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Stoicism isn't Pessimistic. It's Boldly Optimistic.

“There is good in everything, if only we look for it.”

Laura Ingalls Wilde

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Stoicism isn't Pessimistic. It's Boldly Optimistic.

Stoicism isn't Pessimistic. It's Boldly Optimistic.

https://ryanholiday.net/stoicism-isnt-pessimistic-its-boldly-optimistic/

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Key Ideas

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius

“Our actions may be impeded…but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting."

Stoicism explained

  • In any and every situation—no matter how bad or seemingly undesirable it is—we have the opportunity to practice a virtue.
  • Stoics like to refer to the phrase amor fati–loving the things that happen to us. 

Cultivate Stoicism in your life

Stoic philosophy can be cultivated as a practical philosophy:

  • Seeing the good in everything that happens around us, not feeling hijacked or negatively affected by fate and life events.
  • Treating life as an experiment, not being overly attached to things, people and decisions.

Practical Life Philosophy

In our daily lives, we forget this timeless formula: the things that seem to be blocking us are small and the obstacles blocking us are actually providing us answers for where to go next. 

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Don’t seek for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will—then your life will flow well.

Suffering and Desire

Buddha taught that there is suffering in this world, it is inevitable, and the root cause of suffering is mainly the desires we feel.

We want something, always, and feel miserable when we don't get it.

Stoicism teaches us to live in accordance with nature and to accept that suffering will manifest in different ways in our lives.

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If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” 
How to manifest an unconditional Desire
  • Occupy your surroundings with desire superstars.
  • Substitute the roots of pessimistic energy with affirmative and optimistic energy. 
  • Take action upon well-researched and thought-out knowledge.
  • Put yourself in positive places, and surround yourself with good people.
  • Burn those bridges, such that you commit and leave yourself without any other choice but to push on.
  • Use mediums such as positive music, videos, and images to reinforce your desires.
The Meditations
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The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was the last famous Stoic philosopher of antiquity. He faced one of the worst plagues in European history.

During the Antonine Plague, he wrote a...

The dichotomy of control

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.

The cause of our distress

Our judgment that something is really bad or even catastrophic causes our distress.

It's not the new virus that makes us afraid but rather our opinions about it.

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