These were my thoughts when I first started out with Stoicism. I knew I wanted a cohesive philosophy of life, but I wasn’t sure what the main points were. Failure to have philosophy of life guaranteed that I wasn’t making the most of my limited time.
I soon realised that everyone could be a philosopher. It wasn’t the sole remit of dusty academics. Human beings are rational but become distracted by day-to-day problems, misfortunes and worries. This is why Stoicism attracted me.
So in this post I’ll set out my understanding of stoic philosophy in seven key points. Use these as a springboard to further research and to leading to a happier, calmer life. Here we go ….
- Happiness is freedom from unhelpful emotions.
- Reduce unhelpful emotions by living with virtue.
- Virtue arises by being in harmony with nature.
- Nature is accepting we are small parts of a bigger, ever changing whole, created by events outside of our control.
- Happiness and virtue arise from personal choice and continuous attention to our thoughts.
- The things called good by most people, such as health, possessions, reputation, and the like, are often aligned with our nature.
- But they are not always aligned with our nature. Sometimes you may obtain or maintain them at the expense of a person’s integrity.
How would you summarise Stoicism? What is your Stoic elevator pitch? What have I missed out? Leave a comment below: