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The Core Of Stoicism

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.

Stoicism is centered around developing the ability to focus on what matters most and what you can control and ignore the rest. This is a rational approach to managing expectations and preparing for the inevitable difficulties of life. 

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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.

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Because Stoics believe that true good resides in a person's character and actions, they would focus on what they can control, not what they can't.

What happens to you is never directly under your control, but your thoughts and actions are. Hence, It's not events that upset you but instead your opinion about the events.

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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 mitigate or avoid them.
  3. Acting based on habit can lead to mistakes whenever the situations at hand mismatch the ones that led to the creation of the habit. 
  4. Be as invested in building yourself as you are in building your professional life. Study yourself, have ideas, develop them and the relationships that further them.
  5. Ignore the breaking news and focus on what’s in front of you.
  6. Take pride in your work, but know that it is not all there is. 

Stoicism became popular in the Roman Empire. Slaves like Epictetus, rich people like Seneca or emperors like Marcus Aurelius found guidance for life in it.