What is Stoicism and How Can it Turn your Life to Solid Gold?

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A few weeks ago, I got a really interesting email from a guy in Norway that said something like, “Hey Mr. MM.. What you are preaching is Pure Stoicism, with a great twist and perception on today’s world … I love it!!” * “Stoicism?” I asked, “You mean like the Stoics in Shakespearean plays that show no emotion of any sort? That doesn’t sound quite right to me.

But it turns out I had fallen into a common misconception. The Clever Norwegian pointed me to a book on the topic, which I immediately checked out of the library and read completely. It was called “ A Guide to the Good Life, The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy From reading the book, I learned that Stoicism was actually a shockingly advanced old philosophy that found many followers in ancient Rome. Although it has fallen widely out of favor in modern life, people in today’s society would probably identify the central ideas as “Hardcore Mustachianism”.

Stoicism, in short, is a series of mental techniques and ways of life that allow you to decrease and then virtually eliminate all negative emotions such as anger, fear, anxiety, and dissatisfaction, while simultaneously building up a tide of pure Joy inside you that eventually starts to make you jump around and boogie at unexpected moments, and occasionally shout out “AHH YEAH!!” as discreetly as possible to yourself when the Joy overflows.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? But over the past few years, this is exactly the transformation that has been happening to me. As I learned from the book, every good Stoic is a work in progress, and I still have much to learn and I’m not free from all negative emotions. But compared to a normal person, things are getting pretty unusually joyful up in here.

So let’s see what it’s all about.

The core of the philosophy seems to be this:

To have a good and meaningful life, you need to overcome your insatiability . Most people, at best, spend their lives in a long pursuit of happiness. So today’s successful person writes out a list of desires, then starts chasing them down and satisfying the desires. The problem is that each desire, when satisfied, tends to be replaced by a new desire. So the person continues to chase. Yet after a lifetime of pursuit, the person ends up no more satisfied than he was at the beginning. Thus, he may end up wasting his life.

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The solution, the Stoics realized, is to learn to want the things you already have, rather than wanting other things. The most interesting technique that will help you achieve this is Negative Visualization.

For example, suppose that you currently have a good working set of eyes. Imagine carefully what it would be like to live your life as a blind person. You would have to work very hard to rearrange your life to remain functional learn braille, take special precautions when walking around town and when cooking eggs at home, etc. but in the end, you could surely survive and even become happy again if you were blind. But now open your eyes. SURPRISE!! YOU HAVE THIS BONUS OF SIGHT!!!. Wow, you were already doing just fine in your blind life, but now you have working eyes too? What an incredible life — you are truly blessed with more than you even need.

It turns out that if you practice negative visualization on a regular basis, you learn to both appreciate your current life much more, and to be mentally prepared in the event of any changes in your life as well — loss of health, fortune, a loved one, etc. You have replaced negative emotions with satisfaction and even joy.

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The next great trick is the one that allows you to eliminate anxiety about the present and the future. That can be done by separating your worries into things you can control, and things you can’t. Some people worry endlessly about politics and world events — so much that it affects their ability to lead a happy life, even when in reality, world politics barely even affect their lives here in the cushioned and prosperous rich world! The Stoic solution to this is to realize that politics and the actions of other countries are completely outside of your circle of influence — so you can breathe easily and completely drop all worry about them. There is a smaller subset of these events that you CAN influence — who you vote for, and possibly where you donate your money or time. To eliminate the rest of your worry, make the votes and take the local actions, and then you can be 100% worry free.

Similarly, instead of worrying about your health as many people do, you simply work to the best of your ability to optimize the body you’ve been given, and the matter is completely closed — you can confidently move on!

As an unexpected bonus, we now know that it is the act of worrying itself that causes many of a modern person’s mental and physical problems, so by eliminating worry AND taking action, you are providing yourself with a double boost.

