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Self-Sufficiency: the Ultimate Stoic Virtue

Self-Sufficiency

Self-Sufficiency

Stoicism is essentially about assigning things their proper, real value. It identifies what is in our control, and what is beyond us, in our lives.

Stoic virtues of moderation, wisdom, courage, and contentment are evident in the principle of Self-sufficiency.

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Time Is The Most Precious Resource

Time is the most precious resource. Death gives a sense of urgency, as any moment could be your last. It humbles you and should also deeply motivate you to not spend your time thoughtlessly.

Emotions Come From Within

Outside forces don’t make us feel things, our perceptions of them do. It’s easy to think otherwise, but doing so harms us and undermines our self-discipline.

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

The People You Respect

Whatever you do, there are individuals that you can learn from. If you can’t talk to them, you can study their story, works, techniques, successes, and failures, and discover patterns of success you can apply to your life.

Be careful not to turn it into an exercise of comparison and expect your progress to be the same as theirs. Their teachings and principles are supposed to help you grow, learn, and create. 

The sum of individual acts

We do not have to make our life (and job) more challenging by adding emotional drama to insignificant matters or fighting battles we don't actually care about. 

If we take a step bac...

You control your mind

Although we sometimes think our work is overwhelming, or that our boss is frustrating, external objects do not have access to your mind. Those emotions come from the inside, not the outside.

What we do in our mind is on us. We cannot blame outside sources for making us feel stressed or frustrated.

A proper frame of mind

We like to think that we are in control of our lives, but we continue to let our emotions ride a roller coaster, depending on what happens with us. If something bad happens, we have to be sad. If something good happens soon after, we're excited.

We are not puppets in the hands of our feelings.  We should be the ones in control of our emotions.

Inversion

Is the way of thinking in which you consider the opposite of what you want.

Inversion puts a spotlight on errors and roadblocks that are not obvious at first glance. What if the opposi...

The "kill the company" strategy

The idea is to identify challenges and points of failure so you can develop a plan to prevent them ahead of time.

Imagine the most important goal or project you are working on right now. Then fast forward 6 months and assume the project or goal has failed. Tell the story of how it happened and ask yourself, “What could cause this to go horribly wrong?”

Inversion and productivity

Applying inversion to productivity you could ask, “What if I wanted to decrease my focus? How do I end up distracted?” 

The answer to these question may help you discover interruptions you can eliminate to free up more time and energy each day.