Stoic Philosophy, which is quite distinct from traditional philosophies, teaches us self-control and how to maintain courage, patience, and tranquility during challenging times. Living life according to Stoic principles might seem a bit difficult, but if practiced well, it can render you emotionally and mentally invulnerable to anything the world throws at you. So, let’s take a look at some rules related to living life with Stoicism in today’s article ‘Stoic Rules: 8 Stoic Practices for Better Life’.
1. Focus on efforts not results
Stoicism teaches us that we should pay attention to the efforts we put into whatever goals we are working towards, and emphasize diligent hard work rather than being fixated on their outcomes.
One of the reasons for adopting this approach in stoic philosophy is that we shouldn’t concentrate on things that are beyond our control. When we work on something, the amount of effort we can invest in it is within our control, whereas the ultimate result is not.
Therefore, in stoicism, the emphasis is placed on focusing on efforts, which are within our control, rather than focusing on outcomes, which are not.
2. Strict with yourself, forgiving for others
Stoicism places a significant emphasis on one’s own toughness, whether it’s emotional, mental, or physical. Here as well, the same Stoic philosophy is being discussed, where the idea is to be strict with oneself but humble and forgiving towards others.
Many individuals lack self-discipline. They don’t put in enough effort towards their goals, consume entertainment excessively, don’t have a fixed sleep schedule, don’t eat healthily, and neglect their own well-being. Ironically, these very same people tend to pass judgment on others when they perceive shortcomings.
According to Stoic principles, you should strive to be as humble and forgiving as possible towards others, and as strict as possible towards yourself.
3. Stay a student
If you need to achieve something significant in your life, or if you have already achieved something significant, then in order to sustain that success, you will always have to keep the student within you alive, someone who remains enthusiastic about learning new things.
Stoicism places a great emphasis on self-learning, which enables you to become a better person, and in today’s rapidly advancing world, continually being a student who is willing to learn is not just an option, but a necessity.
4. Seek out challenges
If you observe an average person, you will find that they have become quite comfortable in their life, and now they don’t want to try new things because they fear facing new challenges.
Stoic philosophy appreciates challenges and views them as opportunities to further enhance one’s life.
Hence, you should never refrain from taking those challenges which can make your life even better. You should perceive challenges in a positive manner as they provide you with a chance to become even better.
5. Read and learn something new everyday
This is one of my most favorite stoic rules in my life, which has helped me greatly in making my life better.
In order to improve yourself even more, you’ll need to develop the habit of reading books and articles. By doing so, you will gain numerous benefits, but the most crucial advantage of reading is that you gain new perspectives on various aspects of life. This significantly enhances your thinking and decision-making abilities.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” ~ George R.R. MartinGeorge R.R. Martin
That’s why you should develop the habit of reading in yourself, which will show you a lot of positive changes within yourself.
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6. Focus on what you control
I have seen many people who start focusing on things they have no control over and begin to worry about them. For example, the weather, traffic, someone else’s behavior, or similar matters.
By doing this, they are only wasting their mind and time because the things they are getting anxious about are beyond their control.
We should try to focus only on those things that we can directly control. Such as:
- Our efforts towards a task, not the result.
- The hard work we put into building a good body, not the result.
- The dedicated effort we invest in our goals, not the result.
However, this doesn’t mean that you just keep putting in effort without caring about the results. This means that your control is over your efforts and hard work, which is where you should focus more, not on the results.
7. Cut toxic people from your life
Removing toxic people and things from your life is one of the biggest steps you can take for your well-being and personal growth, and stoicism places significant emphasis on this aspect.
As easy as it may sound to distance toxic people from your life, it is equally challenging to execute. However, if you aspire to achieve something significant in your life, creating distance from toxic individuals and things becomes essential.
8. Memento mori
‘Memento mori’ is a Latin phrase that means ‘remember that you [have to] die.’ It is often represented through artistic symbols that serve to remind us that death is an inevitable event.
Many times, we take our lives for granted and fail to understand its importance. We feel as if life is quite long.
This is where the concept of “Memento mori” comes in Stoic philosophy. Its purpose is to remind us of the end of our life. This way, we value our life and live it well.
Learn more about Memento mori – Wikipedia
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