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Moving from the mental to the physical, Stoics actually enjoy experimenting with Voluntary Discomfort. As a contemporary Stoic, you might make a point of seeing how long you can leave the air conditioning off on a summer day, or try hiking in bare feet instead of shoes occasionally to feel the land and force your feet to adapt to tougher conditions than a moisture-wicking merino wool hiking sock. It sounds absurd by modern standards, until you realize that by doing this, you are actually broadening your comfort zone, even while you eliminate your fear of discomfort. Thanks to the practice above, you are now able to enjoy yourself in a much broader range of temperatures, and appreciate the comfort of shoes when you do have them. Meanwhile, a person with the extreme opposite philosophy might become irritated if he ever has to travel in less than a first-class airplane seat or stay in less than a five star hotel or drink sub-$500-per-bottle wine. By experimenting with voluntary discomfort, we learn to appreciate far more of our life, and can be content with a much simpler and more wholesome one.

“The more pleasures a man captures, the more masters he will have to serve” Nature Itself told the Stoics what conditions they should learn to appreciate as humans — since they realized we are all in fact an integral part of Nature. In Mustachian terminology, all of these thoughts relating to adapting your comfort level to embrace Nature are collectively referred to as Badassity.

But there’s much more to the philosophy than sitting around trying to be happy with what you’ve got. Stoics believe that the main purpose of our productive energy is to fulfill all of our life’s obligations to our best ability, and to help our fellow humans. So a stoic is actually a hard-working person who enjoys the feeling of hard work — even extremely hard work, as it just falls into the “Voluntary Discomfort/Badassity” category described above.

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Rewarding social interactions are a specialty of the Stoic. They believe that humans are social animals at the core, and thus we must exercise this part of our personality to maintain a balanced happiness. But at the same time, it is not rational to have any interest in fame or social status, since these are fleeting indulgences rather than sources of true happiness.

When we encounter insults from other people, we must deal with them with reason rather than anger. Either the insult is true, in which case we should be grateful for the insulter for pointing out this area in which we could improve, or it is false, in which case we should pity the insulter for his lack of accurate perception. Either way, an insult is nothing to get upset about. In the case of a True Fuckwit who not only insults us, but manages to commit major injustices to us, the best revenge is simply to live an even better life while refusing to be like that person. I have actually been through a major encounter with one of these TFs , and I while my initial anger took over a year to subside, I am happy to report that I am now exacting my “revenge” more thoroughly each day.

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The core of all of these tricks and techniques is to let reason triumph over your reflexive emotions. By understanding human emotions and motivations as thoroughly as possible, Stoics are able to bend our evolutionary programming and use it for the purpose of attaining a ridiculous amount of happiness, rather than its original purpose, which is to survive and reproduce successfully.

For example, our insatiable desire for MORE of everything is not a moral failing on the part of humans. It’s a natural evolutionary program, just as simple as the programming that makes even YOU raise an eyebrow when you see an unusually curvaceous and sexy butt. Ancestors of ours who were insatiable, and always wanted more mates, more children, more food, more social standing, and more security against predators and enemies were quite simply the ones who got to produce the largest number of surviving children. But while insatiability did historically lead to more children, it does not lead to more happiness in a modern life. For happiness, you have to trick yourself into being happy with the things you’ve got.

Last in my own miniature summary of Stoicism, I’d like to point out the difference between Pleasure and Happiness. An alternative philosophy called Hedonism suggests that to have the best life, you simply maximize pleasure. But Stoics reject that, since pleasure is just one dimension of true happiness. Eating cupcakes is pleasurable, as is sex, sleeping in, drinking wine, and watching TV. Higher level pleasures might be had by driving a fancy car for the first few times, receiving compliments from important people or having millions of people ask for your autograph. But each pleasure very rapidly wears out if overused, and the Hedonist is left scrambling desperately higher up the pyramid of earthly pleasures until he runs out of money or health. Meanwhile, by focusing on Happiness — the underlying signal delivered by Pleasure, the Stoic can make it a much more consistent and tranquil companion in his life. In our society as well as those thousands of years ago, the Stoics is truly the one who has Got It Goin’ On.

And these days, he ends up becoming much richer as an almost-trivial side benefit.

* Thanks Rolf!

Source: (mrmoneymustache.com)


is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. It is a philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world. According to its teachings, as social beings, the path to eudaimonia (happiness, or blessedness) is found in accepting the moment as it presents itself, by not allowing oneself to be controlled by the desire for pleasure or fear of pain, by using one’s mind to understand the world and to do one’s part in nature’s plan, and by working together and treating others fairly and justly.

