The Stoic: 9 Principles to Help You Keep Calm in Chaos - Deepstash
Acknowledge that all emotions come from within

It is not outside forces that make us feel something, it is what we tell ourselves that create our feelings. 

Many of us want to place blame and responsibility on external objects because it’s easy to do, but the truth remains that all conflicts start internally, in our minds.

The next time you run into an obstacle and feel resistance, don’t look at what’s around you. Instead, look within.

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Find someone you respect, and use them to stay honest

Whatever you do—create apps, draw portraits, write books, or make animation films—there are individuals that you can learn from. You can study their story, works, techniques, successes and failures.

What’s important to realize is that this isn’t an exercise of comparison. 

How can you learn from your heroes? How are their teachings and principles helping you grow, learn, and create? 

Everyone, no matter how successful they are, has heroes/mentors to look towards.

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Recognize there is life after failure

You can spend months or even years on a project, only to watch it be criticized, or worse, ignored.

That’s what failure feels like when you share a part of you. But recovering from that failure is a practice, a mindset—in fact, the lessons that I internalized from that experience is helping me do better work. The thinking goes: 

No failure, no growth.

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Read purposefully, and apply your knowledge

Reading prepares your mind, even helps you avoid foolish mistakes, but at the end of it all there must be the result of some action: a failure, maybe a success, or a lesson.

The purpose of education is to internalize knowledge but ultimately spark action and facilitate wiser decisions. Reading self-help books will, in that moment, make you feel inspired for a change. But are you following your principles when you have a troll, rude customer, or angry stranger in your face?

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Challenge yourself to be brutally honest

“Why, exactly, am I feeling this way?” Get to the bottom of that. Investigate it. Dissect it. 

When you feel resistance, use that as a cue to go forward. The challenge, of course, is training yourself to think that way.

This isn’t about talent or some unconscious reflex. The practice of self-awareness—to think about your thinking—in how you think, feel, and behave is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

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Reflect on what you spend the most time on

People who do excellent work, who master their craft, do so because of their ability to prioritize. They honor every hour of their day.

Although little breaks throughout our days are okay, we must be mindful of how we interact with our distractions (or is that addictions?).

A lot of spectating and flicking our finger on Guerrilla Glass is time that could be spent creating the stuff that people want to see.

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Remind yourself: you weren’t meant to procrastinate

Etymologically, “procrastination” is derived from the Latin verb procrastinare — to put off until tomorrow. But it’s more than just voluntarily delaying.

“It’s self-harm,” said Dr. Piers Steel, a professor of motivational psychology at the University of Calgary

  • Keep a To-Do List.
  • Prioritize your To-Do List using
  • Become a master of scheduling and project planning.
  • Tackle the hardest tasks at your peak times
  • Set yourself time-bound goals
  • Use task- and time-management apps.

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Put the phone away and be present

To be present as well as learning to be alone is a habit. Some people are really good at it because they make time to do it.

Take a few deep breathes, put your phone on vibrate so there’s no chance of interruption, and just reflect on the series of events that took place throughout your day.

Let your mind focus on the task at hand, what you’re trying to accomplish, and do it with diligence, patience, and care. Sooner, you’ll realize how much of an asset this is to your overall quality of life.

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Remind yourself that time is our most precious resource

I realize that everyday truly is an opportunity to improve, to learn to honestly appreciate what we are capable of achieving and how we are very responsible for the quality of our lives.

This makes our self-respect, work ethic, generosity, self-awareness, attention, and growth evermore important. The last thing any of us wants to do is die with regret, hence why following principles of Stoicism puts your life into perspective. It humbles you and should also deeply motivate you.

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Seneca

Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well ordered mind than a man’s ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company.

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