Stoicism (IM 703)

“If a man knows not which port he sails, no wind is favorable.” – Seneca

It is the way of life which involves training and practice for endurance of pain and hardship without even displaying the feelings. It helps us to regulate our thoughts and emotions.

Stoicism has been growing increasingly over past decade, with the suggestions from numbers of silicon valley entrepreneurs and other all around the world. Stoicism is an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge; the wise live in harmony with the divine reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.

It includes four virtues which are: wisdom, justice, courage, and moderation. The practice of stoicism started in today’s world from one of these books: Letters from a Stoic by Seneca, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, The discourses of Epictetus, The Enchiridion, and On the shortness of life by Seneca.

Some of the powerful quotes from stoic philosophers are:

Remember: Matter. How tiny your share of it. Time. How brief and fleeting your allotment of it. Fate. How small a role you play in it.
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be One.” – Marcus Aurelius

“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” – Marcus Aurelius

Things stand outside of us, themselves by themselves, neither knowing anything of themselves nor expressing any judgment.
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“He who fears death will never do anything worth of a man who is alive.” – Seneca

Let us meet with bravery whatever may befall us. Let us never feel a shudder at the thought of being wounded or of being made a prisoner, or of poverty or persecution.
– Seneca, Letters from a Stoic

“How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?” – Epictetus

“Don’t seek for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will—then your life will flow well.” – Epictetus

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” – Epictetus

“Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.”- Epictetus

We should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?”
– Epictetus, Enchiridion

It’s something like going on an ocean voyage. What can I do? Pick the captain, the boat, the date, and the best time to sail. But then a storm hits… What are my options? I do the only thing I am in a position to do, drown — but fearlessly, without bawling or crying out to God, because I know that what is born must also die.
– Epictetus, Discourses

“I begin to speak only when I’m certain what I’ll say isn’t better left unsaid.” – Cato

“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.” – Viktor Frankl


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