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4 Lessons From Greek Philosophy to Improve Your Business and Life

Build a village

You are only as strong as the people around you.

You can control whom you interact with, so build a strong personal and professional coalition: hire people with positive energy and create a circle of friends from different backgrounds for engaging conversations.

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4 Lessons From Greek Philosophy to Improve Your Business and Life

4 Lessons From Greek Philosophy to Improve Your Business and Life

https://www.inc.com/amy-vetter/4-lessons-from-greek-philosophy-to-improve-your-business-life.html

inc.com

7

Key Ideas

Stoicism

It was founded in the early 3rd century BC and revolves around 3 basic ideas: 

  • How life is brief and the world is unpredictable
  • How to be steadfast, strong, and in control of yourself
  • How dissatisfaction comes from impulsive reflexes rather than logic.

Never let wealth distort your values

There is nothing wrong with achieving monetary success; however, you should never compromise your principles in its pursuit. 

Build a village

You are only as strong as the people around you.

You can control whom you interact with, so build a strong personal and professional coalition: hire people with positive energy and create a circle of friends from different backgrounds for engaging conversations.

Epictetus

Epictetus

"The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best."

Embrace rejection as insight

If you're rejected multiple times, it does not mean your ideas should be abandoned. Instead, use feedback as valuable insight.

There is often a solution if you are open to constructive criticism.

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius

"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact."

Never do anything out of habit

Always think about how you can improve your daily life.

Review your regular work routines and project procedures. 

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Hidden Gems From Ancient Philosophers
  1. The people you interact with the most influence your behavior. Consciously consider whom you allow into your life.
  2. Things can go wrong, anticipate worst-case scenarios to...
Timing Is Everything

We have to go after what we want, but sometimes life differs from our expectations. The environment, the circumstances, and other people may all have incompatibilities that do not coincide w...

Live And Flourish

Only say what is important, do not try to explain to others how much you know or how much you have accomplished. Show them through your actions and work towards not been affected by their opinion.

A happy person who has something that you lack will never show it off. Humility builds character; it allows one to grow and prosper without stressing about what others think. 

Understand Yourself Through Discipline

We must not forget to reflect on how we truly feel, to assess what we are aiming for and if we are capable of reaching what’s best for us.

Look towards others for guidance, but don’t forget we experience life differently and comparing yourself to others leads to a less satisfying life. It takes strength to be set on your goals, but it takes even more strength to accept that plans change and that your well-being is more important than the plan you made a few years ago.

2 more ideas

Stoicism and insults
Stoicism and insults

In ancient Greece and Rome, the Stoics (philosophers that taught the value of emotional resilience) advised their devotees to let insults go.

The Stoics weren’t pushovers, they just kne...

Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius
Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius

“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”

Not all insults are created equal

The Stoics viewed an insult from a trusted friend or mentor as something that would benefit them, a real occasion for self-improvement that should be received with gratitude.

You should pay extra attention to the input of the people you respect, because they have some important insights about you. An insult from someone you respect is an insult informed by experience, and it should be careful considered, even if it’s painful.

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Live Every Day as If It Were Your Last

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...

Food as a Test Of Self-Control

Although eating food is pleasurable, digesting it is our main purpose. We should eat to live rather than live to eat.

To practice this principle, one can eat plain foods without sauces or try intermittent fasting.

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

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Never Lose Money
  • Rule No 1: Never lose money.
  • Rule No 2: Never forget rule No. 1.

If you work from a loss, it's much harder to get back to where you started, not to mention ea...

High Value at a Low Price
  • Price = what you pay.
  • Value = what you get.

You lose money when the price you pay does not match the value you're getting. For example, when you're paying high interest on credit card debt or spending on stuff you hardly use.

You gain money when you look for opportunities to get more value at a lower price: For example, buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.

Form Healthy Money Habits

Most of your behavior is habitual. You can change your habits and the earlier you start, the better.

Saving is a habit. Learn the habits of saving properly early. Pay attention to your money habits. Strengthen those habits that help your finances, and break the habits that hurt your finances.

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Stoicism asserts that we don’t control and cannot rely on external events, only ourselves and our responses.

At the very root of Stoicism there is a very simple, though not easy, way of living: Take obstacles in your life and turn them into your advantage, control what you can and accept what yo...

At the very root of Stoicism there is a very simple, though not easy, way of living: Take obstacles in your life and turn them into your advantage, control what you can and accept what you can’t.

“In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where wil...

“In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices.”  -  Epictetus:

one more idea

Nihilism

Nihilism means "nothing." It is the lack of belief in meaning or substance in an area of philosophy.

  • Moral nihilism argues that moral facts cannot exist.
  • Metaphysical nihilism ar...
Existentialism

Existentialism originates from Soren Kierkegaard and Nietzche. It focuses on the problems produced by existential nihilism. For instance:

  • What is the point of living if life has no inherent purpose? 
  • How do we face the knowledge of our inevitable demise?

Existentialism emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice.

Stoicism

Stoicism was popular in ancient Greece and Rome and is practiced by many in high-stress environments.

Stoicism focuses on how to live in a world where things don't go as planned. The idea is to accept all the things beyond your control and to focus on what you can control.

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Stoicism and life's adversities
Stoicism and life's adversities

Stoicism is generally understood to be detached and non-reactive towards any of life’s adversities.

In the words of the philosopher William Irvine, the ultimate goal of Sto...

Negative visualization

It is a stoic practice in which one deliberately imagines how things could be really bad, much worse than they are now. It is a visualization of one’s biggest fears. It is a kind of psychological trick that lowers your expectations and makes reality look better.

According to the Roman philosopher Seneca, apart from embracing the negative emotions, one needs to maximize the positive outlook and learn how to feel real joy.

Seneca
Seneca

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing."

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The Core Of Stoicism

Stoicism is famous for its practicality and focus on the here and now. It tells what is worth having in your life and gives you a way to get there; being satisfied with what you’ve got.

St...

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Stoicism

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), is a “problem-focused” approach to psychological therapy and is seen as very effective against depression, anxiety and every kind of unhelpful thinking.

Like stoicism, CBT encourages distinguishing between events and perceptions, and most CBT textbooks contain one of the core teachings of the Stoics: our perception hurts us more than the things themselves.

The Problem With Stoicism

Practitioners may forget that some of the biggest determinants of our wellbeing are socio-economic and political if they follow too closely stoicism’s belief that circumstances can’t be changed and they must adapt. Doing so can needlessly perpetuate and aggravate harmful situations.