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3 Stoic Ways To Be Happy

Many people these days are concerned with achieving a happy life but often lack the skills and knowledge to do so luckily thousands of years ago the old Stoics already figured out how to suffer less and enjoy more with a system of exercises wisdom and ethics inspired by the workings of the universe stoicism is a philosophy for happiness in this article I will present you three stoic ways to be happy the meaning of the word happiness is different for every person . some people think of happiness as having a lot of money other people think about enjoying the company of their loved ones the Greek word eudaimonia can be translated to happiness although the Stoics use it to describe the state of living in accordance with nature living in accordance with nature leads to a sense of inner peace and contentment which in many spiritual traditions is true happiness now let’s dive in one alter your judgments the Stoics believed that events aren’t inherently good or bad but that the mind makes it so why is this important because most things that happen in our lives are beyond our control and there are actually very few things that we do have control over one thing that we do have control over is our opinion or in other words our ability to judge during the time that the great stoic Epictetus was alive people often went for nice baths in one of the many bathhouses during these visits many things overcame them like theft splashing water and people using abusive language these may seem undesirable experiences but the way these experiences affect us depends on how we judge them Epictetus said and I quote for thus if any hindrance arises in bathing you will have it ready to say it was not only to bathe that I desired but to keep my mind in a state conformable to nature and I will not keep it if I am bothered at things that happen and quote a mind state conformable to nature points to equanimity and equanimity is a consequence of living in accordance with your own inborn nature as well as the nature of the universe simply put be a virtuous person and be skillful about your judgments in regards to things that are not up to you which brings us to the next point to live virtuously in my article about the three pillars of stoicism I’ve already spoken about vices and virtues that are part of stoic ethics these vices and virtues are connected to what the Stoics call living in accordance with nature vices are considered bad and go against nature and virtues are considered good and go along with nature virtue can be subdivided into wisdom justice courage and moderation the fights can be subdivided into foolishness injustice cowardice and intemperance according to the Stoics virtue always leads to happiness and vice always leads to misery so the solution for a happy life is quite simple to live virtuously and avoid vice now there’s a lot more to life than good and bad the large gray area between the favorable zenith of virtue and the undesirable nadir of advice there is the indifference like life death reputation ugliness beauty and wealth indifference aren’t necessarily good or bad but rather preferred or diss preferred because indifference are seen as inferior to virtue and vice when it comes to a happy life they shouldn’t be the focus I will make a more detailed articles about vice and virtue in the future 3 lower your expectations the essence of high expectations is that we expect a desirable outcome in regards to things that we do not have control over taking such a position towards external things will eventually lead to disappointment because they often don’t work out the way we have imagined ourselves for example you expect your father to act in a certain way like a quote unquote good father who was there for you when you need him to respect your decisions and shows affection instead he is flaky he doesn’t respect your decisions and act cold and affection less the question is is it your father that causes the hurt or the position you take towards your father Epictetus said and a quote is you naturally entitled than to a good father no only to a father and the condition and characteristic of a philosopher is that he expects all hurt and benefit from self the marks of a proficient are that he centers no one praises no one blames no one accuses no one and quotes Epictetus points out that you’re not entitled to the things that you wish for but only to the things that are naturally given to you expecting more than nature offers you results in suffering this suffering comes from the position you take it your wish for things to have happened differently and not from the events itself Marcus Aurelius had to deal with many difficult people and he knew that the two optimistic outlooks would only set him up for disappointment thus he applied a negative visualization to prepare for the day and a quote today I’ll be meeting with interference ingratitude insolence disloyalty ill-will and selfishness all of them due to the offenders ignorance of what is good or evil and quote this is actually a great exercise to curb once high expectations in order to be less disturbed by what the future puts on your plate.

 

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3 Comments

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