One reason some people to be Stoic is to live a less stressful life. One doesn’t have to suffer so much if one isn’t letting it affect your day to day living. The stoics lived to their fullest, made their greatest sacrifices, and in doing so, they made their life more complete.
If you experience hardship in your life, these stoic quotes may be helpful to you.
First, a closer look at the quotes.
What is Stoicism?
Stoicism, also called “Byzantine philosophy”, is a philosophy that’s been around since the 4th century BC. The term “Stoicism” means “steadfastness” and it bases its methods on two key principles:
Be unshakeably positive.
Acknowledge your difficulties.
To what extent can we apply these principles to our lives? The key point to remember is that neither positive thinking nor pessimism will solve our problems. It’s a simple concept, but we often forget about it. In fact, we sometimes dismiss it out of hand. Of course, having pessimistic thought patterns about ourselves is one way to reject the stoic approach. It’s not that there is nothing to be thankful for, but how we perceive our circumstances is what determines whether we achieve success or failure. Stoicism starts from the recognition that not every situation is necessarily bad, but that our outlook is a major determinant.
The good news is that even though it may be true that we’re doing our best in some areas of our life, there are things that we can be doing that would help us tremendously. If we can consistently notice and acknowledge these positive factors within our lives, the result would be our victories. On the other hand, if we reject these negative factors, we’ll most likely fail.
The Stoics felt that it was important to try new things, even in times of difficulty. They believed that it was important to put our faith in our own abilities instead of trusting others.
“For many a man, the first great task is to stand up and shake off the stupefaction of his condition. He must admit to himself the effects of his faults, a goal, rather than a punishment. He must understand that he is the cause of his own suffering, and even of the pleasures which he misses. The man of fortune has only to surrender, and his foolish, arrogant grandeur is dissipated into ashes; all the domineering pride of a former time is crushed, and what men used to call it self-respect sinks into a profound humility.
“But this transformation comes too late, for the men of fortune and status hardly notice that they have lost the great power which once defined them, and which they have lost in a few weeks. They dare not mourn, for they have not yet understood how much they ought to be thankful. What they have lost is the right to possess the bodies and minds of others.”
“Whatever you think you can make yourself, there is another quality you can acquire: happiness. This quality is the inheritance of the virtuous, the ambition of the ambitious. To be happy, one must not look on one’s suffering and misfortune with rancor or give in to our appetites, but rather should strive against them, but with a mind fixed upon happiness, one must hate and despise them, even to the point of contempt.”
“As our position in life passes, so also our spirits. We accumulate only the good that we receive from others, and the rest we lose, if we are not mindful of the lasting value of all things and if we do not have sufficient self-control and resolution to resist the soft temptations of our nature. What I now call the ordinary life is the life of modern civilization; it is the life of the body, but it is also the life of the mind and spirit. In the case of the weak, in the case of the oppressed, in the case of the weak, in the case of the man of servile dependence, in the case of the aspiring slave, a beginning of virtue is all that they need.
“The material world, like a sea of red jasper, rises above the head of the human soul. The clouds of this sea open and close at its command, and if one rejects the fear of man, whether coming from above or coming from without, he sees that he can withstand them in the hands of strength. No matter how high the advantage which the strong hold upon us, that very very advantage will cause us to tremble.”
“So long as we love the familiar pleasures and are inclined to be submissive, then the bad things which can befall us have to be hidden from us. No matter how high the position, the rich and powerful will come to see the ugly things which can happen in their charge; to remain impervious to misfortune does not make one a hero, but rather a coward, and it is not worthy of a wise man to share this quality with others.” The 13 Signs of Ruin 1.