The Stoics are especially known for teaching that “ virtue is the only good” for human beings, and that external things such as health, wealth, and pleasure are not good or bad in themselves ( adiaphora ), but have value as “material for virtue to act upon”. Alongside Aristotelian ethics , the Stoic tradition forms one of the major founding approaches to virtue ethics The Stoics also held that certain destructive emotions resulted from errors of judgment, and they believed people should aim to maintain a will (called prohairesis ) that is “in accordance with nature “. Because of this, the Stoics thought the best indication of an individual’s philosophy was not what a person said, but how a person behaved.

To live a good life, one had to understand the rules of the natural order since they thought everything was rooted in nature.

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Many Stoics such as Seneca and Epictetus emphasized that because “virtue is sufficient for happiness “, a sage would be emotionally resilient to misfortune. This belief is similar to the meaning of the phrase “stoic calm”, though the phrase does not include the “radical ethical” Stoic views that only a sage can be considered truly free, and that all moral corruptions are equally vicious.

Stoicism flourished throughout the Roman and Greek world until the 3rd century AD, and among its adherents was Emperor Marcus Aurelius . It experienced a decline after Christianity became the state religion in the 4th century AD. Since then it has seen revivals, notably in the Renaissance Neostoicism ) and in the contemporary era ( modern Stoicism

Source: (en.wikipedia.org)


Stoicism was originally known as “Zenonism”, after the founder Zeno of Citium . However, this name was soon dropped, likely because the Stoics did not consider their founders to be perfectly wise, and to avoid the risk of the philosophy becoming a cult of personality The name “Stoicism” derives from the Stoa Poikile Ancient Greek : ἡ ποικίλη στοά), or “painted porch”, a colonnade decorated with mythic and historical battle scenes, on the north side of the Agora in Athens , where Zeno and his followers gathered to discuss their ideas.

Sometimes Stoicism is therefore referred to as “The Stoa”, or the philosophy of “The Porch”.

Source: (en.wikipedia.org)

Modern usage

The word “stoic” commonly refers to someone who is indifferent to pain, pleasure, grief, or joy.

The modern usage as a “person who represses feelings or endures patiently” was first cited in 1579 as a noun and in 1596 as an adjective In contrast to the term “ Epicurean “, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s entry on Stoicism notes, “the sense of the English adjective ‘stoical’ is not utterly misleading with regard to its philosophical origins.”

Source: (en.wikipedia.org)

Basic tenets

Philosophy does not promise to secure anything external for man, otherwise it would be admitting something that lies beyond its proper subject-matter. For as the material of the carpenter is wood, and that of statuary bronze, so the subject-matter of the art of living is each person’s own life.

Epictetus, Discourses The Stoics provided a unified account of the world, constructed from ideals of logic monistic physics and naturalistic ethics. Of these, they emphasized ethics as the main focus of human knowledge, though their logical theories were of more interest for later philosophers.

Stoicism teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions ; the philosophy holds that becoming a clear and unbiased thinker allows one to understand the universal reason ( logos ). A primary aspect of Stoicism involves improving the individual’s ethical and moral well-being: “Virtue consists in a will that is in agreement with Nature.” This principle also applies to the realm of interpersonal relationships; “to be free from anger, envy, and jealousy,” and to accept even slaves as “equals of other men, because all men alike are products of nature”.

The Stoic ethic espouses a deterministic perspective; in regard to those who lack Stoic virtue, Cleanthes once opined that the wicked man is “like a dog tied to a cart, and compelled to go wherever it goes”.

A Stoic of virtue, by contrast, would amend his will to suit the world and remain, in the words of Epictetus, “sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy,” thus positing a “completely autonomous” individual will, and at the same time a universe that is “a rigidly deterministic single whole”. This viewpoint was later described as “ Classical Pantheism “ (and was adopted by Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza

Source: (en.wikipedia.org)

What Is Stoicism? A Definition & 9 Stoic Exercises To Get You Started

For those of us who live our lives in the real world, there is one branch of philosophy created just for us:

Stoicism . It’s a philosophy designed to make us more resilient, happier, more virtuous and more wise–and as a result, better people, better parents and better professionals.

