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Stoicism isn’t an easy-to-follow road. There are many principles to keep in mind and to live by.
I will sail across the ocean, if nothing prevents me.
Attributed to Seneca by Donald Robertson
What are you reading this magazine for?
You won’t get a badge of honor or some other award for learning about Stoicism. Nobody cares what books you read or what you know about ancient philosophy.
When force of circumstance upsets your equanimity, lose no time in recovering your self-control, and do not remain out of tune longer than you can help. Habitual recurrence to the harmony will increase your mastery of it.
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.11
The Stoics used their philosophy to correct their own faults, not to judge others for theirs. If anything, they tried to show kindness and forgiveness toward others, knowing that they’ve gone wrong themselves before. As Marcus Aurelius reminded himself:
The Stoics often summarized their main principles in succinct statements such as
Live with aretê.
(Always try to express your best self.)
Change is a universal law of nature.
The Stoics shared dozens of practical ideas to put their philosophy into action. The following is one of my favorites – I try to keep it ready at mind whenever possible.