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JONAS SALZGEBER

Are We Meant to Co-operate?

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

Understanding our place in the world.

 


Obstacles as Opportunities for Practicing Virtues

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

Every annoying person is a chance for patience, kindness, and forgiveness. Every challenging situation is a chance for perseverance and hard work.


Count Your Blessings

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

Don’t set your mind on things you don’t possess as if they were yours, but count the blessings you actually possess and think how much you would desire them if they weren’t already yours. But watch yourself, that you don’t value these things to the point of being troubled if you should lose them.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 7.27


Scrape Off Your Own Faults

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

We label people on the basis of very little information. We’re prejudiced. Oh, he’s a teacher. Oh, she’s a woman. Oh, look at those shoes he’s wearing. We judge others constantly. We find flaws in others as if it’s a game. It’s not really that we always want to judge them. It happens automatically, these judgments pop up almost magically in our minds.


The Small Price Of Tranquility

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

This is one of my favourite Stoic ideas:

Starting with things of little value—a bit of spilled oil, a little stolen wine—repeat to yourself: ‘For such a small price I buy tranquility and peace of mind.’ – Epictetus, Enchiridion 12


Focus on simple living

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

Living simply

Is it not madness and the wildest lunacy to desire so much when you can hold so little? (Seneca, Consolation to Helvia, 10)


Manage your expectations

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

We act surprised by what happens

The cucumber is bitter? Then throw it out. There are brambles in the path? Then go around them. That’s all you need to know. Nothing more. Don’t demand to know ‘why such things exist.’ Anyone who understands the world will laugh at you, just as a carpenter would if you seemed shocked at finding sawdust in his workshop, or a shoemaker at scraps of leather leftover from work. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 8.50)


The anti-puppet mindset

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

We are puppets on strings

If a person gave away your body to some passersby, you’d be furious. Yet you hand over your mind to anyone who comes along, so they may abuse you, leaving it disturbed and troubled—have you no shame in that?

(Epictetus, Enchiridion, 28)


The art of living the good life

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

How to live a good life? This classic philosophic question stands at the origin of the primary concern of Stoic philosophy: How to live one’s life, or how to master “the art of living.”
 


What you do now matters

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

Dear stranger... the things that seem to stand in our way, maybe they are here for us. Not against us.

 


On how not to fear death

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

Fear of death is irrational - There’s nothing we fear more than our own death. Yet this fear is irrational, say the Stoics, nothing but rumors from the living.


The art of listening

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

Are we listening? Once you start observing conversations, you’ll quickly recognize that most people are terrible listeners. 


A time to evaluate the nature of what we have

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

We have no grounds for self-admiration, as though we were surrounded by our own possessions; they have been loaned to us. We may use and enjoy them, but the one who allotted his gift decides how long we are to be tenants; our duty is to keep ready the gifts we have been given for an indefinite time and to return them when called upon, making no complaint:. 

Seneca, Consolation to Marcia 


Play your given roles well

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

Remember that you are an actor in a play determined by the author: if short, then short; if long, then long. If he wants you to act as a beggar, then act even that with excellence, just as a cripple, a ruler or a citizen. Because that is your objective: to act the role that is given to you well. To select the role is up to someone else. 

Epictetus, Enchiridion 17 


Paying attention: The skill of practice

Feature || JONAS SALZGEBER

Stoicism isn’t an easy-to-follow road. There are many principles to keep in mind and to live by.