Stoicism has been a common thread though some of history’s great leaders. It has been practiced by Kings, presidents, artists, writers and entrepreneurs. Marcus Aurelius. Frederick the Great, Montaigne, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Theodore Roosevelt, General James Mattis, just to name a few were all influenced by Stoic philosophy.

So what is Stoicism? Who were the Stoics? How can you be a Stoic? We answer all your questions and more below. Click the links below to navigate to a specific section or scroll and read the entirety of the page:

Source: (dailystoic.com)

1. Sources of our information on the Stoics

Since the Stoics stress the systematic nature of their philosophy, the ideal way to evaluate the Stoics’ distinctive ethical views would be to study them within the context of a full exposition of their philosophy. Here, however, we meet with the problem about the sources of our knowledge about Stoicism. We do not possess a single complete work by any of the first three heads of the Stoic school: the ‘founder,’ Zeno of Citium in Cyprus (344–262 BCE), Cleanthes (d. 232 BCE) or Chrysippus (d. ca. 206 BCE). Chrysippus was particularly prolific, composing over 165 works, but we have only fragments of his works. The only complete works by Stoic philosophers that we possess are those by writers of Imperial times, Seneca (4 BCE–65 CE), Epictetus (c. 55–135) and the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121–180) and these works are principally focused on ethics. They tend to be long on moral exhortation but give only clues to the theoretical bases of the moral system. For detailed information about the Old Stoa (i.e. the first three heads of the school and their pupils and associates) we have to depend on either doxographies, like pseudo-Plutarch Philosophers’ Opinions on Nature, Diogenes Laertius’ Lives of Eminent Philosophers (3rd c. CE), and Stobaeus’ Excerpts (5th c. CE) — and their sources Aetius (ca. 1st c. CE) and Arius Didymus (1st c. BCE–CE) — or other philosophers (or Christian apologists) who discuss the Stoics for their own purposes. Nearly all of the latter group are hostile witnesses. Among them are the Aristotelian commentator Alexander of Aphrodisias (late 2nd c. CE) who criticises the Stoics in On Mixture and On Fate, among other works; the Platonist Plutarch of Chaeronea (1st-2nd c. CE) who authored works such as On Stoic Self-Contradictions and Against the Stoics on Common Conceptions; the medical writer Galen (2nd c. CE), whose outlook is roughly Platonist; the Pyrrhonian skeptic, Sextus Empiricus (2nd c. CE); Plotinus (3rd c. CE); the Christian bishops Eusebius (3rd–4th c. CE) and Nemesius (ca. 400 CE); and the sixth-century neoplatonist commentator on Aristotle, Simplicius. Another important source is Cicero (1st c. BCE). Though his own philosophical position derives from that of his teacher Philo of Larissa and the New Academy, he is not without sympathy for what he sees as the high moral tone of Stoicism. In works like his Academic Books, On the Nature of the Gods, and On Ends he provides summaries in Latin, with critical discussion, of the views of the major Hellenistic schools of thought.

From these sources, scholars have attempted to piece together a picture of the content, and in some cases, the development of Stoic doctrine. In some areas, there is a fair bit of consensus about what the Stoics thought and we can even attach names to some particular innovations. However, in other areas the proper interpretation of our meagre evidence is hotly contested. Until recently, non-specialists have been largely excluded from the debate because many important sources were not translated into modern languages. Fragments of Stoic works and testimonia in their original Greek and Latin were collected into a three-volume set in 1903–5 by H. von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta. In writings on the ‘old’ Stoics, fragments and testimonia are often referred to by von Arnim’s volume numbers and text numeration; e.g. SVF I.345=Diogenes Laertius, Lives 4.40. In 1987, A. A. Long and David Sedley brought out The Hellenistic Philosophers (LS) which contains in its first volume English translations and commentary of many important texts on Stoics, Epicureans and Skeptics. In 1988 Long and Sedley was followed by a collection of primary texts edited by B. Inwood and L. P. Gerson entitled Hellenistic Philosophy. Unless otherwise specifically noted, I refer in what follows to texts by or about Stoics using the author’s name followed by Long and Sedley’s notation for the text. For example, ‘Aetius, 26A’ refers to section 26 of Aetius’s work, text A (unless otherwise noted, I use their translation, sometimes slightly altered). The Inwood and Gerson collection translates many of the same texts, but unlike LS does not chop them up into smaller bits classified by topic. Each approach has its merits, but the LS collection better serves the needs of an encyclopedia entry. For French translation of Chrysippus, see Dufour (2004). For German translation of the early Stoa, see Nickel (2009).

