Occasionally, after an “Aha” moment, we enjoy a few weeks of newfound enthusiasm and ease. But much more often, we return to old patterns without ever deciding to.
This is a pretty common human pattern, especially for self-improvement hobbyists. The epiphany’s afterglow fades.
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We tend to think that big changes happen in life when we discover a better way to live. But that discovery is not the moment of change.
You really change when this new way of living starts to feel natural, and for that to happen, you need practice.
It's that feeling of "Aha! That makes so much sense!”
If feels like you found a new perspective that immediately clicks with you and that makes everything in your life more manageable: work, relationships, health, money, and yourself.
The missing ingredient in dissolving old behaviors is a daily practice
To start living in a new way, we need practice — some way to gain experience noticing the moments when we’re about to do thing A, and then do thing B instead, even while it’s still exceedingly easy and comfortable to do thing A.
Stoicism is made up of conflicting writings, especially around God, determinism vs free will, happiness vs avoidance of pain etc. Today most Stoic fans are practicing a cafeteria approach: picking up the few useful bits, modifying others, discarding the rest.
But it’s important to know that this is what we’re doing. Because to the extent that we’re taking this approach, we’re not practicing Stoicism. We are abandoning it and relying implicitly on different (and often unidentified) philosophic ideas.
Death doesn’t make life pointless, death makes life worth living. Sometimes the discussion about the meaning of life serves no purpose besides distracting you from the answer, which is found in front of you when you live your life.
When you wake up, pretend today is your last day and live life as you would in this circumstance. And don’t just think, do.
‘Living in agreement with nature’ is about behaving rationally like a human instead of randomly (and out of passion) like a beast. In other words, we should always apply our natural ability ‘reason’ in all of our actions. If we apply reason we live in agreement with nature, because we act like humans are meant to act.
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