Stoicism. The philosophy of virtue over circumstance, where the fundamental belief is the capacity of the person to overcome the external by channeling the internal.
I’m trying to live my life according to this mantra, and so far I’m feeling okey. I don’t get nervous as often because I focus on what I can do. I don’t get annoyed as often, because I avoid the annoyances as much as I can. I don’t get angry as often, because I try to see the silver lining as much as I can.
It’s not perfect in anyway, but I feel much more in control in my life by living up to the philosophy of a stoic.
I guess the best reason for this is the Serenity Prayer that is often used by reformists:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
As a religious myself, it’s easy to try and seek help from something greater, and this really encompasses everything about being human: free will.
Because when we decide to do something, it is from our own volition, and when action flows from it, it becomes a committed decision (Tony Robbins). This committed decision is our willingness to go against the tides of resistance of old habits, and assume a new one that conforms with the parameters of what was decided.
Maybe an argument against free will is that certain actions are pre determined without us making the decision ourselves. When we reach for the remote, is the decision truly ours? When you allow yourself to be controlled by your habits, then you surrender yourself to what is actually under your control.
How you behave, how you react to certain situations, these are all in your power to control. And if we don’t decide how our life goes, how it will be directed, to let go of our free will, then it’s also surrendering our own humanity.
And these are the thoughts I had with the first few pages of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations.
As one of the most famous stoics in history, his meditations are an important read to those who would like to follow stoicism as a philosophy. And just a few pages in, I began thinking about how the determinism to have total control of your one’s life is so important in facing the challenges.
So with me a few passages down the ‘Daily Stoic’ and now I’m beginning to read the Meditations, the journey of becoming a Stoic is slowly coming true.