb95d69a284ee9eeb72a27644eb7--photography-art-night-photography

This is a rather profound recommendation.

Let your work, work on you. Everything you do or make, is an opportunity to be better, inside and outside.

It’s just as true that everything that is done badly or half-heartedly will work as well in the inside and the outside and not precisely in a good way.

Everything we do matters. Matters because it betters or worses not just ourselves, but the whole existence. Everything is connected. When we act with quality, we give quality to existence.

When we are washing dishes to give an example, there are two ways of doing it, correctly, or incorrectly. If you don’t put your full attention and care to the task at hand, you will not treat it fairly and will not let it work on you. If you don’t do it correctly the inner work (lesson) that the action can teach you will be wasted.

Everytime we are doing something we have an opportunity to practice patience and presence, to practice diligence, to practice everything.

Practice is all there is, there is never going to be a moment in which the work is done. We can only strive to become better and better at what we do and as quality is prefered in our lives than mediocrity practice is the only way through which great and better quality can be achieved and everytime we discard an activity and don’t put our effort in it, we are wasting our lives in mediocrity.

Living is an activity and better said an art, it is something that Seneca said, takes our whole lives to learn.

We can practice right now, this is why quality is so important, in everything we make, everything we do, everything we are needs to be constantly perfected and in doing so we are living as best and qualitatively as we can.

Hurry up and live.

Seneca

chess-1Quality is admirable and speaks for itself, I don’t have to tell you how to live your life best, that is something only you know, but bear in mind the concept of quality, because you know what a life of quality is. Apply it, apply it to everything and quality will start surrounding your life.

Life is fractal every small deed is part of the bigger deed. The details make the whole. Take care of the details, they are not time wasters, they are time savers, know this and quality will be effortless and more importantly, you’ll make your life and others, lives of quality.

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