How does one live well? It’s a question that our fellow human beings have been pondering for centuries. Out of that simple question, many philosophies and religions have been born.
But no philosophy does a better job at explaining the ideas for living well in a practical way than Stoicism.
The Emperor-Philosopher Marcus Aurelius, once the most powerful man on earth, was also a practitioner of Stoicism. Marcus wrote a collection of thoughts, ideas, and rules for life in what was later published as Meditation.
He wrote the things in that book for his own use. He was practicing the philosophy of Stoicism. I read that in The Inner Citadel by Pierre Hadot, a book that analyzes Meditations. In that book, I also read that Marcus had 3 rules for life that are found throughout Meditations.
True freedom is to live as you are, to do what you want, and to spend time with people you like.
For many of us, true freedom is a distant dream. We’re tied down by obligations that we never wanted in the first place. So why do we still end up living a life we don’t want?
We live in deception because the truth is too painful. But no one wants to live in deception, as the stoic philosopher Epictetus once observed (quote is from The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday):
“Who wishes to live in deception—tripped up, mistaken, undisciplined, complaining, in a rut? No one. These are base people who don’t live as they wish; and so, no base person is free.”
We all know that everything has a price. So what does it take to be truly free? If you want to live on your own terms and do as you please, you must give up the following 4 things.
I often hear people saying stuff like, “You don’t need to read non-fiction books anymore!” They pretend they somehow “graduated” from the whole personal development movement.
“I stopped listening to podcasts,” is another one of those statements. Every time I hear something like that, one word comes to mind: Arrogance.
When people say they are done with learning, what are they really saying? They are saying they are too good for the knowledge that other people are sharing.
They are saying, “I don’t need this. I know it better.” And that’s exactly the type of person I don’t relate to.