By living according to our nature (a thinking rational and moral being) and by developing our own virtues instead of being negatively affected by other’s perception, we can be happy and successful in life. This is one of the principles of Stoicism. A name that is said to be coming from a particular street in Athens and similar to Buddhism in the east, Stoicism is a western philosophical tradition that helped shape the civilization all throughout the millennia. However, this very important school of thought originating from the intellectual culture of the ancient Rome, and later to its neighbouring places, is now almost forgotten by the modern society. The good thing is, in some places in the US and in Europe, experts and intellectual thinkers have succeeded to bring it back to the table of discussion again and even made it more accessible through the internet.
We all know that if we want to manage our lives successfully and better, we should exercise our mind by reading and learning or meditating on philosophies and other moral ideas for living. This is because our so-called inner space or consciousness is the only thing responsible for everything we say, do, and create on this world. And if you are looking for an appropriate philosophical ideas that can help you become stronger and spirited in facing hard challenges in your life, Stoicism is the right one. Started by great philosophers such as Socrates, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, among others, it is a philosophical movement that have existed for hundreds of years; contributing a lot to the development of our modern society and have made us more peaceful and productive in our co-existence with one another today.
Through more media coverage, you will notice today that more and more people are into this philosophical movement. Modernity needs this for in these days, people have been so conditioned that they can control everything, including nature and the evolution of life itself. The truth according to the stoics is, we cannot control the external world or even most of what other people think. What we really need to do instead is to focus on the things that are under our control. These things, usually can be improved internally (meaning within our self or through our sincere self-improvement efforts) are our character, perceptions, cognitive abilities, mental capacities, virtue, beliefs, actions, etc. As emphasized by Stoicism, by improving these things through intellectual and physical hard work, and by using the obstacles as tools for defying the challenges, we can attain happiness that is truly not dependent on others or external things.
If you want to learn more about Stoicism, check out these websites and if possible, use the ideas for improving your life and the lives of the people you care about.
- Philosophy for Life: An Interview With Jules Evans
- 8 Important Lessons Stoic Philosophy Will Teach You About Being Happy
- How Stoicism Changes Lives