For additional information, see also the entry on doxography of ancient philosophy

Source: (plato.stanford.edu)

Practice Misfortune

“It is in times of security that the spirit should be preparing itself for difficult times; while fortune is bestowing favors on it is then is the time for it to be strengthened against her rebuffs.” -Seneca Seneca , who enjoyed great wealth as the adviser of Nero, suggested that we ought to set aside a certain number of days each month to practice poverty. Take a little food, wear your worst clothes, get away from the comfort of your home and bed. Put yourself face to face with want, he said, you’ll ask yourself “Is this what I used to dread?” It’s important to remember that this is an exercise and not a rhetorical device. He doesn’t mean “think about” misfortune, he means live it. Comfort is the worst kind of slavery because you’re always afraid that something or someone will take it away. But if you can not just anticipate but practice misfortune, then chance loses its ability to disrupt your life.

Montaigne was fond of an ancient drinking game where the members took turns holding up a painting of a corpse inside a coffin and cheered “Drink and be merry for when you’re dead you will look like this.” Emotions like anxiety and fear have their roots in uncertainty and rarely in experience. Anyone who has made a big bet on themselves knows how much energy both states can consume. The solution is to do something about that ignorance. Make yourself familiar with the things, the worst-case scenarios, that you’re afraid of.

Practice what you fear, whether a simulation in your mind or in real-life.

Then you, your company, and your employees will have little left to keep you from thinking and acting big.

The downside is almost always reversible or transient.

Source: (tim.blog)

Train Perception to Avoid Good and Bad

“Choose not to be harmed and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been.” -Marcus Aurelius The Stoics had an exercise called Turning the Obstacle Upside Down. What they meant to do was make it impossible to not practice the art of philosophy. Because if you can properly turn a problem upside down, every “bad” becomes a new source of good.

Suppose for a second that you are trying to help someone and they respond by being surly or unwilling to cooperate. Instead of making your life more difficult, the exercise says, they’re actually directing you towards new virtues; for example, patience or understanding. Or, the death of someone close to you; a chance to show fortitude. Marcus Aurelius described it like this: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” It should sound familiar because it is the same thinking behind Obama’s “teachable moments.” Right before the election, Joe Klein asked Obama how he’d made his decision to respond to the Reverend Wright scandal. He said something like ‘when the story broke I realized the best thing to do wasn’t damage control, it was to speak to Americans like adults.’ And what he ended up doing was turning a negative situation into the perfect platform for his landmark speech about race.

The common refrain about entrepreneurs is that they take advantage of, even create, opportunities. To the Stoic, everything is opportunity. The Reverend Wright scandal, a frustrating case where your help goes unappreciated, the death of a loved one, none of those are “opportunities” in the normal sense of the word. In fact, they are the opposite. They are obstacles. What a Stoic does is turn every obstacle into an opportunity.

There is no good or bad to the practicing Stoic. There is only perception. You control perception. You can choose to extrapolate past your first impression (‘X happened.’ –> ‘X happened and now my life is over.’). If you tie your first response to dispassion, you’ll find that everything is simply an opportunity.

Source: (tim.blog)

And as you can tell, I think he passed with flying colours.’ ‘You are unfortunate in my judgment, for you have never been unfortunate’ Stockdale rejected the false optimism proffered by Christianity, because he knew, from direct observation, that false hope is how you went insane in that prison. (aeon.co)

At the political level, the Antigonid dynasty (which ruled Greece and Macedon from shortly after the death of Alexander to 168 BCE) had connections with the Stoic philosophers. (plato.stanford.edu)

The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the playwright and political advisor Seneca , and the slave turned prominent teacher Epictetus these are the three Stoics you need to get to know first. (dailystoic.com)

It’s easy to gloss over the fact that Marcus Aurelius was the Roman Emperor without truly absorbing the gravity of that position. (tim.blog)

The Greek scholar Zeno is the founder, and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius the most famous practitioner, while the Roman statesman Seneca is probably the most eloquent and entertaining. (aeon.co)

