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How to Practice Stoicism and Develop Grit

The Best That We Can Do

By trusting the other person, giving them a benefit of doubt and keeping a calm and rational mind, we insulate ourselves from unnecessary worry.

Even if someone does something wrong, understand that they did what they believed was right. This helps us make our lives less complicate.

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How to Practice Stoicism and Develop Grit

How to Practice Stoicism and Develop Grit

https://medium.com/better-humans/how-to-practice-stoicism-and-develop-grit-912a35330fe9

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Stoicism

It is a school of philosophy founded in Athens around 300 B.C., and focuses on our psychological and emotional control we have on ourselves when faced with life’s different colours.

Stoicism says that the path to happiness is found in accepting the present moment as it is, and not to let our mind, which may desire for pleasure, or might be fearful, to control us. It tells us to go with nature’s plan and treat others right.

Grit and Stoicism

Grit is a form of perseverance and resilience mixed together, and helps us move forward in times of adversity. Grit is essential to achieving big goals and to handle the seemingly never ending obstacles and tough terrains of life.

Combining Stoicism with Grit makes your mind invincible as you focus on the right thing no matter what happens, improving your performance and results in all aspects of life.

Count Your Grit

When an obstacle, a mental block, or a difficult situation presents itself, we need to pay attention to that moment and power through it with awareness, counting the grit as a +1 credit on your grit counter. This is a mini-success in itself.

It is easier when done slowly and steadily increasing your Grits daily.

Hedonic Reset

Life, when lived normally, creates a base level of happiness. We tend to fall back on this level, no matter what happens. The secret is to reset this base level by doing a hedonic reset, stuff that appears comical and absurd, but helps you understand life and its true nature:

  • Start only drinking water and nothing else for a while.
  • Stop using your car and travel by foot instead.
  • Sleep without a pillow.
  • Stop using hot water to shower, and only take cold ones.

"That alone is in our power, which is our own work; and in this class are our opinions, impulses, desires, and aversions. What, on the contrary, is not in our power, are our bodies, possessions, glory, and power. Any delusion on this point leads to the greatest errors, misfortunes, and troubles, and to the slavery of the soul."

"That alone is in our power, which is our own work; and in this class are our opinions, impulses, desires, and aversions. What, on the contrary, is not in our power, are our bodies, possessions, glory, and power. Any delusion on this point leads to the greatest errors, misfortunes, and troubles, and to the slavery of the soul."

The Trichotomy Of Control

It states that most external events are out of our control and the only thing we can control is our own thoughts and actions.

  • If something is inside our control, we can take the necessary action and create the change we desire.
  • If it is outside our control, then we can be indifferent about it.
  • If it is partially under our control, we need to take affirmative action on what we can control.

Internal Goals

Internalizing our goal setting makes us insulated from outside circumstances. It is an extremely powerful, effective and game-changing way to approach your goals.

Example: If the goal is to write a best-selling book, it depends on external factors one cannot control. If the same goal is internalized and becomes ‘exquisitely crafting a book that expresses my vision in a unique way by writing regularly’ then it comes under one’s control, and more doable.

Negative Visualization

Most of us take our life and what all is been gifted to us for granted. This makes us ungrateful and used to what we have.

By being aware of everything around us as temporary, we begin to appreciate what we have with us. If we spent five minutes counting our blessings and even imagining what would happen if we didn’t have our loved ones in our lives, or the things we love, we begin to understand its importance.

"Begin each day by telling yourself: today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness — all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil."

"Begin each day by telling yourself: today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness — all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil."

The Best That We Can Do

By trusting the other person, giving them a benefit of doubt and keeping a calm and rational mind, we insulate ourselves from unnecessary worry.

Even if someone does something wrong, understand that they did what they believed was right. This helps us make our lives less complicate.

Criticism

We all tend to take criticism personally, and get emotionally triggered. A better way is to be objective, and take criticism as if it is towards a third person. Simply pausing after it is given to us, and asking oneself a level-headed question about it being true is another good way to overcome any stinging comment and learn from it.

Any criticism is free advice for us to be even better than we are.

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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.

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Our Sphere of Control

Contentment and being self-sufficient is about focussing your time and energy on things that you do something about.

You are responsible for the things you can impact; all the other things are beyond your control.

The Proper Value

Identify what's in your control, what's beyond, and what is in between.

Those things which are in your control should be a priority, and where you should put your time and energy.

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Stoicism, a 3rd-century philosophy from Athens and later Rome,  is a pragmatic, realistic and practical way of addressing life's problems.

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The central message of Stoicism is that we do not control life and our situations, but we control how we respond to those circumstances.

The thinking of the Stoics related to anger management, the endurance of hardships, fear of death, and handling of success or failure, is extremely relevant in today's world.

Resurgence Of Stoicism

Though earlier people misread stoicism as a philosophy based on austerity and lack of emotion, now there is a resurgence in the real thinking of stoicism, which was overlooked all these years.

Stoicism is finding resonance in today's complex world, and its philosophies seem to be understood in the intended sense.

The Art of Communication

We communicate with each other as a habit but miss a lot in what a conversation really holds.

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Zeno

“We have two ears and one mouth, therefore we should listen twice as much as we speak.”

Active Listening

When someone is coming to you for advice, you have to listen, with intent. You are not supposed to jump into a conclusion and start dishing out advice.

Usually, people just want someone to listen to their problems.

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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,...
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.

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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:

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A practical philosophical school

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.

Events don’t upset you

Beliefs about events do. Bad feelings are caused by irrational beliefs, so if you’re feeling negative emotions, focus on the belief you hold about what happens. 

For stoics there is no good or bad, there’s only perception. And you control perception. 

Control what you can

Ignore the rest. We worry about things that we have no control over. But worrying never fixed anything

The stoics are saying that if you focus your energy on what you can change, you’re going to be a lot more productive and effective. 

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5 dangers of criticism
  • Losing yourself. 
  • Isolation.
  • Self-justification.
  • Bitterness.
  • Revenge.
  • Transforming criticism

    Criticism, even done poorly, transforms leaders. The sting of criticism given years ago can still cling years later. Most often, criticisms humble you.

    Preventing criticism
    Engage people early and often. Avoid isolation. It’s difficult to criticize the plan you had a hand in making.

    Choose teammates carefully. Don’t give persistent critics a seat at the table.

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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. 

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    Everyone wants to cultivate better habits. The problem is very few of us want to do the work to make those habits a reality.

    Develop better habits by:
    • Thinking really small: it accumulates and adds up in a big way;
    • Shifting your evironment, so that good habits are easier to keep;
    • Piggybacking new habits on old habits: 
    • Surrounding yourself with good people:
    • Keeping it simple: short lists, reachable;
    • Picking yourself up when you fall.
    Self-criticism

    It compromises your goals and undermines your pursuits, whether they are academic, health related, personal, or professional.

    Self-criticism predicts depression, avoidance behaviors, loss of ...

    Self-compassion

    It generates resilience, it empowers you to be flexible, and gives you the ability to identify problems, accept negative feedback from others, and change habits that no longer serve you.

    Practice self-care at work
    • Use lunch as an act of self-care. Take a moment to notice this nourishment you’re giving yourself. 
    • Remember that, just like you, everybody feels like a fraud to a certain degree.
    • Helping people makes us feel good about ourselves and connected to others. So, instead of defaulting to “No, thanks” or “ I’m fine” when someone offers you something, try saying yes.