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A key component of Stoicism is practicing mindfulness. Recognize the events in your life that you do and don’t have control over. If you become frustrated with events outside of your control, you are wasting energy and fostering negative emotion.
Our constant exposure to media and advertising keeps us wanting and seeing better out there — we spend our hard earned money on the latest fad, convinced it will leave us fulfilled until version 2.0 comes out next year. If we strive to want less, our desire decreases and we become more satisfied with what we have.
The key lies in gratitude. We must appreciate all that we have and find joy in it. We live in an incredible period of history with easy access to necessities and technology that provides a standard of living that was unforeseeable just a few generations ago. Instead of appreciating this, we take it for granted. One stoic practice is to imagine that you lost some of your valuable possessions. It may sound depressing initially, but by imagining these losses we come to appreciate what we have more.
If we desired more, we could allow ourselves to be disappointed. This doesn’t mean that stoics can’t enjoy the finer things in life — it just means we shouldn’t think of them as necessary for our happiness. Only providing goodness to the world through helping people and advancing society — something we each are able to do on a daily basis — can make us truly fulfilled
Stoic philosophy requires a great deal of personal responsibility. It’s not that you should be insanely hard on yourself, but you should understand that every decision that you make throughout the day contains a moral dimension.
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