The Stoic Mindset: How to Use Ancient Lessons to Face Life’s Challenges

Stoic Mindset

I’ve been writing about the philosophy of Stoicism since 2015. A Stoic mindset has truly changed the way I do everything.

I apply Stoicism to my happiness, work, finances, and even relationships. This Stoic mindset allowed me to leverage ancient lessons into my entire life.

The other day I was talking about this change with a friend. He asked me:

“What does the Stoic mindset really mean?”

Let me explain.

What is Stoicism?

When I first stumbled upon Stoicism, I saw it as an intriguing philosophy. Now, after years of practice, I see it as a practical guide for life.

Founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the 3rd century BC, Stoicism was further developed and popularized by thinkers like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus.

The stoic mindset encourages us to develop self-control, resilience, and the ability to overcome destructive emotions.

It’s about focusing on virtue—the highest form of wisdom—as the sole good.

This shift in perspective helped me to deal with challenges in a calm and controlled way.

Know what’s within your control

Epictetus explains Stoicism best:

”The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control.”

I used to find myself consumed by worry and stress over things beyond my control. My worries included the weather, the economy, being able to make a living, my family’s well-being, and what others thought about me.

But when I truly internalized this Stoic teaching, I found a sense of liberation. All of the things I worried about were outside my control. It doesn’t mean I no longer care.

I still care about everything I worry about. I just don’t allow those things to have a hold on my mind and soul.

I focus my energy on what I can actually control, like my actions, thoughts, and reactions.

Once you start doing that, your Stoic mindset will start to get shaped.

Understand your limitations

The wisdom of Marcus Aurelius has also been instrumental in shaping my approach to life. He said:

”You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

The older I get the more I appreciate my limitations. Life is really about understanding what you should give your time and attention to and what not.

So when you know what’s within your control, you need to live by it!

The truth is that we have many limitations in life. That’s actually good news. You don’t have to think about the things you simply can’t do.

Can you change the economy? Can you heal yourself faster when you have the flu?

Look, life is hard and we must be honest about the level of control we have. And that’s okay.

Simply focus on making the best of what you have. That’s all you can do.

Live as a Stoic

Incorporating Stoicism into my daily life is something that I still work on.

Every time I write an article I remind myself: “You don’t control how many people will read it or whether they will like it or not.”

And now that I’m working on the marketing of my next book, The Stoic Path to Wealth, I occasionally catch myself fantasizing about book sales.

Of course, who doesn’t want to do well in their career? But ultimately, it’s not up to us.

We can only pour everything into our work, and what happens next is beyond us.

This shift has not only improved my productivity but also the quality of my work.

In my personal life, Stoicism also gave me a different perspective.

I always strive to be a positive force in my own life and the people around me. I make sure I always have good intentions. To be a good person. And to wish others the best.

Be your best self

Embracing Stoicism as a way of life is all about becoming the best version of yourself.

It’s about realizing your potential and ability to shape your own life. This is harder because it requires consistent thought, action, and execution. But the reward, like living the life you want, is worth it.

By adopting a Stoic mindset, we can go through life with true inner peace. And that’s the most valuable thing I can imagine.

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