Stoic philosophical and spiritual practices included logic , Socratic dialogue and self-dialogue , contemplation of death , mortality salience , training attention to remain in the present moment (similar to mindfulness and some forms of Buddhist meditation ), and daily reflection on everyday problems and possible solutions e.g. with journaling . (en.wikipedia.org)

In the tradition of Socratic moral theory, the Stoics regard virtues like courage and justice, and so on, as knowledge or science within the soul about how to live. (plato.stanford.edu)

This is relevant because Zeno came to elaborate a philosophy that was both of clear Socratic inspiration (virtue is the Chief Good) and a compromise between Polemo’s and Stilpo’s positions, as the first one endorsed the idea that there are external goods though they are of secondary importance while the second one claimed that nothing external can be good or bad. (iep.utm.edu)

It influenced Christianity, as well as a number of major philosophical figures throughout the ages (for example, Thomas More, Descartes, Spinoza), and in the early 21st century saw a revival as a practical philosophy associated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and similar approaches. (iep.utm.edu)

Most crucially, however, Stoicism became important in Rome during the fraught time of the transition between the late Republic and the Empire, with Cato the Younger eventually becoming a role model for later Stoics because of his political opposition to the “tyrant” Julius Caesar. (iep.utm.edu)

This sense of freedom involves ‘the power to live as you will’ (Cicero, Stoic Paradoxes 5, 34). (plato.stanford.edu)

The Stoic Chrysippus seems to have connected this logically-motivated pathway to fatalism with the question of causal determinism (Cicero, 38G). (plato.stanford.edu)

According to Arcesilaus, “no impression arising from something true is such that an impression arising from something false could not also be just like it” (Cicero, 40D). (plato.stanford.edu)

They also replied that the Stoic sage would withhold assent in cases where things are too similar to be confident that one had it right (Cicero, 40I) — Sphaerus’ response to his predicament was to say that he only assented to the proposition that it was ‘reasonable’ that what he was presented with were pomegranates (and that was true!). (plato.stanford.edu)

Cicero’s quotation of Terence’s line ‘nothing human is alien to me’ in the context of On Duties I.30 echoes this thought. (plato.stanford.edu)

Cicero provides an engaging, if not altogether rigorous, discussion of the question of whether virtue is sufficient for happiness in Tusculan Disputations , book V. (plato.stanford.edu)

Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations , books III and IV take up the question of whether it is possible and desirable to rid oneself of the emotions. 6.1 On Greek culture and politics The ordinary Greek in the street may have had little idea of the views of Plato or Aristotle. (plato.stanford.edu)

Panaetius hovers in the background of one of the most influential books in moral philosophy up through the late 19th century: Cicero’s On Duties or De Officiis . (plato.stanford.edu)

In one of his letters to his friend Atticus (XVI. 11.4) Cicero says that he based the first two books of his work on Panaetius’ treatise of the same name. (plato.stanford.edu)

It was natural that an ambitious and well off Roman like Cicero (106–43 BCE) should go and study at the philosophical schools in Athens and return to popularise Greek philosophy for his less cosmopolitan countrymen. (plato.stanford.edu)

The tradition of theories of natural law in ethics seems to stem directly from Stoicism. (Compare Cicero, de Legibus I, 18 with later writers like Aquinas in Summa Theologica II, 2, q. 94.) Augustine, alas, chose to follow the Stoics rather than the Platonists (his usual allies among the philosophers) on the question of animals’ membership in the moral community ( City of God 1.20). (plato.stanford.edu)

This is common knowledge. (dailystoic.com)

Interestingly, in the first book of Meditations , titled “Debts and Lessons,” Marcus thanks one of his philosophy teachers, Rusticus, “for introducing me to Epictetus’s lectures — and loaning me his own copy.” The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living features not only 366 all-new translations of brilliant stoic passages but 366 exciting stories, examples and explanations of the stoic principles from Marcus Aurelius , Seneca and Epictetus but also some of the lesser known but equally wise stoics from Zeno to Cleanthes to Chrysippus. (dailystoic.com)

The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday Inspired by Stoicism and the maxim from Marcus Aurelius “The impediment to action advances action. (dailystoic.com)

