Have you ever noticed that when someone cracks under pressure they continue to make more mistakes? Wouldn’t it be amazing to always be calm, cool, and collected? If you agree with the previous question, you might be interested in the philosophy of Stoicism.
According to Wikipedia, Stoicism is the philosophy of “accepting the moment as it presents itself, by not allowing oneself to be controlled by the desire for pleasure or by the 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.” Here are three stoic quotes that will help you put things into perspective:
- “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus
Epictetus brings up a great point. I’m sure we can all imagine something that we feel would make our lives much better, whether that’s a new boyfriend or girlfriend, a new job, or even a new life altogether.
While these things all sound great, the core feeling we all actually share when we desire something we don’t have is emptiness. The void we have inside continues to grow, affecting our moods and blinding us from the gifts we have right in front of us, such as the ability to relax after a long day, enjoy a meal with loved ones, or even step outside and enjoy the good weather.
These things are often taken for granted and are not appreciated until they are taken from us. That’s why it’s important to focus your attention on and be grateful for what you do have.
- “We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.” – Seneca
This quote has been applicable to human beings since the dawn of time. How many times have you worried over an exam or interview only to figure out later that you did well or even got the job?
This quote is all about keeping your mind on the present instead of an unfortunate and unlikely future. Worrying does nothing to help and only dampens today’s joy. Take a deep breath, and contemplate the idea that most problems are not as bad as they appear in our minds.
- “I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.” – Marcus Aurelius
In the age of social media, comparing oneself to one’s neighbor has been exponentially increased. It is easy to fall into a state of envy or to see someone with a seemingly perfect life live the life opposite to yours.
On the flip side, we also are much more exposed to critics and overall negative people. In this quote, Marcus Aurelius states how we are so self-absorbed yet so weak to the words of others when we normally do not even consider their opinions on anything else. Learn to be yourself in spite of others’ thoughts and opinions.
Our daily lives are dictated by our perception of what life is and isn’t; if you think it’s hard, it’s hard, and if you think it’s easy, then it’s easy. Oftentimes we cannot control nor rely on external events, but we can control our thought patterns and actions.
Stoicism challenges you to focus on bringing peace from within and blocking out external influences. Try to challenge yourself to view “bad” things under a different lens. Most things are not as bad as they may seem!