Take Alexander the Great who conquered the known world and had cities named in his honor. (dailystoic.com)

Remember–It’s All Ephemeral “Alexander the Great and his mule driver both died and the same thing happened to both.” -Marcus Aurelius I understand that entrepreneurs need to dream big and have unshakable faith in themselves in order to do great things. (tim.blog)

Seneca famously had to commit suicide on Nero’s orders, and Epictetus was exiled to Greece (where he established his school at Nicopolis) by Domitian. (iep.utm.edu)

For instance, “If Zeno is in Athens than Zeno is in Greece” is a conditional composite assertible, constructed out of the individual simple assertibles “Zeno is in Athens” and “Zeno is in Greece.” A major difference between Stoic assertibles and Fregean propositions is that the truth or falsehood of assertibles can change with time: “Zeno is in Athens” may be true now but not tomorrow, and it may become true again next month. (iep.utm.edu)

Epictetus fled to Nicopolis in Greece where he founded a philosophy school and taught until his death. (dailystoic.com)

Sophists were called from all over Greece to see what they could do about his grief, to no avail. (dailystoic.com)

Sophists were called from all over Greece to see what they could do about his grief, to no avail. (tim.blog)

The Enchiridion |Epictetus SEE MORE EXAMPLES Stoicism [ (stoh-uh-siz-uhm) ] A philosophy that flourished in ancient Greece and Rome . (dictionary.com)

According to Arcesilaus, “no impression arising from something true is such that an impression arising from something false could not also be just like it” (Cicero, 40D). (plato.stanford.edu)

Thus instead of automatically commanding assent, the cognitive impression (according to later Stoics) commands assent “if there is no impediment” (Sextus Empiricus, 40K), and if it has been successfully “tested” and is “irreversible” (cf. (plato.stanford.edu)

According to this account, then, Stoic epistemology is externalist (for example, Almeder 1995), rather than internalist (for example, Goldman 1980). (iep.utm.edu)

Philosophers who pine for supreme psychological liberation have often failed to realise that they belong to a confederacy that includes the Stoics. ‘According to nature you want to live?’ Friedrich Nietzsche taunts the Stoics in Beyond Good and Evil (1886): (aeon.co)

The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson (And Tolstoy and Dickens) |Samuel Fragoso|October 26, 2014 |DAILY BEAST Stoicism has an appeal for anyone who faces uncertainty–that is, for all of us. (dictionary.com)

A Beginner’s Guide to Stoic Philosophy | Forge — Forge (forge.medium.com)


  • Robertson is the author of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor and his Stoic Week is an online event that occurs each fall (the next one is October 19–25), and promises “an opportunity to join thousands of other participants around the world as they learn to apply Stoic concepts and techniques in their daily lives.
  • The follow-up the next morning is that old Stoic chestnut: There is nothing “in human life better than justice, truthfulness, self-control, courage.
  • Marcus reminds us that power, wealth, and pleasure will never give us the lasting satisfaction of virtuous living.
  • “ I’ve done my work in writing the book, and I don’t actually control how many people buy the thing, read it, like it, review it, or say nice things about it.
  • Were the ancient rock stars of Stoicism Zeno, Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Cato, etc.

7 lessons from ancient Stoics on morality, success, and happiness — Business Insider — Business Insider (businessinsider.com)


  • 1. Find a mentor
  • 2. We don’t control what happened, we control how we respond
  • 3. Be different
  • 4. Value virtue
  • 5. If you can’t do good, at least do not harm
  • 6. Compromise is key
  • 7. Memento Mori

The Stoicism of John Lennon — The Good Men Project (goodmenproject.com)


  • Marcus Aurelius goes so far as to say that although as emperor
  • Although they did believe in a god, of sorts, for the Stoics therefore, like Lennon, there’s no Heaven or Hell, just the physical world around us.
  • Indeed, Stoic ethics and theory of justice is based on a concept of universal “natural law”, which is more fundamental than the laws written by legislators for any particular nation.

6 Lessons From Stoic Philosophy to Improve Your Day | Forge — Forge (forge.medium.com)


  • Meditate on your mortality
  • Find a mentor
  • Determine the limits of your control
  • Stand out
  • Value virtue
  • If you can’t do good, at least do not harm
  • Meditate on your mortality

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